Ever since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from royal duties and relocated to the United States, Prince Harry has been forthcoming about his struggles growing up as a royal and dealing with his mother’s death at a young age.
The titular Spare, a nod to the fact that Prince William is the ‘heir’ and he is the ‘spare’, eschews the British way of keeping mum on issues that might reflect poorly on the family and bares it all in his book.
From mentions of a frostbitten penis (see what we meant by TMI?), revealing that William and Kate encouraged him to wear the Nazi costume, to exposing Queen Consort Camilla as the “villain” in his story, Prince Harry held back nothing in his book.
Here are a few major revelations from Prince Harry’s Spare…
His rocky relationship with his brother Prince William
While he touched upon this in the Netflix documentary series, the young royal elaborated on his fractured relationship with his brother in the book. He stated that, contrary to popular belief, his relationship with the elder did not become bad after he got married to Markle. He admitted that the two didn’t share the healthiest relationship, mostly because of sibling rivalry. He even shared that William had told him to act like they didn’t know each other when they started studying in the same school. More recently, an argument between the two led William to push Harry and knock him to the ground, where he landed on top of a dog bowl which cracked and injured his back.
Dealing with Diana’s death
Princess Diana’s death was something that rocked the world. Hundreds and thousands of mourners gathered for her funeral and the tragic loss of the beloved public figure is still felt to this day. Prince Harry shows us a side of the aftermath of her death that nobody was privy to before. He revealed that he got the news of her death early in the morning when he was unceremoniously woken up by his father, King Charles, who informed him of the accident and said, “They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it.” According to him, his father characteristically showed no overt emotions but clasped his knee once.
In a revelation that would resonate with anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one, especially a parent, he shared that he began suspecting that this was all a ruse that was cooked up by his mother to evade the media once and for all. He believed that she would be contacting him and his brother any day to call them over to her secret hideout. He writes that he would not believe his mother had truly died in the tunnel for the longest time but it was when he, himself, asked his driver to rush through the tunnel in the exact speed in which his mother’s car was going, that he finally believed that she was gone forever.
His turbulent past
Harry’s Party Boy persona is not a secret. The young royal was known to party hard in his early 20s and was a regular fixture on the front pages of tabloids across the UK. He admitted in the book that he did everything that he could to feel different during this time as he had still not processed the grief and trauma of losing his mother so brutally and being “deeply unhappy”. He also writes that it was during this time that he experimented with underage drinking, smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine, and psychedelics.
He killed 25 people in Afghanistan
In the book, Prince Harry recalls that joining the army saved him from the downward spiral he was on during his growing-up years. He reveals that as an Apache helicopter co-pilot, he killed 25 people who he claims were Talibani militants.
“While in the heat and fog of combat, I didn’t think of those twenty-five as people. You can’t kill people if you think of them as people. You can’t harm people if you think of them as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bads taken away before they could kill Goods. I’d been trained to ‘other-ize’ them, trained well. On some level I recognized this learned detachment as problematic. But I also saw it as an unavoidable part of soldiering.”
His comments have raised concerns about his safety and have also been condemned for not being in line with proper British military conduct.
Camilla’s role as the evil stepmother
While he insists that he and his brother were ready to give their father their support when he decided to make his relationship with Camilla public, he also revealed that both the younger royals tried to dissuade Charles from marrying her. According to Harry, Camilla left no stone unturned to ensure that media coverage about her would always be in a positive light, including throwing Harry under the bus by leaking incriminating stories about him in public.