Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, 2023


Rating: 4 out of 6.

It is with mixed feelings that I read this book. It was “forced” on me by my fellow book clubber, otherwise I may not have tackled it. It is a very long book with many details about royal life.

It starts with the death of Princess Diana. It is fairly safe to say, that a lot of Prince Harry’s troubles started with that happening in his young life. She was his mother, of course, so that made it hard at any time, but the fact that she was on the outs with the royal family and it all was so publicized made it doubly hard for a grieving 12 year old boy. One of the butlers recalls Harry asking, (after the funeral), “How are you holding up?” He should have been being cared for, not trying to care for others. Apparently, Prince Charles was a cold distant parent and certainly not up to the task of helping young boys grieve for the mother that he had divorced.

The story goes on to talk about his life growing up as a royal, going to school, the diffictly of finding and keeping a girlfriend. And the papparazzi. It sounded like a really bad life, to be honest

Due to the fact that he was so bereft by his mother’s death and the fact that a trauma like that can impact a person’s entire life, I give Prince Harry room for some of the feelings he has and the scrapes he has gotten into. Being a mother myeself, I can imagine the impact a parent’s death would have on my girls.

On the flip side, he is an adult now and it might be time to step into that role. I was decidely uncomfortable with a grown man calling his mom mummy through the entire book. It seemed like he maybe hadn’t grown past 12 years old. Or maybe it’s the fact that mummy had never grown into the role of mother since she died so young.

One thing I learned in this book is that no matter where you are you want to get married. It actually changed my perspective on marriage and Mennonite circles. Allow me to take you down a rabbit trail.

I was 32 when I got married. Old maid status in the Holdeman Mennonite church. I know, many of you are saying, “oh that’s not true! We need our single ladies. etc etc etc. ” I would put money on it that every single one of you saying that got married in the normal age for Mennonite girls. Am I right?

At family get togethers he got the inferior bedroom, close to the servant’s quarters. He was the one that was always the extra. Or, Spare, if you will. I could totally sympathize with the feelings that brought. It felt decidedly odd to be able to understand the feelings of a Prince!

Then Meghan came on the scene and things got infinitly better, but took a serious turn for the worse. I don’t know the ins and outs of living royal, but I do know that Meg got the raw end of the deal. I have no idea what it was like to be American and try to break into the British royal scene, but it was not easy, and I don’t think she was prepared for it.

By all accounts, though, Prince Harry loves her and it appears like they are making their way the best they can.

Reading Spare opened my eyes to what it is like to be royal (from Prince Harry’s standpoint). It did not sound easy and I wish Harry and his family all the best as they try to make thier own way in the world.

Have you read Spare? Do you keep up with the Royals? What is your opinion on the matter of Meghan and how she (appeared to) took Harry from his family?

PS I listened to this book on Audible, and Prince Harry read it himself. I think it is safe to say that I have never listened to a better reader. I actually missed his voice after the 15 hours and 39 minutes were done. It must have been that posh English accent. So there is that going for him.

5 responses to “Spare”

  1. Hi, Eva,
    You make me want to read this book. Yes, I’ve wondered some of the same wonderings you had. Sounds like a good read, thanks for the report on it.

    • It was much better than I expected it to be. It changed my opinion of the royal family, not for the worse or the better. Just different than it was.

  2. I have read “Spare” and felt empathy for Prince Harry and Meghan. It seems like people either love them or hate them. From reading enough books on the royalty; I’m inclined to believe that his experiences are accurate. I wish them well in their life. The part that made me uncomfortable was how much he loved his life as a soldier.

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