‘Spare Parts’: Takeaways from Prince Harry’s Memoirs

From the book’s opening quote about William Faulkner, to Prince Harry’s passionate relationship with his wife Meghan, you could almost call the Duke of Sussex’s memoir “The Americanization of Prince Harry.” .

The bereaved boy, the troubled teenager, the wartime soldier, the unhappy royal — many facets of Prince Harry are revealed in his explosive memoirs, often details that leave viewers wondering. raised eyebrows. Throughout is Harry’s desire to be a different kind of prince – the type who talks about his feelings, eats fast food and doesn’t hide from his stoic exterior.

Like an American.

From accounts of cocaine use and loss of virginity to family rifts, “Spare” reveals deeply personal details about Harry and the entire royal family. Even the American could flinch when he confided that a trip to the North Pole left him with genital frostbite, the most frustrating part of his brother’s wedding to Kate. .


The book opens with a famous quote by Faulkner, the poet of the American South: “The past never dies. It’s not even the past.”

Harry’s story is dominated by his rivalry with his brother Prince William and the death of the boy’s mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. Harry, then 12 years old, has never forgiven the media. news of Diana’s death in a car crash while being pursued by photographers.

The loss of her mother haunts the book Harry dedicated to Meghan, children Archie and Lili “and of course my mother”.

The opening chapter tells how his father Prince Charles – now King Charles III – reported his mother’s accident, but did not hug his son.

Harry revealed that years later, he asked his driver to take him through the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, where the fatal crash took place, in the hopeless hope that it would bring an end to the crash. a decade of unrelenting pain, he also said that he once consulted a woman who claimed to have “strength” and could deliver messages from Diana.

Harry added that he and William had both “begged” their father not to marry his longtime mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles, fearing she would become an “evil stepmother”.

Harry is also tormented by his status as a “servant” of the royal family after William, heir to the British throne. Harry recounts the sibling feud that got worse after Harry began a relationship with Meghan, the American actor he married in 2018.

He said that during an argument in 2019, William called Meghan “difficult” and “rude” (the kind of insult an upper-class Brit might give an American), then grabbed his collar and knocked him down. Harry was scratched and bruised when he fell into the dog bowl.

Harry said that Charles had begged the brothers to make peace, saying after Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021: “Please, boys – don’t make my last years miserable.

Neither Buckingham Palace, which represents King Charles III, nor William’s Kensington Palace office have commented on any of the allegations.

FEELING FOR Grandparents

Harry writes with admiration and some affection about Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip. He misses Phillip’s “many passions — horse-riding, barbecuing, shooting, food beer” and, above all, how he “accepted life”, as did his mother. “Maybe that’s why he was such a fan,” Princess Diana, Harry recalled.

Meanwhile, he admits there were times when he was threatened by his grandmother, if only because she was the Queen. She is no more helpful than anyone else in stopping media leaks, but she is generally seen as empathizing with his wishes, never more so than when she approves. his marriage to Meghan.

Harry also considers her an attractive, even humorous person beyond her proper abilities. Recalling her death last year, he remembers whispering jokes in her ear or persuading her to take part in a widely viewed promotional video for the Invictus Games, in which she outplayed the Obamas in a competition.

“She’s a born comedian,” he wrote, calling her “evil sense of humor” a worthwhile confidence between the two. “In all of our pictures, whenever we glance at each other, make eye contact, it’s obvious. We have secrets.”


The memoir makes the media’s image of the party boy Harry during his teen and young adult years well-deserved.

Harry describes how he lost his virginity at the age of 17 – in the field behind a pub with an elderly woman who loved horses and treated the teenage prince like a “pony”. It was an “ingenious episode,” he said.

He also said he took cocaine several times starting at the same age, to “feel different”. He also admitted to using marijuana and magic mushrooms – which gave him the illusion that the toilet was talking to him.


Harry brings back fond memories of his decade in the British Army, serving twice in Afghanistan. He said that on his second tour, as a copilot and Apache helicopter gunner in 2012-2013, he killed 25 Taliban fighters. Harry stated that he was neither pleased nor ashamed of his actions, and in the heated battle treating the enemy warriors as pieces removed from the board, “The bad guys have removed before they could kill Hang.”

The veterans criticized the comments and said they could increase security risks for Harry. Retired Colonel Richard Kemp said it was “a mistake of judgment” and treated enemy fighters as chess pieces “not how the British Army trains people.”

“I think that kind of comment that doesn’t reflect that fact is misleading and can be valuable to those who want British forces and the British government to cause harm,” he told the BBC.

The Taliban return to power in Afghanistan in 2021 and Harry’s words have drawn protests in the country. Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi called the Western invasion of Afghanistan “disgusting” and said Harry’s comments “are a microcosm of the trauma that Afghans have suffered at the hands of of the occupying forces murdered innocent people without taking any responsibility.”


Yes, he’s a Prince, but he doesn’t want to stop for burgers and fries at In-N-Out, or buy clothes from a chain store. He’s also an obligatory follower of “Friends” and is most related to the wise Chandler Bing, played by Matthew Perry. And because he’s a prince, he met another “Friends” star, Courteney Cox, and enjoyed chocolate psychedelic mushrooms at her home in Los Angeles.


Harry shares heartbreaking words about his father and brother, but his real anger is directed at the British media and those in royal circles who cooperated and stood aside. While Charles still seems indifferent to the press, the rest of the family is obsessed with media coverage, Harry writes, himself as well as any of them. He expressed despair over what he called the incessant false stories about him, racist caricatures of his wife and the press’s knowledge of his whereabouts and correspondence. his privacy. “One has to have a relationship with the press,” the royal staff told him.


Harry credits Meghan for changing the way he sees the world and himself. He said he was “overwhelmed with isolation and privilege” and understood nothing of unconscious bias before meeting her.

The young prince famously wore a Nazi uniform at a costume party in 2005, and claims in the book that William and Kate, his current wife, encouraged the choice of costumes and ” howling” when they see it. He was recorded using a racist term about a soldier of Pakistani descent in 2006, but said he did not know the word was an obscenity and that the soldier was not offended. .

Meghan and Harry cite the British media’s treatment of the half-American actor as one of the main reasons why they decided to give up their royal duties and move to the US in 2020.

The book gives no indication that royal family ties will be mended anytime soon. Harry told ITV in an interview to promote the book that he wants reconciliation, but must first have “accountability”.

In the final pages, Harry describes how he and William walked side by side at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September, but barely said a word to each other.

“The next afternoon, Meg and I went to America,” he said.


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