Spare - Prince Harry - Deepstash
Spare - Prince Harry

Spare - Prince Harry

J. R. Moehringer

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The “heir” and the “spare”

The “heir” and the “spare”

Harry was around 20 when he heard a joke his father, Charles, had made to his mother, Diana, during his birth. “Wonderful. You have given me an heir and a spare. You have done your job,” said Charles before going “off to meet with his girlfriend.”

He writes that he was “a shadow, a Plan B” and nothing more to his older brother and Crown Prince, William. The whole book seems to be his response to a lifetime of being made to feel expendable and unimportant:

“I was brought into the world in case something happened to Willy,” he writes bluntly. “I was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion, and, if necessary, a spare part. Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow.”


131 reads

The trauma of losing a mother

The trauma of losing a mother

  • Harry describes his father breaking the news to him while he sat on his bed at Balmoral Castle. Charles, who at the best of times was not good at “expressing his emotions,” did not hug him at the moment. He put a hand on his knee and said: It’s going to be OK.
  • He has tried to get closure from the incident, but unfortunately, failed to do so - replicating Diana’s last car journey only left Harry “questioning the official cause of her death.”
  • Harry and William wanted a thorough investigation into the matter but were dissuaded by “those who decided”.
  • Harry describes how his sorrow over his mother’s death led him to a woman who “claimed to have powers.” He attempted to speak to his late mother various times through this medium.


97 reads

The relationship with William

The relationship with William

  • Harry refers to William as "my beloved brother, my arch-nemesis".
  • He writes that he was desperate for William's company after their mother Diana died but that his brother disowned him when Harry started at the same senior school, Eton College.
  • William didn’t want Harry to be the best man at his wedding.
  • Harry says William attacked him and knocked him onto the floor during an argument over Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
  • Harry claims William and Kate Middleton encouraged him to wear a Nazi costume at a party when he was 20.
  • Prince William and Harry fought about their royal role in Africa (with William claiming prior ownership over royal/charitable activities on the continent.)
  • Harry had to ask the Queen’s permission to keep a beard for his wedding day—and then he and Prince William had an argument, which ended in Wills ordering Harry to shave off his beard (because he wasn't allowed to keep his at this wedding with Kate).


77 reads

Begging Charles not to marry Camilla

Begging Charles not to marry Camilla

  • Just like the loss of their mother was a matter that brought the two siblings together, so was their father’s decision to marry Camilla. The brothers said they would not stand in the way of Charles' relationship with her, but asked that they not marry.
  • Harry and William begged their father not to marry Camilla. William felt “tremendous guilt” over “the other woman” whom he had “long harbored suspicions about".
  • The two did not ultimately stand in the way of his father and Camilla’s relationship, despite Harry wondering on more occasions than one if the now Queen Consort was like the “wicked stepmother” from fairytales.


76 reads

Drug use

Drug use

Harry admits to taking cocaine at age 17. He writes: “Of course. I had been doing cocaine around this time. At someone’s country house, during a shooting weekend, I’d been offered a line, and I’d done a few more wasn’t much didn't make me particularly happy as it seemed to make everyone around me."

Harry also used psychedelics as part of his therapy to treat his post-traumatic stress after the war.


77 reads

Tabloid scandals and press leaks from his family

Tabloid scandals and press leaks from his family

According to the book, Charles and sometimes Camilla approved damaging press leaks about Harry and William.

On one occasion, Charles cooperated with the tabloids on a story about Harry and drugs to bolster his own faltering reputation. “No more the unfaithful husband, Pa would now be presented to the world as the harried single dad coping with a drug-addled child.”

The pattern is: Charles and Camilla continually prioritize their own rehabilitation narrative over the reputations of their children, and justify the practice because they are the ones closest to the throne.


72 reads

Marriage with Meghan

Marriage with Meghan

After he’s married, he imagined, he won’t be afraid to go out in public, because his family will start to respect him. He thought he’ll get his beloved brother back because he and William and Kate and whoever he marries will get to be couple friends together. And he’ll have, at long last, a partner, someone to replace the source of unconditional love he lost when his mother died.

Instead, when Harry marries, Charles tells him that he can’t afford to support both him and the Cambridges. William repeats tabloid stories about Meghan being pushy and abrasive, while Kate flinches away from Meghan’s American friendliness. And Meghan is so badly harassed by racist tabloids that she begins to struggle with suicidal ideation.


80 reads

Hating the press

Hating the press

Harry really, really hates the press, blaming them for chasing his mother so relentlessly, including in the events leading to her death in Paris, with Harry returning obsessively to the scene of the car accident.

He also reads their coverage obsessively, to the point that absorbing press coverage of the royal family seems to be his main hobby. He has nicknames for his least favorite journalists and follows the minutia of their careers with interest.


70 reads

Leaving the Royal Family

Leaving the Royal Family

Harry left because of constant harassment from the press.

He says: “My problem has never been with the monarchy, not the concept of monarchy. It’s been with the press and the sick relationship that’s evolved between it and the Palace. I love my Mother Country, and I love my family, and I always will. I just wish, at the second-darkest moment of my life, they’d both been there for me.”

Harry’s decision to leave the Royal Family was thus born out of years of trauma that he had endured as well as the treatment his wife, Meghan, received. Scared of seeing history repeat itself (drawing parallels to his late mother), Harry decided to break away from the family.


70 reads

Goodbye to the Queen

Goodbye to the Queen

  • It was his father Charles who first called him to say that the Queen’s health “had taken a turn.”
  • Harry recounts immediately then sending a text message to William to ask if he and Kate were flying to Balmoral – and when and how. There was no response from William.
  • Harry then received another call from Charles, who told Harry that he was welcome at the Scottish residence but that his wife, Meghan, was not.
  • Harry says he spent much of the time on his flight to Scotland staring at the clouds, replaying the last time he’d spoken with his grandmother, 4 days prior.


78 reads



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