Prince Harry Bares Too Much In “Spare”


Prince Harry was met with harsh criticism following the release of his memoir. (Courtesy of Twitter.)

Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to leave the royal family in early 2021, the couple has gone on to share details of their time in the family and open up their lives to the general public. They’ve gone on to do interviews and make movie and podcast deals.

 The most recent venture, and perhaps the one that has been most highly anticipated, was Prince Harry’s book “Spare,” released Jan. 10, 2023. The book sold 1.4 million copies on its first day and has been highly publicized and talked about since its release only two weeks ago. Harry and Meghan are no strangers to airing out personal stories to the public. However, in this memoir, Harry goes into detail more than ever before. Some highlighted topics include his mother, his romantic relationship, both with Meghan and others before her and his time serving in the military. 

Some people applaud his bravery for talking about such difficult topics and have been flooded with compassion for him, while others are honestly tired of hearing the same stories in a new medium. I have to say, I’m in the latter group. When leaving the royal family, Harry and Meghan said they no longer felt supported in the family and wanted to lead a more private life in the United States. Which I honestly find to be odd given that the duo has never called more attention to themselves since leaving the family. 

While I support their decision to leave and do what’s best for their family, airing out so much personal information feels counterproductive and frankly, no one really needed to know half of the information. As an example, Harry talks about his family’s disapproval of the older woman he lost his virginity to. That felt like a story that could have just stayed with him, as the whole internet doesn’t need to know and talk about that. 

In some more emotionally heavy moments of the book, Harry details his time in the military. He faced widespread criticism for talking about when he killed 25 members of the Taliban while serving. This is no doubt a significant part of his life that played a role in shaping who he is, but I don’t think it was a necessary piece of information to share. Regardless of it happening in war, those killed were people who are now gone and to include that in the same book as  your family drama just feels insensitive. Additionally, revealing information like this is somewhat dangerous, with a response from the Taliban government already made. Current members of the U.K.’s government also made statements about their fears with stories like these coming out and what it might mean for their military. Rather than being candid and inspiring, as I imagine Harry might have assumed it came off, I found it more insensitive than anything. 

While of course it is Harry’s life and he is entitled to talk about his own struggles and feelings, the book doesn’t come across as well as I think may have been intended. Working on his mental health and connecting with family privately seems like the necessary approach Harry needs after all he’s been through, rather than another venture appearing to be a cash grab. The book felt like it was grasping at straws to get more general interest and could have been better off without half of the information shared. 

It is clear through all his interviews and now most recently “Spare” that Harry has faced and been through a lot, and it’s easy to sympathize with what he’s gone through. However, the general public is tired of hearing what feels like the same story, and with every new project that feeling only grows. It seems to me that after leaving the royal family, Harry and Meghan took on more deals than perhaps they should have and now are detailing parts of their lives that really should stay private. I’m interested to see what Harry does next, if he’ll continue to keep working after the book’s release, or take some time for himself and his family. I would think the best case scenario for all involved at this point would be for him to take some time away and enjoy the private time that it seemed he initially wanted.