Spare by Prince Harry

By Michael P Coleman

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination and felt a bit of a connection with Prince Harry. Born second to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, he seemed to grow up feeling the chill of the shadow that I believed Prince William may have cast in that royal family.

I grew up far from royal, but as second born in my family, after an older brother with a seemingly inbred superiority complex, I always thought that Prince Harry and I might have been able to find common ground, if only on that issue.

According to Spare, my musings about the way Harry may have felt while growing up were spot on.

My heart first broke for Harry when his mom tragically died, almost 30 years ago now. As he grew up, I wondered how he was doing as he periodically made the news on this side of the pond. More recently, as the Duke of Sussex made the difficult decision to step aside from the royal family, I waited for his book as I watched his reality TV series, shot with wife Meghan Markle.

Last year, Spare arrived. This year, I finally got around to reading it, during a recent, long overdue vacation. It was more than worth the effort.

Spare can best be divided into three sections, the first of which details his time as a young boy, which includes his achingly candid reflections of the aftermath of his mom’s death. It also includes his revelations about his distant relationship with his father, King Charles. Harry’s readers learn that he has felt alone for quite some time.

Section Two is Harry’s heartfelt and detailed while sometimes droning recollections of his time in the armed services. For this reader, that section could have been truncated, in part to make time for…

Section Three, which is Harry’s “awakening” of sorts, and his meeting, courtship, wedding to and marriage with Meghan Markle. I’d not known much about her until reading Spare, but was left with the undeniable assertion that Harry was whipped from day one by Markle.

Since reading Spare, I’ve started binge watching Suits, the TV series in which Markle starred when they met. I can see why the young prince was so smitten. Markle is gorgeous, and seems so inside and out, from what I can ascertain from her media interviews.

That section of the book actually made me want to add Meghan to my bucket list of interview subjects. Harry details an early argument that the two had, long before they were even engaged. Meghan’s setting of boundaries with him left me thinking “That’s what you need to be ready for when you fall in love with a sistah, Harry.”

Now, I’m left waiting for Meghan’s book, with the hope that hers will be a bit less whiny than her husband’s, at least with regard to the pains of living in the public eye. It’s the hand you were dealt, Harry: deal with it.

That said, the first time author does a good job of drawing the reader in, to a world that we don’t know. My grandmother was a queen, but not that kind of queen.

But she loved her grandson, just like Harry’s did.

Overall, Spare is a great read, and gives a peek into a life that, while might not be like your own in some respects, is more like your own than you may realize.

Thanks, Harry. Let’s grab a beer sometime.

Spare can be found wherever you buy your books.

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