As someone who has been fascinated with the royal family for several years — a girl needs her guilty pleasures! — it might seem odd that I didn’t write a newsletter last week about Spare, Prince Harry’s best selling memoir. After all, I’ve already written many newsletters about the royal family. With book reviews on the front page of every newspaper and the top item on the evening news, why wouldn’t I jump on the bandwagon and spill the tea?
I chose to step back for a while, because I like to keep the chaos monkey out of my head. I preserve my own mental health by not getting involved with other people’s mental health issues. Trying to make sense of Harry’s thoughts would be an exercise in frustration, like sorting out one of those infinite mazes in an Escher painting.
Without getting into the weeds of Harry’s particular issues, let’s just talk about recovering from tragedy. All of us eventually have to deal with “bad things” in life and we have a choice about how we deal with those experiences: do we let those experiences define us or do we move on?
3 thoughts on “Don’t Be a Spare: What I Learned From Prince Harry’s Meltdown”
Archimedes, him said: “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
A lot of Harry’s problem is that he thought he had the fulcrum and the lever and he really has neither. That and he is Immanuel Rath to Meghan’s Lola Lola….
Peggy Noonan says the comparison is to Fredo. That works, too: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-half-madness-of-prince-harry-book-spare-queen-king-meghan-sympathy-windsor-11673564590
The common reaction that I’ve heard in relation to Spare, is that people are ‘over it’.
There’s nothing new. There’s no smoking gun (in relation to the racist RF – which was the thing that people really cared about).
Indeed, he walked back from this accusation in one of the interviews – apparantly it’s not racism, but rather unconscious bias. Will H&M now hand back the award they were given for confronting racism in the RF? Fat chance!
And H has shot himself in the foot when it comes to a war of ‘truths’:
“Harry said he could recall “landscape, geography, architecture” in “crisp detail” – but struggled with “dates and dialogue.”
He explained: “Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory, it does what it does, gathers and curates as it sees fit, and there’s just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts.””
So, all of the reported ‘dialogue’ in the book, has just been cast in the highly dubious light of someone who specifically admits he often remembers it incorrectly.
NB: I would describe this as someone who has a highly visual memory – and it’s not surprising that he would struggle with written work and memorization, but excelled in hand-eye co-ordination (sports, gaming, flying a helicopter). Nothing wrong with that. But it doesn’t make your recollections of critical events very reliable.
He comes across as a highly entitled spoilt brat (remember, he’s nearly 40 – so it’s certainly time he grew up).
And, while it certainly seems apparent that he has significant mental health issues – (obsessiveness, mother complex, inferiority complex, persecution complex, seem to spring out) – whatever therapy he’s engaging with seems to be …. inadequate. I do not know of any legitimate therapist who would have said writing attack memoirs, and ‘briefing journalists’ against your family, is a sane way to process issues in your life.
Nor is it logical for someone apparently obsessed with ‘privacy’ to open the can of worms which is his life. Does he realize that he’s given the British media an open invitation to investigate his past? British courts regard tell-all memoirs as an abandonment of an expectation of privacy. Various ‘old friends’ (now ditched as ‘unacceptable by woke Meghan) – have commented that there are a lot more stories to be told – none of which reflect well on H. Despite their waning loyalty to their old pal, they live in Britain with William who will be their King – and are incensed at H’s blatant attempts to throw W under the bus.
The alternative is that this is all a deliberate financial ploy (possibly not from H) to maximize the ‘take’ while they still can. Given that there are no edge-of-the-seat revelations (and much of what *has* been revealed has been of dubious accuracy) and the claims are rapidly receding into the distance of history – (no one in the RF is going to talk to him again – so there will be nothing to add to a new volume – despite the hints which have been dropped) – it’s cash in now or never.
Finally, any readability to this mass of whinging, is entirely due to the ghost writer – Moehringer – who has sprinkled literary allusions throughout (anyone believe that H is familiar with Steinbeck and Faulkner? – I can’t even bring myself to believe he’s even familiar with Shakespeare’s Hamlet – and certainly not that he mused on the topic post Prince Philip’s funeral). How much of this memoir is the truth, and how much how Moehringer would like the truth to be (because it makes good copy)?
Reputedly paid more than $1 million for the task. But couldn’t be bothered to actually fact-check a book which both he and the publishers must have known would be scrutinized within an inch of its life. Shoddy.
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