11 Takeaways From Prince Harry’s Memoir Spare

A fear of public speaking morphed into a fear of crowds and then full-blown anxiety attacks on the cusp of his 30th birthday. In the book, Harry views the suffering as a form of PTSD, attributing it to both his military service and the death of his mother. When he told his father what was happening, Charles said: “I guess it’s my fault. I should have gotten you the help you needed years ago. Harry wrote: “I assured him it was not his fault. But I appreciate the apology.”

A trip to the North Pole left Harry with some discomfort. “When I got home, I was horrified to find that my bottoms were also frostbitten, and while the ears and cheeks were healing, the cheek was not,” he reports. When home remedies — like applying Elizabeth Arden’s cream — didn’t work, he finally saw a doctor.

One night during their courtship, “Meg said something that I took wrongly,” so “I snapped at her, spoke to her harshly—brutally.” Megan left the room. “I went and found her upstairs. She was sitting in the bedroom. She was calm but said in a low and even tone that she would never tolerate being spoken to like that. Harry writes:

She wanted to know where it came from.

I do not know.

Where have you heard a man talk to a woman like that? Did you hear adults talk like that when you were growing up?

I cleared my throat, looked away. Yes

Harry told Meghan that he had tried therapy, but it didn’t help. “No,” she told him. “Try again.”

The exchange between father and son when Harry announced his intention to marry did not go as expected.

Does it want to keep working?


Does he want to continue acting?

Oh, I mean, I don’t know, I don’t think so. I expect she’ll want to be with me, doing the work, you know, which would rule out Suits … since they’re shooting in … Toronto.

Um, I see. Well, dear boy, you know there’s not enough money to go around.

I stared. What was he banging for?

He explained. Or tried to. I can’t pay for anyone else. I have to pay for your brother and Catherine now.

Harry wrote: “Dad did not financially support Willie and I and our families out of generosity. That was his job. That was the whole deal. We agreed to serve the monarch, go where we were sent, do as we were told, give up our autonomy, keep our hands and feet in the gilded cage at all times, and in return the cage keepers agreed to feed us and clothe .”

But it wasn’t about money, of course: “Dad might have been afraid of the rising cost of living for us, but what he really couldn’t swallow was someone new dominating the monarchy, grabbing the limelight, someone shiny and a new one to come and overshadow him.”

“The public was told that I would be best man, but that was an outright lie,” Harry wrote. “Willie didn’t want me to give a best man speech. He didn’t think it was safe to give me a live microphone and put me in a position to go off script. He was not wrong. Still, he managed to present the newlyweds with an ermine sling at the wedding party: “The room let out a collective gasp,” he wrote, followed by “a warm, satisfying burst of laughter.”

“I could think of no human being in the 300,000-year history of the species that has done more damage to our collective sense of reality,” he wrote. But those employed to take pictures for the British tabloids are also subject to his wrath.

“Popes have always been grotesque people, but as I matured they became worse,” he says. “They were more emboldened, more radicalized, just like the young men in Iraq were radicalized. Their mullahs were editors, the same ones who vowed to do better after Mom died.

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