Prince Harry’s long-awaited autobiography ‘Spare’ has hit the bookshelves in the United Kingdom. Shopkeepers expected a rush when the stock arrived at the stores at midnight on Monday. While plenty of fans and royalists queued up to purchase the early copy, it was a largely quiet night. According to British newspapers, the retailer WHSmith received 400 copies of the 416-page book but only sold 12 till morning.
There may be few buyers but the memoir has sparked an interesting debate on social media. The content includes exclusive details regarding Harry’s relationship with his family. Indeed, the audience remains divided between Harry/Meghan and the Royal Family. The couple’s supporters have admired them for using their voice while the England media slammed Harry for leaking private family matters.
Here are some key takeaways from the Spare that folks are talking about.
Prince William Attacks Him during an Argument over Meghan Markle
One of Harry’s most explosive claims is an allegation that his older brother Prince William struck him down. He wrote that they got into a scuffle over an argument involving his wife Meghan Markle. William allegedly confronted Meghan after she got into an argument with his wife Catherine (Princess of Wales).
Kate said some heated words to Megan over Princess Charlotte’s dress for the wedding. Meghan called Kate a “baby brain” as reference to her hormones because of childbirth. Offended by the comments, Kate told Meghan that they weren’t close enough for her to be saying such things.
Prince William also called out Meghan and “pointed a finger at her” while saying she was “rude, difficult, and abrasive”. Meghan didn’t approve of William’s behaviour and told him to keep his finger out of her face. The two brothers had a conversation over the spat which soon escalated physically.
As per Harry, William grabbed his collar, ripped his necklace and knocked him to the ground. William also urged Harry to hit him back but he refused and asked his brother to “get out”. Later, William returned to Harry and apologized for what happened.
Brothers Urged King Charles Not to Marry Camilla
In another story in the memoir, Harry takes a dig at his stepmother Camilla, the Queen consort. He recalled the moment when he and William both referred to Camilla as the “other woman”. Harry said that he told his father King Charles not to marry Camilla because she would be a “wicked stepmother”.
On Charles and Camilla’s marriage, Harry wrote that he had complex feelings about getting a stepparent. He thought of her as a “dangerous” person for allegedly forging connections within the British media. He also accused her of sacrificing him on her “personal PR altar” as she had a reputation to rehabilitate after being the “third person” in his parents’ marriage.
Harry wrote that his brother was also confused and tormented by Charles’ affair with Camilla. The excerpt continues that William felt tremendous guilt for doing or saying nothing after finding out about that.
When Charles finally decided to go public about Camilla in 1999, the brothers formally met her for the first time. Harry compared that meeting to “getting an injection” thinking “close your eyes, it will be over soon”. However, he also wrote that after the marriage he realized Camilla was not mean to him so he felt gratitude for her.
Harry Upsets the Taliban and the British Army Veterans
Probably the most striking revelation in the book was asserting that he killed 25 enemies in Afghanistan. The former Prince served as a forward air controller from 2007 to 2008 and a co-pilot gunner for an Apache helicopter from 2012 to 2013. He described that when he killed the Taliban militants he considered them “chess pieces” to be removed from the board. The statements drew anger not only from the Taliban but British veterans as well.
The Taliban called him a “big mouth loser” who was “scared to go to combat zone”. They boasted about “kicking him and his army” out of their homeland and the “chess pieces” took over the entire board while he fled to his “grandmother’s palace”. The furious statement further mocked Harry, challenging him to come to Afghanistan again if he wasn’t a “f***ing loser”.
Some former British military personnel also responded to Harry’s revelations in the book. Ex-Royal Marine Ben McBean tweeted that Harry needed to “shut up”. He wondered what kind of people he was hanging out with. If they were good people they have stopped him from doing this. A former commander in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp said that Harry’s comments were an error of judgement and did not reflect reality. He said that saying that insurgents were merely chess pieces and not humans was not the way British Army trained its professionals.
Sex and Drugs
Harry admitted to taking cocaine and losing his virginity in his teenage years. Writing about his drug problem, Harry said he was taking cocaine at the age of 17 but it “wasn’t much fun” for him as it was for people around him. However, he did admit that it made him feel different, which was his main goal. He revealed that he was a “deeply unhappy” boy willing to do almost anything to change the status quo. Harry has admitted to using drugs in the past as well. In 2002, he was accused of underage drinking and using cannabis. His father had to send him to a rehab centre for 1 day.
The ex-prince also mentioned the first time he had sex. Calling it an “inglorious episode”, he wrote that he lost his virginity to an “older woman” who treated him like a “young stallion”. He even gave details that it happened in a grassy field behind a busy pub so someone obviously would have seen them. Harry did not mention the name of the lady in the book.
Looking for Closure after Diana’s Death
Harry also talked about how he dealt with his mother’s death. Princess Diana died in 1997 when Harry was 12 years old. He tried to recreate her mother’s final car ride through the Paris tunnel where she had a fatal accident. When he was invited to Paris for the 2007 Rugby World Cup semi-final, he asked his driver to take him to the same tunnel where Diana’s car crashed. He wrote that he went there 2 times in search of closure but all he felt was doubt and disbelief. He thought that his suffering would end after visiting the tunnel but he wrote that it was just the beginning of the pain.
He also described seeing a clairvoyant (fortune teller) who had “powers” and was able to “feel Diana’s spirit”. While having his doubts about the woman, he sat down and felt “energy around her”. The woman told him that his mother said he was living the life she wanted for him.