Book Review: Spare by Prince Harry

The long-anticipated tell all from Prince Harry released on January 10, 2023 and quickly became a best-seller.

After watching the Harry & Meghan special on Netflix, we wanted to learn more about Prince Harry and his childhood. Honestly, we knew hardly anything about the royal family before starting the documentary or reading the book.

We knew that the British Tabloids treated Meghan horribly, but not much beyond that. This blog post is all about our thoughts on Prince Harry’s book Spare.

Harry starts out the book by recounting a conversation he had with his brother Will and his father Charles. The conversation symbolizes how their relationship has taken a downward turn over the last few years. After the brief introduction, Harry brings us back to his childhood, where he discusses his schooling, rebellion and depression.

Next, Harry wrote about his early adult years, where he traveled across Africa, joined the military and became harassed by the paparazzi.

In the last section of Spare, Harry recounts meeting Meghan Markle for the first time and how their relationship progressed. Eventually, he goes into how that relationship changed everything for him, including his relationship with his family.

The book is a chronological story of Harry’s life, from his pre-teen years to his present set up in California. His goal was to tell his side of the story and truly share the fact vs fiction.

What We Liked

There was a lot to like about the book, mainly the writing style. Clearly, the publisher hired a good ghost writer who was able to present the story clearly, while also being true to Harry’s voices.

One aspect of the book that we loved was Harry’s candor. He was ready to share the good, the bad and everything in between. He also owned up to past mistakes and explained how he grew as a person since then. Unlike the rest of the royal family, Harry had no problem being honest in order to set the record straight.

We enjoyed hearing about which stories printed about him were true and which weren’t. It’s crazy to hear about what the tabloids reported, since we hadn’t heard most of these stories before. The rumors started when he was high-school aged and continue to this day.

Lastly, we liked the third section of the book the most because it felt most relevant to why we picked up the book. We wanted to learn more about Meghan and their relationship. We also wanted to understand why his family treated her so badly and didn’t defend her to the public. Obviously, she didn’t deserve it.

As two people who have watched the TV show Suits, it’s very strange to read about Meghan life, just because it’s easy for us to see her as Rachel Zane. She seems like a great person in real life and we’re glad that she helped Harry so much.

What We Didn’t Like

Spare could easily have been a shorter book. We found there to be too many unnecessary details, like from his time in school and his countless trips to places like Africa and Australia. These events didn’t further the story. For example, he wrote about his trips constantly.

It would have been easier to just write one section about his travels during his young adulthood and one section when he traveled to Africa with Meghan for the first time. In the second section of the book, he kept going back and forth, saying I went to Africa, then I went back to England, then I went to Australia, etc.

Another aspect we didn’t like was when he talked about the monarchy and whether it deserved to exist. While he did note that he knows readers don’t want to hear about the monarchy debate from a Prince, he did defend its existence, which we think should have been removed.

It felt like in that circumstance, he didn’t realize the extensive economic privilege his family has. To learn more about the royal family’s stream of income, search for John Oliver’s video on it from 2022. Not recognizing how much his family profits, without having any real skills, felt out of touch, considering the current economic conditions in his home country.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, we enjoyed reading Spare and getting a look into the lives of the Real Royals of England. But seriously, it felt like a bad reality show mixed with a soap opera. If you regularly follow the royal family, this might not be news to you, but to people with hardly any background knowledge, it was shocking what these people allow to happen.

As Americans, we cannot comment about monarchy as much, considering it doesn’t impact our daily lives. We’re curious though. If you’re a British reader, we’d love to get your thoughts on the book and the royal family in general in the comments.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

18 thoughts on “Book Review: Spare by Prince Harry”

  1. I’m a Brit and love hearing what people from other countries make of the saga. Our tabloid press is horrendous, they’ve both been treated appallingly.
    I’m not overly arsed about the royal family, I don’t have a strong opinion either way, I don’t understand why people hate Harry and Meghan so much, it baffles me.
    As for the book, it was alright, a bit repetitive I think it’s set up for a sequel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the review. I haven’t read this book yet. I have put a hold on it at the public library but I’m a long way down the list of holds. I refuse to buy a copy, mainly because of the privilege you mention. I don’t really feel a need to line his pockets.

    I’m a fan of the monarchy and there are always 2 sides to every story but the monarchy doesn’t publicly comment on these things. Ultimately, I think the British media has a lot to answer for. They treated Diana atrociously and now they’ve done the same to Meghan.

    Liked by 1 person

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