Prince Harry 'seems to cling on to the past' as he is criticised for Spare memoir title

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Prince Harry appears to “cling on to the past”, a royal commentator said while discussing the title of the Duke of Sussex’s memoir. Angela Levin, who penned a biography of Prince Harry in 2017 and of Queen Camilla this year, wrote in a column for Sky News Australia: “The country was thrilled when aged 33 [Harry] found the woman he wanted to marry.

“Yet five years on he seems to cling on to the past, which simply can’t be changed.”

When he started to carry out royal duties, the Duke of Sussex focused on supporting Army personnel and veterans, protecting the environment and normalising conversations surrounding mental health.

His extroverted personality and the ability to comfort people who were suffering, Ms Levin added, helped Harry become one of the country’s most-loved royals.

In her comment piece, the royal author also said the decision to title the Duke’s upcoming memoir Spare was “such a shame”.

She wrote: “Can it really be how he thinks of himself?

“He has a wife he worships and the freedom he longed for – so why is he still seemingly full of resentment and determination to get his own back?”

The commentator went on saying the word “spare” does not have a “derogatory” connotation when used in the context of royal households.

However, some of the translations in other languages of Harry’s book title cast a darker light on the memoir, with the Spanish edition being titled: “Spare: In The Shadow (Spare: En La Sombra)”. 

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The saying “heir and spare” comes from days where noble and royal households needed to have multiple children to make sure the family’s line was secure at a time of high mortality.

Today, it simply indicates the younger sibling of the heir to the throne.

However, the issue of royal spares not finding a defined role within the institution and seeing their influence wane as they are pushed back in the line of succession by the children of the heir has been explored by royal commentators in the past.

Robert Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers, told People magazine in 2020: “The younger-sibling syndrome is an enduring problem. The system has not found a way of giving them the recognition that they need.”

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He added: “Until Elizabeth produced heirs, Margaret was a possible future Queen. It is a family situation of conflict that goes back over generations.”

Prince Harry announced in July last year he was authoring an “intimate” memoir which would provide readers with the “definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him”.

Last week, his publisher Penguin Random House shared more details regarding the book, saying it will be published on January 10 and it will feature “raw, unflinching honesty”.

While little is known about the topics the Duke will tackle in his book, it is likely the death of Princess Diana and the impact grief had on him will be heavily present, as the publisher decided to centre its marketing on a famous image from the funeral cortege of the late Princess of Wales.

For the description of the memoir released last Thursday, the publisher wrote: “It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror.

“As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last.”

The Duke will donate his proceeds from this book to charity and has already given $1.5million to Sentebale, which he co-founded in 2006, and pledged to give $300,000 to WellChild, one of his beloved patronages.



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