Spare, the highly anticipated memoir by the Duke of Sussex, provides a candid look into the prince’s life in the royal spotlight. In it, he describes his tense relationship with the royal family, particularly his brother Prince William, and touches on his mother, Princess Diana’s passing.
The memoir, published by Penguin Random House, was first announced in July 2021. The book’s title, Spare, was revealed by Penguin Random House in October 2022, a nod to the adage “heir and the spare,” pointing to the different fates that separated Harry from his older brother William since birth.
The following are the most shocking revelations from Prince Harry’s memoir thus far.
Prince Harry refers to his brother, Prince William, as his archnemesis
In his memoir, Harry refers to Prince William as his “beloved brother” and his “archnemesis.” There has always been this weird competition between us, he explained what he meant with the strong choice of words.
He claims it is related to or was influenced by, the ‘heir/spare’ adage. This referred to William’s position as the future king, as Harry fell further down the line of succession after William and Kate had children.
On the day Prince Harry was born, King Charles III declared him a “spare”
According to a leaked excerpt from Harry’s memoir, his father, King Charles III, thanked Princess Diana for providing him with a spare after his birth in September 1984.
According to The Guardian, who reported on the leaked extract, Harry’s resentment of being the “spare” is a unifying theme of the book.
Prince Harry drove through the tunnel where his mother, Princess Diana, died
In his memoir, Harry describes an emotional moment in which he drove through the same Paris tunnel where his mother died in 1997. He asked the driver to drive at the same speed she was going when she and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed’s car crashed.
He recalls in the book that it was the worst of many ill-conceived ideas he had in his twenties. “I’d told myself that I wanted closure, but I didn’t really. Deep down, I’d hoped to feel in that tunnel what I’d felt when JLP gave me the police files—disbelief. Doubt. Instead, that was the night all doubt fell away.”
The princes asked Charles not to marry Camilla
Following their parents’ divorce and Diana’s death in 1997, Prince Harry recalled that he and his brother were initially opposed to their father marrying Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Private meetings with Camilla appeased Harry’s initial fears that she would be cruel, but he and William still opposed Charles walking down the aisle with “the other woman.”
After finally getting married in 2005, Camilla was given the title Duchess of Cornwall and is now the Queen Consort.
Harry felt he lost his brother ‘forever’ after his wedding to Kate
In his memoir, Harry recalls how William’s wedding to Kate felt like yet another farewell. He wrote that the brother he knew was gone forever when he escorted the prince into Westminster Abbey that morning.
“Who could deny it? He’d never again be first and foremost Willy. We’d never again ride together across the Lesotho countryside with capes blowing behind us. Who shall separate us? Life, that’s who.”
When he saw William walking Kate back up the aisle and into the carriage that would whisk them to Buckingham Palace, into their everlasting union, Prince Harry recalled thinking, “Goodbye.”
Prince Harry alleges that Prince William attacked him during a heated argument over Meghan Markle
According to a leaked excerpt from the memoir, Harry describes an argument with his brother in 2019, which turned physically violent.
Harry claims the argument began when William called Meghan “difficult,” “rude,” and “abrasive,” to which Harry responded that his brother was simply “parroting the press narrative” about his wife.
After Harry accused his brother of acting like an heir, insults were exchanged. William reportedly claimed he was trying to help.
The situation deteriorated after Harry attempted to defuse it by offering William a glass of water.
“He set down the water, called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast,” Harry wrote. “He grabbed me by the collar … and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.”