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Spare
Cover of Spare
Spare
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover the global phenomenon that tells an unforgettable story of love, loss, and healing.
“Compellingly artful . . . [a] blockbuster memoir.”—The New Yorker (Best Books of the Year)
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 Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.
For Harry, this is that story at last.
Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.
At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love. 
Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .
For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Discover the global phenomenon that tells an unforgettable story of love, loss, and healing.
“Compellingly artful . . . [a] blockbuster memoir.”—The New Yorker (Best Books of the Year)
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 Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.
For Harry, this is that story at last.
Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.
At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love. 
Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .
For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
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  • From the cover We agreed to meet a few hours after the funeral. In the Frogmore gardens, by the old Gothic ruin. I got there first.

    I looked around, saw no one.

    I checked my phone. No texts, no voicemails.

    They must be running late, I thought, leaning against the stone wall.

    I put away my phone and told myself: Stay calm.

    The weather was quintessentially April. Not quite winter, not yet spring. The trees were bare, but the air was soft. The sky was gray, but the tulips were popping. The light was pale, but the indigo lake, threading through the gardens, glowed.

    How beautiful it all is, I thought. And also how sad.

    Once upon a time, this was going to be my forever home. Instead it had proved to be just another brief stop.

    When my wife and I fled this place, in fear for our sanity and physical safety, I wasn’t sure when I’d ever come back. That was January 2020. Now, fifteen months later, here I was, days after waking to thirty-two missed calls and then one short, heart-racing talk with Granny: Harry . . . Grandpa’s gone.

    The wind picked up, turned colder. I hunched my shoulders, rubbed my arms, regretted the thinness of my white shirt. I wished I’d not changed out of my funeral suit. I wished I’d thought to bring a coat. I turned my back to the wind and saw, looming behind me, the Gothic ruin, which in reality was no more Gothic than the Millennium Wheel. Some clever architect, some bit of stagecraft. Like so much around here, I thought.

    I moved from the stone wall to a small wooden bench. Sitting, I checked my phone again, peered up and down the garden path.

    Where are they?

    Another gust of wind. Funny, it reminded me of Grandpa. His wintry demeanor, maybe. Or his icy sense of humor. I recalled one particular shooting weekend years ago. A mate, just trying to make conversation, asked Grandpa what he thought of my new beard, which had been causing concern in the family and controversy in the press. Should the Queen Force Prince Harry to Shave? Grandpa looked at my mate, looked at my chin, broke into a devilish grin. THAT’S no beard!

    Everyone laughed. To beard or not to beard, that was the question, but leave it to Grandpa to demand more beard. Let grow the luxurious bristles of a bloody Viking!

    I thought of Grandpa’s strong opinions, his many passions—carriage driving, barbecuing, shooting, food, beer. The way he embraced life. He had that in common with my mother. Maybe that was why he’d been such a fan. Long before she was Princess Diana, back when she was simply Diana Spencer, kindergarten teacher, secret girlfriend of Prince Charles, my grandfather was her loudest advocate. Some said he actually brokered my parents’ marriage. If so, an argument could be made that Grandpa was the Prime Cause in my world. But for him, I wouldn’t be here.

    Neither would my older brother.

    Then again, maybe our mother would be here. If she hadn’t married Pa . . .

    I recalled one recent chat, just me and Grandpa, not long after he’d turned ninety-seven. He was thinking about the end. He was no longer capable of pursuing his passions, he said. And yet the thing he missed most was work. Without work, he said, everything crumbles. He didn’t seem sad, just ready. You have to know when it’s time to go, Harry.

    I glanced now into the distance, towards the mini skyline of crypts and monuments alongside Frogmore. The Royal Burial Ground. Final resting place for so many of us, including Queen Victoria. Also, the notorious Wallis Simpson. Also, her...
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2023

    When Princess Diana wanted to tell her side of history, she had to speak through Andrew Morton in Diana: Her True Story (1992). Thirty-one years later, her youngest son, Harry, is traveling the same path but courageously putting his name on the project (assisted by ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer). Even further, he reads the absolutely captivating 15.5-hour unabridged audiobook. Listeners are literally getting the inside scoop on the royal family as Prince Harry tells his story, in his own words and with his own voice. The narration perfectly matches the text, written with disarming candor and a sly sense of humor. Listeners can hear the smile in the prince's voice when he mutters asides. But when he's recounting the night his father woke him to tell him his mother had been killed in a car accident, the retelling is heartbreaking in its restraint. There are not a lot of vocal acrobatics--members of the royal family have been raised and trained to never show emotion in public. This eye-opening memoir is both historical and openheartedly personal. VERDICT An irresistible and supremely eloquent look inside the British royal family by the son who was forced to escape its stranglehold.--Kevin Howell

    Copyright 2023 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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