Spare us the details

January 10th 2023 By Aaron Wise 2 minute read

Prince Harry’s forthcoming memoir ‘Spare’ has caused quite the commotion. Whether or not you’re a fan or follower of the Royal Family, it’s hard not to get caught up in the mud-slinging Windsor carousel. To compare it to a fellow British institution, the royal match-up between Prince William ‘the heir’ and Harry ‘the spare’ is a bit like Marmite – you either like one, or the other; there is no in-between.

It’s a proper polarising debate with both sides having vociferous backers. Ever since the controversy surrounding the Sussex’s move to California and their even more controversial Oprah interview, the public’s opinion of the Royal Family has been further strained. The couple are constantly in the spotlight and, although it seems that this is of their choosing at present (after all, they’re the ones releasing the info), sometimes you have to appreciate, while these people live a very different life to our own, they are still just people, a family. And, of course, all families have issues, but should they be laid bare for all to see? I’m not so sure.

Time and time again, Harry has expressed the desire for privacy, which led to the decision for him and Meghan to step away from the public eye to raise their family in the first place. So why release a book that details a physical altercation with his brother, hardcore drug taking, and revealing the amount of people he killed in Afghanistan? Doing so was obviously going to cause a media frenzy and he’s been lined up for exclusive interviews to discuss further details in the book. It just doesn’t make sense to me. What is most baffling, though, is how he hopes this can help him ‘build bridges’ with his family and how he could see himself still attending the King’s coronation in May. Personally, I can’t see that happening now.

If I was in William’s shoes, I wouldn’t be too keen to see my brother if he’d released a tell all memoir to the world, filled with one-sided digs that he knew full well I wouldn’t be able to respond to. I’d say broken bridges would not merely be burnt, but rather completely removed, with the foundations carted off, and the ground where it once stood sown with salt.

And again, if my son had done the same – undermining, not just my other son, but slinging some mud at my wife too – I’d be less than keen on a reconciliation so soon after the damage had been dealt. 

“Alright dad, I’ve just lobbed some bricks through the windows, and I’m not going to say sorry. In fact, I might carry on chucking a few more between now and then, but can I come to your 40th in a couple of months?”

Yeah, can’t say that would be getting my buy-in.

Ultimately then, while the book will no doubt be a huge success commercially, is this a good PR move for Harry? I don’t think so. A lot of his complaints, when you strip them right back, seem like a privileged person complaining they weren't privileged enough (Nottingham cottage being small, and God forbid, furnished via IKEA and for instance). Given all that’s going on in the world, it seems somewhat tawdry and unedifying. 

Like all family drama though, it’s complicated. And while the Royal Family should be scrutinised, I’m not sure we need to be involved in this level of detail.

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