Subin Adhikari

“Two years older than me, Willy was the Heir, whereas I was the Spare.”
“I was the shadow, the support,the Plan B. I was brought into the world in case something
happened to Willy. I was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion and, if
necessary, a spare part.”
The above mentioned excerpt is from the newly released memoir of Prince Harry, Spare. The
anecdote sums up the life of Harry and the reason behind the name of his memoir.
In the book, Harry gives a peek into his personal life from his early childhood till the death of
his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and every major event in between.
He’s standing alone in a graveyard withstanding the winter breeze amidst the naked trees
and fallen leaves. He has lost his grandfather, Prince Philip. He’s stripped of his royal title,
he has a fallout with his family and is waiting for his father, Prince Charles and brother,
Prince Willam to settle some scores.
The circumstances take him back around 24 years back, when he was attending one more
funeral. This was of the person he loved the most, his mother, Princess Diana.
Harry then begins narrating the story of his, the life of an insecure vulnerable child deprived
of love and support, yet cherished, lustrous and cherished by the world.
In the initial chapters, he recalls his early childhood memories, the moment spent with his
immediate family in the grand Balmoral Castle. He gives a vivid description of the palace
that almost matches with the palace from fairy tales.
The chronicles of the holidays, mischief with his brother and bond between mother and sons
amid the utterly formal royal protocols even for the immediate family members is really
heart warming.
And all of a sudden, she’s gone. Diana dies in a car crash in Paris along with her boyfriend.
Harry recollects the evocative chronicles of the entire event and how it affected him for the
rest of his life. In fact, it’s very emotional to go through each chapter in the book and he
ultimately connects the abstract with his mom.
Then there comes his misadventure. He doesn’t shy away from sharing the accounts of his
wilder days at hostel and his introduction to drug abuse.
Equally gripping are his love affairs.
Harry talks in length about how his every affair started and how they ended too.
The anecdote that’s making social media and press go crazy is about how he lost his virginity
to a much older lady behind a bush of a heavily crowded club when he was high on booze.
The book is filled with several such anecdotes which are written in raw demeanour.
If one thing that’s constant right from the beginning of the book till its end is his cats and dog
relations with the press and paparazzi.
He has blamed them for the death of his mother, most of his breakups, and his dwindling
mental health. He also talks about how he was discarded by his family to deal with all the
mess of fake news, character assassination, invasion of privacy and tag tailing by the press,
all by himself.
Spare also mentions several cases, when he had nearly lost his life due to the press such as
how he had to be evacuated from Afghanistan when the Taliban fighters attacked him after
the press published about his deployment and whereabouts.
The book renders the gruesome details of the battlefield. In a section he even compares,
shooting the Taliban fighters from his fighter helicopter to playing PlayStation, that might be
disturbing for some readers.
However, for the Nepali readers, the chapter dedicated to the Gurkhas can be of great
excitement. Here, he recalls how he donned the uniform of Gurkha soldiers in his early
childhood and lived alongside them in the warzone.
Peculiarly, he even recalls the Nepali phrases used by the Gurkhas and his love for the Nepali
style mutton curry cooked by them.
Spare is a rollercoaster of emotions for the readers. It’s unbelievable to go through the
accounts of him being sidelined by the royal family in most of the cases, the most notable one
being about his relationship with wife Meghan.
Harry states that the royal family had done its best to prevent the unification of the duo and
even attempted to separate them after marriage as Megan was very un-royalish.
He even got engaged in a fist fight with his brother William when an argument about forcing
him to divorce Meghan heated up.
The book gives a vibe of a daily soap, due to the hard to believe politics in the royal family
behind closed doors. At times,it feels as if everyone is a culprit of one another and sometimes
it makes everyone in the royal family look helpless, as if they are in a puppet show.
The final chapters are filled with thrilling moments such as Harry being stripped of his royal
and military titles, his father cutting off his funding and the palace calling off his security
amid storming press and paparazzi.
It’s emotional, dubious, personal and fun to read at the same time. The book is full of
scandals, blame games and mysteries unravelled.
Spare is an absolute page turner due to the simple text and hooking story which makes it a
great read even for the beginners. The book is for those who enjoyed the Netflix series like
The Crown and Harry & Meghan.
However, you will be disappointed if you are a nonfiction enthusiast looking for accounts of
historical and political events like Britain’s decision to go to the Afghan war or the Brexit

Name of the book: Spare
Author: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Price: Rs2,560 (Hardcover)