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Why I won’t be reading Prince Harry’s memoir, ‘Spare’

Britain's Prince Harry and Prince William

Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 01/10/23

The revelations in Prince Harry's book are not going to help heal any family wounds.

You’ve probably seen the latest news about the ongoing drama in the British royal family: Prince Harry, the youngest son of King Charles III, has written a book, released today, about his personal struggles with his family, called Spare.

There have been many discussions about the book, and Harry’s subsequent interviews, in the press and on social media, and people have formed strong opinions about a family that few know personally. There are those who champion Prince Harry, while others are firmly on the side of his brother, Prince William.

I’ve written many pieces about the royals over the years. As a Brit who was particularly fond of the late-Queen Elizabeth II, I can’t help but have my own opinions. However, I don’t think it helps anybody to declare my affiliation for Team Sussex or Team Wales.

What I would say is that I am sad there is such discord between the two brothers as they always seemed so close. There are countless photos of the boys throughout their childhood lookingadorably at each other, and on the surface they seemed to always have each other’s backs.

Additionally, we can all acknowledge that very few families sail through life without any struggles or fights. But airing our dirty laundry in public is another matter.

Unfortunately, oversharing and making harsh judgments from behind our screens is a common societal problem today that only seems to make things worse. And this seems particularly the case with the revelations Harry is making in various interviews.

The dangers of oversharing

I have read some of the extracts published from Harry’s book, Spare. They confirmed what I thought would be in the book: intimate details that I have no business knowing about.

To me, it doesn’t feel right to know Prince Harry’s final words to his grandmother, when he went to pay his respects in Balmoral, Scotland.

It also doesn’t seem right to accuse people of actions to which they’ll never be able to respond. It’s widely known that the royals have a strict policy of “never complain; never explain.” This was a motto close to the late-Queen’s heart that sadly her grandson, Harry, doesn’t adhere to.

In fact, I can’t help but feel it’s an aggressive move tantamount to bullying towards King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla, and William and Kate, who are remaining tight-lipped about the accusations coming out and going about their royal duties.

There is no doubt that Harry has some obvious frustrations and deep-seated anger towards his family. Some of it may be well-founded. Yet, if he continues to overshare, he’ll not do himself, his children, or the family he’s at odds with any favors.

And this is where the public can actually help. While many can’t help but get caught up in this Hollywood-like saga, if more of us choose not to take any interest in what went on behind the palace walls, the story will lose its oxygen and perhaps the brothers can eventually find a discreet channel to move towards reconciliation.

That is what we should all be hoping and praying for, no matter our feelings on the matter. Rivalries and animosity between brothers is as old as Genesis — and families have always struggled with maintaining unity and peace among their members. As Christians, rather than read Prince Harry’s book, we can instead be praying that even a family like the British royal family can eventually forgive each other and find a way forward.

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