Okay, I only finished one book this month (still reading a biography that I will write about next month), but I have a lot to say about this one. It was Spare by Prince Harry.
I wrote about why I love the Royal Family here, which happened to be the week of Meghan and Harry's wedding. So just know I am a devoted supporter of the Royal Family, and living in a Commonwealth country, I am in no hurry to leave them.
So the book, I was kind of on the fence about reading it, I wasn't sure I wanted to hear all of the sordid details. But I read a few reviews and decided that I did want to read it. Then I went to Shoppers and they had all of their titles on 25% off so I took that as a sign to buy it for myself.
I have always been a fan of both William and Harry, and was thrilled for both of their weddings to Catherine and Meghan respectively. Even as the media wanted us to choose one camp over the other, I liked both of them. However, when Meghan and Harry did the Oprah interview, I was sort of wary of what they may be trying to do. I was wondering if they wanted privacy, then why would they do this big interview, after all Meghan is just an actress so is she just looking for more attention? I really could not make up my mind about them for some time. At the same time, I was feeling as though there was some truth to what they were saying and that William and Catherine weren't being as nice as they could have been.
Then I watched the Netflix special and read the book and I can say now I am firmly supportive of Harry and Meghan and whatever they want to do. Harry really suffered when his mother died and didn't get the support he needed from his brother and father, the ones who were supposed to be the closest to him. I always thought that he and William were close, but it appears that was not true and William didn't really want much to do with him when he went to Eton. It's no wonder that when Harry found Meghan that he fell in love with her as a loving, warm, and genuine person. I often thought it was strange she said she didn't really know anything about him, but I guess if you're not into the Royals, like me, then you wouldn't have their entire family tree committed to memory.
Then the inevitable happened when their Australian tour was a triumph and the popularity of the couple eclipsed the other Royals. They did not like that, I thought it was more William and Catherine that wanted to keep the spotlight on them, but it seems it was more like Charles and Camilla that didn't like the attention. I think it is very clear from the book that it is Camilla (with Charles' blessing) that leaks those stories to the press and were doing it with the intention of harming Meghan's reputation. This is exactly what happened with Diana. She was more popular than her husband and he did not like that.
I can totally understand why Harry wanted to write this book, and it's not just to make money, although I do appreciate that is always part of it, but to make people see why they needed to leave that life or have history repeat itself.
I loved hearing the behind the scenes type stuff about what Balmoral was like, or conversations Harry had with the Queen. But it was sad to see that life inside the palace can be rather lonely and those flashy events are not everyday life. It must feel very isolating to not really have a job and to just have to be available for speaking engagements and appearances every once in awhile. And since he was not close with his William and Kate, even though that is what we were all led to believe, then it really was a breath of fresh air to meet Meghan.
I really don't understand why it had to come to this point, but it does appear that Harry and Meghan had no choice when their security was taken away, and they weren't permitted to be sort of part time members of the Royal Family (as a job that is). I feel like they are still trying to find their feet and their path, I don't think we need to be absolutely supportive of everything they do, why should they be held to some higher standard of being perfect with all of their choices and projects? At the same time, I'm not very pleased with William and Charles, but they are a product of their environment and upbringing. As the Heirs, the expectations on them would have been much different than Harry as the Spare. Prince Andrew was also the Spare and look how he's turned out. Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, was also a bit of a firecracker.
So that was a long book review and I barely talked about the book. I would recommend the book, I don't think it's gossip or drivel, it's a thoughtful telling of Prince Harry's life between when his mother died and leaving the Royal Family. I do wish him and Meghan all the best, I think they are lucky to have found each other. It would all be very nice if the family could reconcile and be best buds, but really, he sounds like he is better off now, and being casual acquaintances may be fine for them.