Spare Truth

This is not so much a review of the much hyped Spare by Prince Harry (or Harry, Prince as it showed up on my Nook) as it is observations and thoughts. (Which is pretty much what I do all the time anyway, so...)

Let me start out by giving some personal background.  I am NOT a "Royal Expert." (Although I'm not sure what that really is.)  I can remember when Charles and Diana got engaged and was up an (what for me was then) an ungodly hour to watch them get married.  I did the same thing when Andrew and Sarah got married.  I don't think there was any brouhaha on this side of the Atlantic when Edward and Sophie got married.  (Let's be honest how many people in the USA know how many children Queen Elizabeth had and/or can name them, let alone their spouses and children?)  I remember when William and Harry were born. (Again my opinion, Diana had a better hair stylist when she came out with William than she did with Harry.)  I read the books.  I was in London when Andrew Morton's book came out.  (Talk about brouhaha!)  I "saw" Diana (and the Queen along with much of the Royal Family) when I attended the Trouping of the Colour.  (Although for comparison sake, where I was seated might be considered arena nosebleed seats and any photos I took [which I know I have somewhere but can't seem to dig up] show blurry colored blobs rather than actual people and faces.)  I watched the interviews.  There were scandals (remember the Sarah toe sucking incident?) and divorces. 

And of course, there was the tragedy.  I know exactly where I was/what I was doing the night we heard the news of the accident.  Of course I cried during the funeral and mourned the loss of a great humanitarian.  (Because that's what I consider her.)

I watched William and Kate get married.  (I think I saw their first kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on my office computer while streaming CNN.)  I watched Harry and Meghan get married with my husband and son.  My son was old enough to be enthralled.  (He was, and still is, fascinated with fashion and pomp and circumstance.)  I believe Dunkin had a special donut for the day, which I actually got for my son.  (How's that for a memory?)

Of course I've been following the drama that continued.  Not fanatically, like I once might have, but with interest.  (I'm a middle aged woman with a family; I don't have the time and the energy that I once had to obsess over all things royal.)  There was no question that I would read the book, Spare.

So what did I think of the book?  It was good.  It wasn't great.  It gave me insight into Harry's state of mind and feelings.   Is this book true? Yes, this is what Harry has experienced.  Will everyone see it that way? No. Truth comes from perception and certainly everyone has their own reality within this realm.  And this is something we need to remember when reading ANY biography or even living out our own lives.

In general, people are people.  While there may be "good" people and "bad" people, most of us fall in between.   We don't necessarily set out to hurt someone or do something "bad".  We do what we do for a reason.  Royals or celebrities are human too.

So from my perspective, as someone who is NOT a Royal expert and has limited knowledge, being a member of the family (or the "firm") is difficult.  It's a tightrope walk.  Being a good parent, child, etc. does not necessarily translate into being a good Royal.  This book just reinforced what I always thought, that the "saints" sin sometimes and the "sinners" can do saintly work.  Example, I adore Princess Diana.  She was a true humanitarian and did wonderful work for many, many people.  From what I've read, she was a wonderful mother.  However, she was also human.  She had flaws and issues.  She did things that were not so smart.  She did things that hurt other people.  She was a human being; not a God.  

That is how I view all of the members of the "firm."  Not deities to be worshipped and not immorals to be burned at the stake.  They may be fascinating, but they are people, who are many different things at many different times.  If we or history are to judge them, they should be judged on their full lives, and not just a series of incidents and stories.  Just as we all (if we have to be) should be judged. (Kind of like The Good Place)

So my thoughts on the book and what Harry presents?  He has had a troubled life.  (How could anyone not when they lose their mother at such a young age?)  He could be a total ass and he owns up to that.  (Which I find refreshing.)  He seems to be a loving husband and father who is struggling with a situation where they are really no answers.  I think he, like most of us, is doing his best. Has his family treated him badly?  Perhaps; from his point of view yes, but at this point we only have his point of view.  Has he and his family been treated unfairly, not by the press, but by the paparazzi?  (I think we need to try and distinguish between the two, although that can be difficult.)  YES!  What can be done about it?  I don't know, but something DOES need to be done.

For me, this was a worthwhile read.  Is it for you?  That's not my call.  If you do or don't, I'd encourage you, whenever you read ANYTHING, which is autobiographical or even biographical to keep an open mind.    A life story is told from one person's perspective.  The full story might require a little bit more.


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