With the Prince Harry memoir release date earlier this year, the royal family continues to captivate the public’s attention. Though they are constantly making headlines, the allegations and claims surrounding Harry and Meghan's relationship have only heightened it.
In both Harry and Meghan’s Netflix show and Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, some bold claims were made. And, as you know, the events that were documented ultimately led to the couple leaving the royal family. With all the drama and intrigue set against a backdrop of the British monarchy, the Prince Harry memoir may feel more like a fiction novel than the nonfiction read it is, but that makes it all the more worth picking up.
The Prince Harry memoir release date and ratings
Random House released the long-awaked Prince Harry memoir on January 10, 2023. The hardcover copy boasts 416 pages documenting Harry’s reflection on his life.
To date, Amazon customers have left over 95,000 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5 stars. With this many reviews and this many pages, Spare is worth taking a look at if you aspire to write a memoir yourself (even if you aren't a royal!).
Top 20 moments from Spare, the Prince Harry memoir Spare
Whether you want to learn how to write about perseverance or even how to write a book about war, this book has that and more. There's a reason his story quickly became one of the best celebrity memoirs of all time, selling more than 1 million copies. It's also the longest episode ever released on Celebrity Memoir Book Club podcast. If you haven't read it or listened to it yet – I'd definitely recommend it.
In the meantime, here are the top 20 moments and takeaways I got from the Prince Harry memoir.
1. Breaking the news of his relationship with Meghan
It can feel nerve-wracking to introduce your girlfriend to your family. Even more so when you're a prince. And when Harry told William and Kate – both religious viewers of Suits – they couldn’t believe it. In his memoir, Prince Harry recounts exactly what that moment was like.
2. Realizing Harry is actually quite…relatable
While the life of the royal family may feel distant, there are aspects that are extremely relatable. Prince Harry weaves in a lot of very relatable traits and moments. One favorite of mine? When he shared his love for the television show Friends.
3. Sharing his anxiety (and unfortunate self-treatment) with weddings
Everyone gets a little social anxiety at times. Unfortunately, Prince Henry decided to deal with his via magnesium supplements, not realizing the side effects would keep him in the bathroom!
4. Reading about when he chose to visit the tunnel
One of the most memorable moments in the Prince Harry memoir is how candidly he shares a very painful, personal memory. In Paris, at just 23-years-old, Prince Harry asked his driver to take him through the tunnel where his mother had her fatal crash.
He even requested they drive the same speed she had been going so many years ago. Exiting the tunnel made him realize his mother was gone, truly gone, forever.
5. Sharing his fashion discomfort
While men in uniform often look confident, Prince Harry admitted to feeling uncomfortable in his Blues and Royals uniform. The shoulders particularly seemed to cause issues for him.
6. …and a strong dislike of kilts
Similar to his discomfort in his Blues and Royals uniform, Harry really dislikes kilts. Despite there being a long history and tradition of the men of the royal family donning traditional Scottish clothing, Prince Harry prefers not to wear them.
7. Giving Meghan tips before meeting the family
Meeting any family can be anxiety-inducing. Now imagine meeting the royal family! Knowing King Charles’ preference for hair worn down, Harry passed on the tip to Meghan before introducing them.
8. Wearing the actual Mad Max Halloween costume
Some dress like a character. Harry dressed as Tom Hardy’s character—in Tom Hardy’s very costume. This moment goes to show just how similar and, at the same time, completely different the royal family is from us. They celebrate holidays quite a bit differently than the everyday family.
9. He didn't want the king to get married
Ironically, though many didn't support Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan, he was against another royal marriage. While much news coverage is about the tumultuous relationship between William and Harry, they both agreed that King Charles shouldn't marry Camilla.
10. Recounting his first public appearance after Diana's passing
After his mother’s death, Harry’s first documented public appearance was with the Spice Girls. He is said to have been simply wishing for bed and trying to avoid the reporters. But he also fondly remembers the following concert as a bonding moment for him and his father.
11. His anti-poaching expedition
Harry journeyed to South Africa, where he joined a patrol working to protect rhinos against poaching. While this was not a tidbit you expected to find in the Prince Harry memoir, it definitely adds to the book.
12. Waxing poetic about the smell of silver birch
Life is about the simple pleasures – even if you're a royal. While reading the Prince Harry memoir, you'll discover that he absolutely loves the smell of silver birch. A quote directly from him: “If there’s a smell more intoxicating or inviting than silver birch, I don’t know what it could be.”
13. Getting the queen's permission to marry Meghan
Many people following the recent Meghan and Harry news might not realize that the couple originally had the queen's blessing. Harry was told by numerous staff that in order to marry Meghan, he would need Queen Elizabeth’s permission. He asked, and his request was granted.
14. Reading about his grandmother's death in the news
On September 8, 2022, before disembarking a plane, Harry checked the BBC for any news. And that's how he discovered Queen Elizabeth had died. This is not the way anyone expects to discover such a tragedy – and he shares his raw memories with us in the Prince Harry memoir.
15. Getting vulnerable about his time in the war
Part of the British Army, Prince Harry took two tours in Afghanistan, one from 2007-2008 and the other from 2012-2013. And he wasn't spared from the horrors of war. He talks about needing to think about the 25 kills he made as chess pieces he took off the board, rather than as people.
16. Fighting with his brother
The Prince Harry memoir includes plenty of family quarrels, most notably a fight between him and his brother over Meghan Markle. I won't share too many spoilers, but you'll enjoy getting the behind the scenes tea on some of these fights.
17. Not making the same mistake twice
When memoir writing, it's important to share the highs and lows. And Prince Harry does this time and time again. Ever regretting that he hadn’t seen his mother “at the end,” Prince Harry forced himself to enter Balmoral Castle to see his grandmother’s body and say his final goodbye.
In his own words: “Years of lamenting that lack of proof, postponing my grief for want of proof. Now I thought: Proof. Careful what you wish for.”
18. Addressing his early reputation
By the age of 17, Prince Harry had a world-wide reputation as a partier, complete with plenty of illegal activities, setting himself apart from the royal family – and not in a favorable way. In the Prince Harry memoir, you get to hear about this from the man himself, as he says, “That was my main objective. To feel. To be different.”
And that's not all!
I want to leave you with some surprises for yourself as you read through the Prince Harry memoir – a great memoir example if I've ever seen one. Whether reading for pleasure or to do research for your own writing journey, you're sure to enjoy this book.
Anyone who's been fascinated by the luxurious life of the royals, who's watched Suits, or who loves a good family feud should read the Prince Harry memoir – even if you did catch the Netflix show.
Let Prince Harry's memoir inspire your own!
Now it’s back to you. Take the lessons you’ve learned from the Prince Harry memoir, Spare, and apply them to your own memoir:
- Get vulnerable
- Follow Prince Harry's lead and share family details, without taking it too far
- Lean into relationship tropes and different relationship dynamics – everyone has them, even in nonfiction stories!
- Start with a memoir outline to get your ideas in order
- Remember to tell the story as it happened
You don’t need to borrow Tom Hardy’s Mad Max costume or date a TV star to write a memoir that will be popular with your audience. You've likely encountered and overcome something that would leave others feeling inspired.
This collection of memoir ideas and memoir writing prompts can guide you and help you craft a narrative that resonates with your readers.
You never know how a life lesson you share could impact those who read your story.
And you don’t need to be royalty or in the public eye for your life to have an effect on those around you.
To help you get started, I’m providing a free resource below. This eBook teaches you everything you need to know about publishing. This way, when the time comes to put your memoir out into the world, nothing can hold you back from success!