Prince Harry’s new book harks back to his destiny within the Royal Family, playing on the dynamic between him and his older brother Prince William.
The title of Prince Harry’s much-anticipated memoir will be ‘Spare’, it was revealed on Thursday. Markus Dohle, Global CEO of Penguin Random House, released details of the book including the front cover and the format in which it will be available. He also confirmed reports the memoir will be released worldwide on January 10. Describing the upcoming book, the publisher brought back the memory of Harry and his older brother Prince William walking behind the coffin of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales on the day of her funeral in September 1997.
It said: “It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow — and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling — and how their lives would play out from that point on. For Harry, this is that story at last.”
The title of the book plays on Harry and William’s destinies as royals; while the Prince of Wales’ future is set in stone, the Duke of Sussex had more freedom to curate his own royal. The ‘heir and spare’ dynamic has been widely covered, with the relationships of previous siblings examined, analysed and compared to the brothers. It has been said that the ‘spare’ is doomed to fail, with the second fiddles of the past losing their way within the monarchy. One royal author has claimed that Diana actively tried to avoid this consequence of the doomed ‘heir and spare’ dynamic for her sons.
James Patterson is one of the bestselling authors in history and, for his most recent book, he delved into the world of the British Royal Family for the first time. ‘Diana, William and Harry: The Heartbreaking Story of a Princess and Mother’ focuses on Diana as a mum, rather than as a royal and draws attention to her fierce devotion to her two sons. Discussing his latest book with Fox News Digital in August, Mr Patterson claimed that Diana was “troubled” by Harry being labelled the “spare”, and tried to control it as much as possible. He said: “I think she tried to control it as much as she could. I think she was troubled about it.
“That’s a standard thing for families. One of the kids who do better in school or become a better athlete seems to be a little more charming and lovable. How do you make the other kids feel that they’re just enough? “It happens pretty much to all families. And in this case, the stakes are much higher because one is presumably going to be king someday.” Mr Patterson continued: “I think she was very aware of the situation. She had experienced how difficult it was to be in her role as a princess… She wanted to have her own life. And that was very hard for her.
“She didn’t want the boys to experience the same struggles she faced. She tried as much as she could to control it. She simply wanted them to be normal kids and understand that the real world doesn’t operate in the same way it worked within the palace. They shouldn’t see themselves as special or different.” Diana wanted her sons to have as normal an upbringing as possible; she took them to theme parks and fast-food restaurants in an attempt to give them a taste of what life was like outside of the Palace walls. The princess, who is often remembered for her kindness, also took the boys to homeless shelters and they sometimes accompanied her on visits to the charities she was working with.
Mr Patterson explained: “She wanted them to see the other side. Not everyone drives around in fancy cars. A lot of people have no money… She also explained that not everybody likes them, which might be tough for a kid to swallow, but she insisted on them experiencing the real world.” While the brothers grew up with a close relationship, they have recently become more distant; this was most publicly highlighted when Harry and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their senior roles within the Royal Family and moved to the US two years ago.
The Sussexes have since taken part in media interviews, making allegations against the Firm and giving an insight into the reported tensions between themselves and the Royal Family. Their actions are understood to have had a particularly negative impact on the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and his brother. It has been said that Harry and Meghan struggled with the hierarchy of the monarchy, in that William and his wife Kate, Princess of Wales were prioritised when it came to work opportunities. But, in spite of their separate lives, both William and Harry continue to honour their mother’s legacy with some of the charities they hold close to their hearts.
Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan made donations to a number of organisations working to support the people of Ukraine. One of which was The HALO Trust, which trains and employs the residents of war-torn communities to remove landmines and dangerous explosives. Back in the Nineties, Diana worked with HALO in the fight against landmines. She famously walked through a minefield being cleared by the charity in Angola. Harry has continued his mother’s legacy of working with HALO, having served as their patron and has visited Angola to see the work they are still doing. Meanwhile, William recently recalled visiting a homeless shelter with his mother while he was selling copies of the ‘Big Issue’ on a London street.
The magazine is sold by homeless people in Britain as a way of earning money; it helps to combat the issue, which the prince said he was committed to fighting. In a June issue of the magazine, William wrote: “I was 11 when I first visited a homeless shelter with my mother, who in her own inimitable style was determined to shine a light on an overlooked, misunderstood problem. “While I may seem like one of the most unlikely advocates for this cause, I have always believed in using my platform to help tell those stories and to bring attention and action to those who are struggling.”
He continued: “I commit to continue doing what I can to shine a spotlight on this solvable issue not just today, but in the months and years to come.” In September, the brothers reunited for the first time in months to mourn the loss of their grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. William, Harry, Kate and Meghan stepped out for their first joint appearance since the Sussexes stepped down. They greeted crowds and read tributes outside the gates of Windsor Castle, putting on a united front at a difficult time for both the nation and the monarchy.
However, reports indicated that relations were still frosty between the couples, with many claiming it was a last-minute decision from the newly appointed Prince of Wales. Omid Scobie, co-author of ‘Finding Freedom,’ tweeted: “It is, without a doubt, a significant moment in the history of the relationship between the two brothers. However, while the brothers were united in grief, some experts have argued they still have a long way to go before their relationship is repaired. In his op-ed, published on September 11, ITV’s royal editor Chris Chip wrote: “This is not the two brothers embarking on some sudden path to reconciliation. It was, I hear, very difficult for both William and Harry to bury their differences and step out in public together in this way.”
The status of the princes’ relationship is something that would devastate Diana, but her former bodyguard Ken Wharfe claimed the Princess would have “understood the problems that have been raised and helped her boys solve them, while giving Harry the advice he seems to lack right now.” Writing for HELLO! magazine in August, he said: “There’s no doubt she would have enjoyed the relationships they have with their wives, and loved spending time with her five grandchildren.” Similarly, Kinsey Schofield, creator of ToDiForDaily.com, claimed Diana would be “deeply upset” by the rift between the brothers. She told Express.co.uk: “Diana wanted Harry to support William, and vice versa. He was meant to be his brother’s wingman. Diana would be deeply upset to see her sons’ relationship now.”