So, I finished reading Spare by Prince Harry in just three days. Those close to me know that I’ve always been an Anglophile ever since I was young (I used to joke that I could pass as someone who graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in History, Major in Royal Studies – if there ever was one! LOL!) — mostly due to my childhood crush on Prince William, which then transitioned to my admiration for his wife, Kate Middleton… then I visited the U.K. in 2016 and somehow my Anglophilia subsided after that. Add to that binge-watching The Crown on Netflix and suddenly, my overall “fairytale” view on the British Royal Family faded slowly.
I realized that I became fascinated with the British royal family because on the outside, they were the epitome of living the ideal (if not perfect) life. Blame it on Disney for adding fuel to my already burning interest for princes and princesses while growing up! But if there’s one thing I learned about the royal family, they’re just like any other family – imperfect, with human beings (sometimes borderline “human doings”) as family members, and a little bit dysfunctional just like the rest of us. And I don’t mean this in a bad way because truth betold, we’re all “broken” in one way or another.
“They can’t break me, I thought. Is it, I wondered, because I’m already broken?”from “Spare” by Prince Harry
And that’s basically the overall theme I got from reading this book: brokenness. Ever heard of the term “hurt people, hurt people”? It was obvious that Prince Harry has unresolved issues and trauma within his family (all the way back from his childhood), especially because of what happened to his late mother, Princess Diana (may she rest in peace).
Prince Harry is a hurt person (aren’t we all?) and writing this book is somehow a way for him to cope. But since that “hurt” isn’t completely healed yet, he somehow “hurt” others, too, along the way — especially his family, the royal family, unfortunately.
I picked up this book because as mentioned, I’ve always been interested in the British royal family (albeit not as interested as before). What I liked about the book is first, as Prince Harry claims it, the source is himself — straight from the horse’s mouth although ghostwritten by another author. He talked about his unresolved grief about his mother’s death, his military experience, his relationship with his family (current King Charles III which he calls Pa; Prince William which he calls Willy; and the late queen, Queen Elizabeth II, which he calls Granny — may she rest in peace as well), his love story with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their growing family, and of course, his unending anger toward the British press (referred to as “paps” in the book, short for “paparazzi”). I find everything in the book relatable — even though he’s from the royal family, Prince Harry definitely gave me a glimpse of how imperfect his life is, how imperfect being a royal is — and that’s okay because yes, at the end of the day, they’re still just human beings like the rest of the world when stripped off of those titles, wealth, and whatnot. Plus, I valued my status as a “private citizen” more after reading all about his horrible experience caused by the media (and yet many people still chase after fame in this day and age — be careful what you wish for!).
Then there’s the part that I don’t like: well, it’s basically the underlying (or maybe unconscious?) motive of revenge on his own family members through words. As a devout Roman Catholic striving everyday (you know this blog’s theme, right?), I truly believe in Sr. Lucia dos Santos‘ message that the “decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family.” Yes, MARRIAGE and the FAMILY. Just look at what’s happening in our broken world today. And well, Prince Harry sure did prove this message with the way he wrote his book. Then again, we already established the fact that hurt people have a tendency to hurt others in return; I can only pray for Prince Harry that his acknowledgment of his brokenness (see quote above) will truly pave the way for his healing — and despite a very challenging feat by the looks of it, reconciliation with his royal family members… eventually.
Okay, the aforementioned “battle” needs to be discussed in another post altogether. I suggest you read Prince Harry‘s memoir, Spare, with an open mind to get a glimpse on his struggles and whatnot. However, if you end up hating and even blaming him or any of his family members after reading the book (which is quite the tendency), maybe just offer a prayer for them. I’m not one to impose my faith and religion on another person because that is a unique and personal journey for each of us. This isn’t about taking sides nor supporting this and that because at the end of the day, who are we to judge? We all have our daily struggles to begin with. So if you can’t pray for them, maybe just remember that not. one. of. us. is perfect and just like us, Prince Harry and the British royal family have their own struggles to deal with. It’s just unfortunate for them that they’ve been public figures from the time they were born.
At the end of it all, it all comes down to LOVE. That’s all we seek, really. It just so happens that in our imperfect and broken world, we search for love without realizing that we’re looking in all the wrong places and outlets. Hence, the vicious cycle of brokenness across generations. So help us God. *hint, hint*
TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALWAYS AND FOREVER!
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who choose one shall eat its fruit.’”