Monday 25 September 2023

Review: Spare, by Prince Harry & J.R. Moehringer

SpareSpare by Prince Harry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A review or a rant? You choose.

I hadn’t paid much attention to Prince Harry until recent years, until all the tabloid started screaming their racist stance about his wife, and picking her apart. It reminded me of his mother, Princess Diana who I did love, and was devastated to see she was murdered by the very press that made money off her back. And even though everyone knew that, everyone ignored it too.

I was born and raised in the UK, and even before I left in my 30s, I knew the dire state it was in was due to the British newspaper media and how it manipulated the pubic and their views. And now more than ever the current state of the country is due to what they have wrought – and what the people choose to believe.

I was raised a royalist; I was raised to see the monarchy as people who did a job, a bloody hard job, one that requires them to open their lives and be critiqued on a daily basis. People are under some strange delusion that they are making a ton of money and rubbing their hands in glee and pretending they’re above others, but the truth is that every day since birth their lives have been given over to meeting and engaging with people they have no choice about. I watched a documentary about Prince Charles’s life some time back in the early 90s, which detailed the one day a year where his entire year is mapped out for him: what engagements he had to attend, what trips he had to make, and the people he had to entertain. There were no choices. He asked a couple of times if it was his turn to do this or that engagement, but unfortunately it was dictated to him. And the recent fiction series, The Crown, which bases its storylines in truth, depicts the same: employees of the monarchy, including the government, are the ones that hold all the rules and regulations and they are puppets who are there to serve a particular role.

Anyone who thinks otherwise has been coloured by the national newspapers of the UK. There is no where else such bias can be founded, unless you knew them personally and actually had a proper insight into their lives. They are real people, with real lives, despite how they got there.

Yes, they live a particular kind of life, at a much higher level than most of the citizens of the country, but so do the owners of those newspapers that have tainted and manipulated the views of the nation. The difference is the royal family live in a 'gilded cage' as Prince Harry calls it. Everything they do is restricted.

This particular book, I felt, was written as a plea to Prince Harry’s father and brother. I have no idea if they have read it, or if their view of it has also been coloured by those that want to discredit it - one of them sitting on the throne next to the King, someone who from the very beginning was not to be trusted, one who managed to use the press to reimagine themselves to get the public onside, and who is a huge part behind why this situation has happened.

Anyone who reads this book and picks at the things Prince Harry talks about doesn’t see what he is actually saying, i.e. the British media are in the wrong here and have literally been terrorising him, his wife and his children. And those people are the very public the British tabloid press has manipulated to believe that Harry mentioning how many people he killed in a war is more relevant than the press having a vendetta against them. And don’t think they don’t – they very much have a vendetta against anyone who speaks against them or doesn't tolerate their free rein to lie about them. And anyone who also believes that the details of Prince Harry's part in the war wasn’t vetted and checked by the army clearly doesn’t understand what it takes to publish such writing. But of course the public don’t know that, and the British tabloids aren’t about to tell them when it serves their ‘anti’ discourse.

I was hugely moved by this book. Having watched Prince Harry’s interviews about this book, I could hear his voice in the wording, even though I knew that much of it was guided by a ghost writer (I’ve read articles by them about the writing of it too). I still can’t believe that anyone thinks that what this couple have been put through is okay, or that in publishing this book they were being hypocritical by using the thing that was tormenting them. Why not use the very thing that is persecuting your life to try at least put the truth out there and be heard? And if you don’t believe this is his truth, then you must think he is just like the newspaper editors/owners: liars and manipulators.

I don’t know when we as a society got to the point where stalking someone, invading and trespassing on their properties and lives was ‘freedom of speech’ or that it was ‘in the public’s interest’. Nothing the British tabloid press have ever written about these two has been ‘in the public’s interest’, unless it has been about their charities, work and engagements they fulfil for the country. The British public’s continued support of this kind of behaviour by the press – and I see it here in many of the reviews – is not okay.

I may only be one individual, but I hear you Prince Harry, and I am so ashamed that you have been treated this way. Thank you for being open and vulnerable and risking yet further damnation at the hands of the British press.

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