January 30, 2023

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11 Takeaways From Prince Harry’s Memoir, ‘Spare Parts’

Fear of public speaking turned into fear of crowds, then full-blown anxiety attacks on the cusp of his 30th birthday. In the book, Harry views the pain as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, attributing it to both his military service and the death of his mother. When he told his father what was happening, Charles said: “I think it’s my fault. I should have gotten the help you need years ago.” Harry writes: “I assured him it wasn’t his fault. But I appreciate the apology.”

A trip to the North Pole left Harry with some discomfort. “Arriving home, I was horrified to find that my nether regions had caught a cold, too, and while the ears and cheeks were already healing, the baby had not,” he says. When home remedies—like applying Elizabeth Arden cream—didn’t work, he finally went to the doctor.

One evening during their adventure, “Meg said something I’ve gone the wrong way,” so “I bumped into her, and spoke harshly to her—roughly.” Megan left the room. “I went and found her upstairs. She was sitting in the bedroom. She was quiet, but said in a calm, even tone that she would never bear to be spoken to like that.” Harry writes:

She wanted to know where it came from.

I don’t know.

Where have you heard a man speak like this to a woman? Did you hear adults talk this way when you were growing up?

My throat clenched, and I looked away. yes.

Harry told Meghan that he tried therapy, but it didn’t help. She told him “no”. “Try again.”

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The exchange between father and son when Harry announced his intention to marry did not go as expected.

Do you want to continue working?

repeat?

Do you want to continue acting?

Oh, I mean, I don’t know, I don’t think so. I expect she’ll want to be with me, and do the job, you know, which might rule out “Suits”…because they’re filming in…Toronto.

They see. Well, boy, you know there’s never enough money to go around.

I stared. What was he banging on?

It is to explain. or try. I can’t pay anyone else. I already have to pay for your brother and Katherine.

Harry writes: “Pa did not financially support Willie and me, and our families, of any largesse. That was his job. That was all the agreement. We agreed to serve the King, to go wherever we were sent, to do whatever we were told, and to forfeit our independence, and to keep our hands and feet in a gilded cage at all times, and in return the cage-keepers agreed to feed and clothe us.”

But it was not about the money, of course: “Pa may have been afraid of the high cost of our administration, but what he really could not afford was someone new to take over the monarchy, take the limelight, come someone bright and new and overshadow him.”

“The audience was told I would be the best man, but that was an open lie,” Harry wrote. “Willie didn’t want me to give a best man speech. He didn’t think it was safe to hand me a live mic and put me in a position to go off script. He wasn’t wrong.” Still, he did manage to present the newlyweds with a fox-fur thong: “The room oozes communal gasps,” he wrote, and then “a warm, satisfying burst of laughter.”

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He writes, “I could not think of a single human being in the 300,000-year history of the species who has done more damage to our collective sense of reality.” But those who are hired to pose for pictures for the British tabloids are also targets of his wrath.

“The Pages have always been horrible people, but as they matured they were even worse,” he says. They were bolder, more extreme, just as the youth in Iraq were radicalized. Their mullahs were liberators, the same ones who undertook to do better after Mummy’s death.”