With the dust settling and copies of Prince Harry's tell-all autobiography being picked up and read, is it mostly a case of Spare or spare us? We have the verdict.
“The insufferable whingeing Sussexes and their thinly disguised money-making ploys through embellishment and hyperbole are pathetic. I am certainly not going to fall prey to their shenanigans [by buying a copy]. Piers Morgan described the prince as “an unconscious village idiot” and the Duke and Duchess seem unable to make up their minds on any issue. Their constant flip-flopping is wearisome, to say the least. Spare is surely nothing but another whinge fest by a poorly educated, unintelligent, entitled princeling and a B-grade actress who is now becoming well-known, thanks to all these theatrics. No, I will not be reading Spare. Please spare us all!”
“I don’t doubt that Harry’s recollection of events is accurate. As is often said, an autobiography is an account of a person’s life written from his or her own perspective. There are issues, perhaps, to be raised but the publicity surrounding it and the constant debate about the Sussexes has put me off. I was in England when the infamous Diana interview was aired and the book by Andrew Morton released. There was a certain vulnerability about Diana that made her version of events believable. I might have been more interested in the book, had it been released without the Netflix documentary. I didn’t watch the documentary and without reading the book, I feel I already know the details. I won’t be reading Spare because I have tonnes of books by credible writers that I have yet to read. Perhaps, there are other issues to focus on.”
“I find the British royal family not dissimilar to the familial framework found in Sindhi culture. Family comes first! When we marry into a family, we tend to look at their background as well, and not just at the eligible son or daughter in question. Sindhis believe in raising children with values that include respect for elders, upholding traditions and managing issues privately. I am happy Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, who is of mixed race. But she has joined their family and needs to respect their traditions as well. I am curious as to the prince’s mindset for releasing this book. Is it because it is a source of income? And is it worth the shame he has brought onto his family? The release of Spare sparks curiosity about his mindset. So many things that should be private are now openly talked about and only time can tell what happens to the feelings — and indeed lives — of everyone else implicated.”
Datin Lavina Melwani Valiram
Director, Anaika Collections
“Having actually studied memoir writing, certain books on the genre have always intrigued me. There are many quotes I can share about memoir writing, with reference to how much should be shared and what the implications are for others who exist in the writer’s life. So, the question is: To share or not to share? And if so, how much do you share? At which point is my story no longer mine but also the story of others in it? And which version is the truth? Would theirs be the same as mine? I bought and started reading Spare because Prince Harry’s sharing impacts one of the most private families on the planet and I thought it would be interesting to see how he tells his story.”
Datin Sue Ding
NLP practitioner + yoga instructor
“Don’t judge another person’s life based on your model of the world. Pick it up, pay for a copy and read Spare with an open mind — and maybe develop some empathy? Ask yourself whether Prince Harry’s life is truly privileged. The British seem to be of the opinion that he’s spoilt and selfish. Yes, he is royal and fifth in line to the throne, but he has also lived his life under the scrutiny of the tough British media, not forgetting having lost his mother at the tender age of 12. Now, he has found love and happiness with his American wife and is doing whatever he wants in the US with her and their children. Yet, according to the British press, everything he says is a pack of lies — as though they know the truth. Also, in this day and age where mental health is prioritised, with so much awareness raised and work done, how can this bullying and stream of terrible words still be thrown at the Sussexes? I would ask that everyone read Spare and maybe reserve their judgement. Prince Harry is just like any human being, wanting acceptance, love and to feel safe. Be kind.”
This article first appeared on Jan 23, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.