Lady Earl Grey, Crumpets & Prince Harry’s Spare

Tea and crumpets while reading Spare is a great way to enjoy one of the world’s top-selling memoirs.   A review of Prince Harry’s Spare

If you decide to read Prince Harry’s book, Spare, why not set the mood and “fancy a cuppa” with my favorite Lady Earl Grey and some Marimite* crumpets?  I made some crumpets recently, and they are good tasting. A bit crispy when toasted and, with a tad of butter, they are the perfect addition to some English tea. You might even try making tea with homemade crumpets while reading my review of the book.

To begin with, Prince Harry’s Spare was actually written by a ghostwriter named John Joseph Moehringer, a Pulitzer-winning journalist. While reading this memoir, you understand that Prince Harry is probably not interested in sitting long enough to read or write a book. He’s too busy constantly trying to escape his life as a member of the Royal Family. Since he has the means to do so, Harry escapes often. He’s flown Apache helicopters in the British Army, visited orphanages for children with Aids, volunteered in Australia as a jackaroo, hiked the North and South Poles with disabled veterans to bring awareness to their cause, and has traveled often to his beloved Botswana to relax.

Yet, despite Harry’s incredibly privileged life, he struggles with emotional health issues and has dealt with his depression through excessive drug abuse.  The most salient message that I gained from reading Spare is the reminder that no matter how wealthy people are or how much economic and political power they have acquired, their challenges are the same ones many of us face — sibling rivalry, strained parental relationships, coping with grief, and the desire to find true love.

Of course, Harry’s life is uniquely complicated because he is a Prince and is subjected to lifelong exposure to the British media frenzy and exploitation.  The media’s strategically planted stories about Harry (and now Meghan) and the Royal message, “never complain, never explain,” contribute to Prince Harry’s anger, frustration, and ultimate disillusionment.  Even more striking is his family’s lack of loyalty and support.  The memoir reveals that, in England, the status of the British monarchy is paramount. It means that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are best kept quiet and out of the limelight. For Harry, the inability to defend himself and his wife against relentless accusations coupled with his lack of autonomy is suffocating. He refuses to acquiesce.

Overall, Moehringer’s writing provides us with a compelling lens from Harry’s perspective. It allows Harry a voice that has long been suppressed. The chapters are short, and the stories of Harry’s adventures are often humorous.  The Los Angeles Times printed an entertaining article titled “Todger, Tiggy, Biro, and Spike: A glossary of Harry’s Britishisms for “Spare” readers. It explains colloquialisms for American readers who may be unfamiliar with many amusing Britishisms.

By the end of the book, the reader can not help but like Prince Harry and sympathize with him. He is adventurous and bold. He is a person who is trying to deal with his circumstances, maintain his health, and be a good husband and father.  Despite all this, I remind myself that Prince Harry is privileged and connected beyond my imagination. He’s wealthy and intelligent enough to pursue a lifestyle to which he has been long accustomed. It is rumored that Penguin Random House paid him $20 million in advance just to put his memories in print – a true princely sum.

— Check out the links below! Carole

Warburtons Crumpet Recipe — by recipetineats

How to eat: crumpets  — The Guardian

*What is Marmite? – Food Network

Todger, Tiggy, Brio and Spike: A glossary of Harry’s Britishisms for Spare Readers – Los Angeles Times

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