The Biggest Revelations From Prince Harry's Memoir, 'Spare'

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Vote up the stories from Spare that had you on the edge of your seat.

Prince Harry was the subject of global attention as soon as he entered the world. As the son of the future King of England and a beloved princess, the entire world watched his life unfold. But while his presence was well-documented, he was also born into a position and title that recognized him as being less important than his older sibling. While Prince William was the heir, Harry was regularly referred to as the “spare.” 

From his antics in boarding school and his love for partying to his marital union with the royal family's first biracial American woman, Harry's been a frequent subject of tabloid headlines. However, after a growing rift in the family resulted in he and his wife, Meghan Markle, deciding to part ways with the Crown, these wild tales became juicier and naughtier than ever before.

And, according to Prince Harry, they are almost all completely untrue. In his memoir, Spare, the Duke of Sussex sets the record straight by sharing his moving perspective on how his life actually unfolded. While the narrative is often shocking, the fact that it has drawn unprecedented attention from fans and curious readers is anything but. 

Below are some of the juiciest stories and biggest revelations that Prince Harry divulged in his tell-all tale of his life in the British royal family. Vote up the stories from Spare that had you on the edge of your seat. 

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  • 1
    48 VOTES

    He Had Frostbite On His Nether Regions During William And Kate's Wedding

    Days before William's wedding, Harry had been on an expedition with a group of wounded veterans to the North Pole. Though the other members had trained for the taxing conditions and knew not to overextend themselves or break a sweat, Harry wasn't aware of the dangers and pushed himself to the point of perspiring. As the sweat immediately froze on his clothes and body, frostbite began to set in. 

    As William's big day grew closer, Harry was forced to leave the group so that he could attend the festivities. 

    The night before the wedding, Harry recalled: 

    …I regaled the company with tales of the North Pole. Pa was very interested, and sympathetic about the discomfort of my frostnipped ears and cheeks, and it was an effort not to overshare and tell him also about my equally tender penis (182).

    When the veterans reached the peak of the world, they called Harry to include him in their celebration. Though the Spare told the four remaining members that he wished he could be there, he went on to admit: 

    [It was] a white lie. My penis was oscillating between extremely sensitive and borderline traumatized. The last place I wanted to be was Frostnipistan (188).

    The younger prince eventually saw a doctor for his ailments, explaining: 

    I want to the North Pole and now my South Pole is on the fritz (189).

    48 votes
  • 2
    43 VOTES

    Prince Harry Felt That His Tours In Afghanistan Made Him Feel More Normal Than He Had Ever Felt Before, and He Divulged That He Was Responsible For Taking The Lives Of 25 Members Of The Taliban

    During his two tours in Afghanistan, Prince Harry worked monitoring airfields and as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner. In addition to giving a 25 enemy kill count in the memoir, Harry admitted that the war zone was the first place that he ever felt genuinely normal:

    I was just a name, a random name, and a random number. No title. And no bodyguard. Is this what other people feel like every day? I savored the normality, wallowed in it, and also considered how far I'd journeyed to find it. Central Afghanistan, the dead of winter, the middle of the night, the midst of a war, while speaking to a man fifteen thousand feet above my head - how abnormal is your life if that's the first place you ever feel normal (139)?

    When he returned for his second tour, Harry mentioned that he felt differently than his comrades who were showing uneasiness about entering the country:  

    Some looked nervous, their collars tighter, their Adam's apples larger. I remembered that feeling, but for me this was coming home (206).

    In regard to his service and the number of people he killed on duty, he shockingly declared: 

    So, my number: Twenty-five. It wasn't a number that gave me any satisfaction. But neither was it a number that made me feel ashamed. Naturally, I'd have preferred not to have that number on my military CV, on my mind, but by the same token I'd have preferred to live in a world in which there was no Taliban, a world without war (217).

    43 votes
  • 3
    36 VOTES

    He Was Presented With Five Separation Options, But The Decision To Sever His Ties With The Family Was Made Before The Meeting Even Took Place

    After a palace insider leaked to the press that Harry and Meghan planned to break from the royal family, Harry met with his father, the Queen, and her advisors to discuss his options at Sandringham. According to his account, the “Spare” was given five options: 

    Option 1 was continuance of the status quo: Meg and I don't leave, everyone tries to go back to normal. Option 5 was full severance, no royal role, no working for Granny, and total loss of security. Option 3 was somewhere in between. A compromise. Closest to what we'd originally proposed…

    But the family, of course, pushed me to take Option 1. Barring that, they would only accept Option 5. We discussed the Five Options for nearly an hour. At last the Bee [Queen Elizabeth's advisor] got up and went around the table, handing out a draft of a statement the Palace would soon be releasing. Announcing implementation of Option 5. 

    [Harry asked], “Wait. I'm confused. You've already drafted a statement? Before any discussion? Announcing Option 5? In other words, the fix was in, this whole time? This summit was just for show?”

    No answer (382).

    36 votes
  • 4
    41 VOTES

    He And William Fought Over Harry's Beard For Over A Week Before Harry and Meghan's Wedding

    Traditionally, British soldiers aren't allowed to have beards in uniform. Though Harry was required to marry in his military dress, he asked Queen Elizabeth to make an exception and allow him to keep his beard. Meghan had never seen him without one, and he felt like it also provided a small comfort to him that he wasn't ready to part with. 

    Though his granny understood and agreed, his brother, William, wasn't pleased. According to Harry, the two fought over the discrepancy for a full week: 

    Not the done thing, he said. Military, the rules, so forth. I gave him a quick history lesson. I mentioned the many royals who'd been bearded and uniformed. King Edward VII. King George V. Prince Albert. More recently, Prince Michael of Kent. Helpfully I referred him to Google Images. Not the same, he said.

    When Harry expressed that he had already received the go-ahead from the queen, William (according to Harry) exploded: 

    William: You put her in an uncomfortable position, Harold! She had no choice but to say yes. 

    Harry: No choice? She's the Queen! If she didn't want me to have a beard I think she can speak for herself.

    Harry continued: 

    At one point he actually ordered me, as the Heir speaking to the Spare, to shave… I suspected [that] it brought back bad memories of being told he couldn't marry in the uniform of his choice. 

    Then he confirmed my suspicion. He said it outright: In one of our beard debates he complained bitterly about my being allowed to marry in my Household Cavalry frock coat, which he'd wanted to wear for his wedding. He was being ridiculous, and I told him so. But he kept getting angrier and angrier. 

    Finally I told him flatly and defiantly that his bearded brother was getting married soon, and he could either get on board or not. The choice was up to him (332).

    41 votes
  • 5
    58 VOTES

    Harry Blames His Father And Camilla For Much Of The Bad Press The Younger Royals Received

    In April 2019, William called Harry in a panic, believing that a seemingly unlikely source was behind the nastier (and mostly untrue) stories being shared in the papers:

    I gathered that Pa and Camilla's people had planted a story or stories about him and Kate, and the kids, and he wasn't going to take it anymore. Give Pa and Camilla an inch, he said, they take a mile…

    I got it. They'd done the same to me and Meg as well. But it wasn't them, technically, it was the most gung-ho member of Pa's comms team, a true believer who'd devised and launched a new campagin of getting good press for Pa and Camilla at the expense of bad press for us. For some time this person had been peddling unflattering stories, fake stories, about the heir and Spare to all the papers. 

    When the younger men approached their father on the subject, he became angry:

    Pa instantly got upset. He began shouting that Willy was parnoid. We both were. Just because we were getting bad press, and he was getting good, that didn't mean his staff was behind it. 

    But we had proof. Reporters, inside actual newsrooms, assuring us that this woman was selling us out. Pa refused to listen. His response was churlish, pathetic: “Granny has her person, why can't I have mine (361)?"

    58 votes
  • 6
    71 VOTES

    A Fight Between Harry And William Turned Physical After William Insulted Meghan

    After the press continually painted Meghan as the evil in-law intent on hurting Kate, Harry approached his father and brother in hopes of persuading them to sue the press. After they refused, William asked Harry for a private meeting. 

    According to the Duke of Sussex, William wasted no time getting to the point of the matter: 

    “Meg's difficult,” he said. [I said]: “Oh really?” [William continued], “She's rude. She's abrasive. She's alienated half the staff.” 

    Not the first time he'd parroted the press narrative…rumors, lies from his team, tabloid rubbish, and I told him so - again… He had no interest in a debate. He'd come to lay down the law… There was a script here and I had the audacity not to be following it. He was in full Heir mode, and couldn't fathom why I wasn't dutifully playing the role of the Spare. 

    I was sitting on the sofa, he was standing over me… He stepped towards me, swearing… It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dogs' bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out. 

    Despite William urging Harry to hit him, the younger prince refused and again told him to leave (358).

    71 votes