If you have come into contact with any sort of media in the last two weeks, it is highly likely that you would have heard about Prince Harry’s newly released memoir, Spare.
Fresh rounds of memes and fierce debates have been sparked after portions of the book were leaked, several years into increasingly public tensions involving the prince, members of the royal family, and the media.
Up until now, it seemed that this ongoing conflict was about racism, not only in Harry’s family but in the UK as a whole, and indeed, the tone of the Harry and Meghan documentary on Netflix seemed to lean heavily upon that theme.
However, snippets from the book and Harry’s recent interviews seemed to send the narrative into a whole new direction. Some have slammed the prince and called his behaviour ‘bizarre’, whilst others have defended his right to speak his truth and urged critics to ‘give him a break’. I decided, after reading several revelations online, that I would like to read the book for myself.
So today, I went and picked up my copy. On my way, I wondered if members of my own community still saw Harry’s story as relevant and if there was an appetite to hear Harry out. Whilst this is by no means a reflection of the Black community as a whole, I asked three very different members of my local community if they would be reading the book.
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The Book Seller
“It isn’t even at the bottom of my list,” he said sternly, when I asked him if he would be reading the book. “We are living in a cost-of-living crisis. There are too many other things going on in the world to worry about a family airing out their dirty laundry. We’ve already had too much of that.”
Full disclosure. The octogenarian is my best reading buddy, my grandmother. She comes from a time where respect for royal family was taught at school, even where she was raised in Jamaica. I was interested to hear her thoughts on the new book.
“It’s sad really,” Nanna said. “I would read it if someone gave it to me, but I wouldn’t buy it, and I think their mother would be turning in her grave.
“At the end of the day. They are brothers and they only have each other. This is not the right way to deal with things.”
I was beginning to feel that I was the only nosey person in my local community at this point. I asked my blogger friend if she will be reading the book. Upon getting a positive answer (finally), I asked her why.
“There have been so many jokes on Twitter and TikTok,” she smiled. “I wanna see what the he has to say and see if the media twisted things. I think it is his way of taking charge of what everyone hears about him, so that no one can throw him under the bus.
“At least we can all see now that whatever was going on wasn’t really about race, but somewhere along the line, as usual, race got used to disrupt and distract. That says a lot.”
I am staying open minded for now, until I have read the book. Do you agree with any of the views presented here? Will you be reading the book?
Spare is available at all good retailers.