At midnight between 9 and 10 January the embargo ended: Harry put his most intimate truths on paper Spare – The minor (Mondadori, pages 540, 25 euros), the proceeds of which the Duke of Sussex will pay to certain British charities ($1,500,000 to Sentebale, the organization she founded with Prince Seeiso in memory of their mothers and which helps vulnerable children and young people living with HIV/AIDS in Lesotho and Botswana; and £300,000 to no -profit WellChild, of which he has been a royal patron for fifteen years and which provides home care for children and young people with complex health needs).
The book is divided into three parts, with suggestive titles: “From the depths of the night that envelops me”, “Bloody but indomitable” and “Captain of my soul”. Let’s remember that the ghost writer is the Pulitzer prize winner JR Moehringer, and you can feel it: the book is very well written, Harry tells himself with extreme sincerity, there are moments in which we laugh and others in which we are moved. The dedication is “For Meg and Archie and Lili… and, of course, for my mother». The exergue is by William Faulkner: «The past never dies. It hasn’t even passed.”
A footnote explains the title: «Shootliterally “spare wheel”, “reserve”, recalls the English way of saying referring to the reigning dynasties, “An Heir and a Spare” (one heir and one reserve), and in this case therefore means the younger brother of the designated heir to the throne».
After the many leaks (here the 10 hottest things) we immediately read the volume of over 500 pages and we extracted the most delicate passages. Here they are.
“I realized that identity is a hierarchy. We are first of all one thing, and then we are first of all another, and yet another, and so on until we die, sequentially. Each new identity sits on the throne of the ego, but takes us further and further away from our original self, which is perhaps also the essential one, the child. Yes, evolution, maturation, the path to wisdom, they are all natural and wholesome things, but there is a purity in childhood that fades with each iteration. Like that nugget of gold, it gets smaller little by little.’
“It’s all difficult, Doctor. Stay seated. To walk”. Sex, I added, was out of the question. Worse yet, I felt like my penis was constantly having sex. Or he was ready to do it. I was losing my mind, I said. I had made the mistake of Googling, and had read horror stories of “partial penectomies”, an expression you never want to come across when typing your symptoms on the internet. The doctor assured me that this would hardly be the case for me.
He said he would try to rule out other things and conducted a thorough exam, which to call invasive would be an understatement. He left no trail unexplored, so to speak.
Eventually he announced that the most likely cure would be time.
“What do you mean, time?”
“Time heals,” he said.
“Seriously, Doctor? Not in my experience.”
“When the laughter died down, I ended on a serious note. Mom. “She would have loved to be here. She would have adored Kate, and would have loved to see this love that you have found together.” I uttered these words without looking up. I didn’t want to risk meeting Papa’s or Camilla’s eyes, and especially Willy’s. I hadn’t cried since Mum’s funeral and I had no intention of starting over right now.’
“I was rather anxious about that dinner. It’s always nerve-wracking getting to know your girlfriend’s mother, especially if you’re currently making life as her daughter hell. The “Sun” had recently published a front page headline: Harry’s girlfriend on Pornhub. The article showed pictures of Meg, taken from “Suits”, that some perverts had posted on some porn site. Of course, the “Sun” didn’t say that the images had been used illegally, that Meg knew nothing about them, that she was involved in porn as much as my grandmother: zero. It was just a trick, a way to get readers to buy the paper or click on the story. Once they discovered there was nothing, too late! The advertising money was already in the Sun’s wallet.
“(William) had been quite discouraging even about my dating Meg. One day, as we sat together in her garden, he foresaw the myriad difficulties I could expect if I got involved with ‘an American actress’, a phrase he always managed to sound like ‘convicted felon’.
“Are you sure about her, Harold?”
“But do you know how difficult it will be?”
“What do you want me to do? That I fall out of love?” The three of us wore slouchy caps, green jackets, knickerbockers, as if we were playing on the same team. (In a way it was, I suppose.) As he took us through the fields, Dad inquired about Meg. Not with much interest, just casually. Still, she didn’t always ask, so she pleased me.
“It’s fine, thanks.”
“Do you want to continue working?”
“Do you want to continue acting?”
“Oh. Well, I don’t know, I guess not. I guess she’ll want to be with me, collaborate you know, which would rule out ‘Suits’ … since they’re shooting in … Toronto.”
“Hmm. I see. Well, my boy, you know there isn’t enough money.»
I stared at him. What was she talking about?
he explained. Or at least he tried. “I can’t pay anyone else. I have to pay your brother and Catherine already.”
“Another gust of wind. Funny, because it reminded me of my grandfather. Perhaps the coldness of him or his icy sense of humor. I remembered a hunting weekend many years ago: to make conversation, one of those present asked my grandfather what he thought of the beard I had just grown, and which had caused concern in the family and controversy in the media. “Should the Queen force Prince Harry to shave?” Grandpa looked at the hunter, then at my chin and smiled mischievously: “But that’s not a beard!”
Everyone burst out laughing. To shave or not to shave, that is the question, but only grandfather could have asked for “more” beard. «Grow the flowing bristles of a bloody Viking!».
“We actually wanted to get married secretly. Barefoot in Botswana, perhaps with a friend to officiate: this was our dream. But we were expected to share this moment with other people. It wasn’t up to us to decide.”
“I remember walking out of a nightclub in London and finding myself surrounded by twenty paparazzi. They circled me, then they circled the police car I was sitting in, they threw themselves on the hood, all wearing football team scarves around their faces and hoods over their heads, terrorist uniforms everywhere. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, and I knew nobody cared. It’s the price you pay, people would say, though I never understood what they meant. Price for what?’
“As I stood in the heat and fog of combat I didn’t think of those twenty-five as people. You can’t kill someone if you consider them a person. You can’t even hurt someone if you consider them a person. They were pawns removed from the board, bad guys taken away before they could kill the good guys. They had trained me to “dehumanize” them, and they had trained me well. From a certain point of view I recognized that this acquired detachment was problematic. But it was also an inevitable element of the military profession.’
«Grandma’s specialty, on the other hand, was salad dressing: he mixed it in quantity with the help of whips. Then he would light the candles on the long table and we would all sit down on the creaky, stuffed chairs. It often happened, on the occasion of these dinners, that there was an important or famous guest. I had talked many times about the temperature of the meat or the coolness of that place with a prime minister or a bishop, but that evening we were alone with family.
My great-grandmother arrived and I jumped up and offered her my hand. I always gave her to her – Dad had instilled it in me – but that evening I realized that she really needed it. Gan Gan had just celebrated his 100th birthday and looked frail. But he was still flawless. I remember she was dressed all in blue: blue cardigan, blue tartan skirt, blue hat. It was her favorite color of hers. She asked for a martini. Moments later, someone handed her a frozen tumbler full of gin. I watched her as she sipped, deftly avoiding the lemon wedge and, on an impulse, decided to join her. I’d never had a cocktail in front of my family before, so it was going to be an event. A pinch of rebellion. It turned out to be an empty rebellion: nobody was interested in it, and they didn’t notice it. Apart from Gan Gan».
Source: Vanity Fair
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