Princess Diana tried to shield Prince Harry from ‘spare’ label, royal expert says

The Duke of Sussex announced the title of his long-awaited memoir ‘Spare’ on Thursday

Meredith Clark
New York
Thursday 27 October 2022 15:45 BST

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The Duke of Sussex’s highly-anticipated memoir, titled Spare, will be released in January 2023. While royal fans have praised the clever book title, Princess Diana reportedly tried to shield Prince Harry from the label.

As the younger brother to Prince William, the Prince of Wales and second in line to the British throne, Prince Harry was oftentimes coined “the spare” by the press. Knowing that Prince William would receive favouritism for his role as heir, Princess Diana was determined to protect her sons from the “heir and the spare” labels they had been given, as she was also “troubled” by it.

According to bestselling author James Patterson – who released his book Diana, William, and Harry: The Heartbreaking Story of a Princess and Mother in August – the late Princess of Wales “tried to control” the narrative “as much as she could.”

“I think she tried to control it as much as she could,” Patterson told Fox News Digital in August. “I think she was troubled about it. That’s a standard thing for families. One of the kids who do better in school or become a better athlete seems to be a little more charming and lovable. How do you make the other kids feel that they’re just enough? It happens pretty much to all families. And in this case, the stakes are much higher because one is presumably going to be king someday.”

“I think she was very aware of the situation,” Patterson continued. “She had experienced how difficult it was to be in her role as a princess…She wanted to have her own life. And that was very hard for her. She didn’t want the boys to experience the same struggles she faced. She tried as much as she could to control it. She simply wanted them to be normal kids and understand that the real world doesn’t operate in the same way it worked within the palace. They shouldn’t see themselves as special or different.”

As Princess Diana had her own tumultuous relationship with the media, she was set on protecting her children from the intense spotlight they were under as members of the royal family.

“She wanted to shield them from some of the things that were troubling her within her role,” the royal expert said. “The whole thing of being in the eye of the press and having to be a role model, even as a kid, was difficult. She didn’t want the kids to suffer through that. She wanted them to be as normal as they could be.”

In doing so, Princess Diana tried to show her children what “normal” life was like outside the palace walls. She brought them to homeless shelters and charity events, and even insisted on taking them to McDonald’s for Happy Meals “because that’s what kids did,” Patterson said.

Although the British press had some distasteful nicknames for Prince William and Prince Harry, like any mother would, Princess Diana gave her sons their own pet names: William was DDG, “Drop Dead Gorgeous”, and Harry was GKH, or “Good King Harry”.

According to Patterson, the nickname was born when a young Prince William allegedly said, “I don’t want to be king,” and Harry responded, “Well, I’ll do the job instead of you then.”

The Duke of Sussex’s memoir, titled Spare, is set for release on 10 January. The book will reportedly give an inside look into Prince Harry’s life, as the “definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him,” according to publisher Penguin Random House.

“With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief,” the memoir’s description reads.

Spare will include memories from his childhood, growing up in the public eye, his time in the military, his marriage to Meghan Markle and becoming a father.

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