“The line between memory and fact is blurry, between interpretation and fact,” a quote shared by Moehringer via Twitter on Wednesday, January 11, reads. “These are inadvertent mistakes of those kinds out the wazoo.”
The Tender Bar author included a link to Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir, where he pulled the quote – and others — from. “Neurologist Jonathan Mink, MD, explained to me that such intense memoirs … we often record the emotion alone, all detail blurred into unreadable smear,” another passage from Karr shared by Moehringer reads.
Moehringer also posted two quotes from Spare about memory attributed to Harry.
“Landscape, geography, architecture, that’s how my memory rolls. Dates? Sorry, I’ll need to look them up. Dialogue? I’ll try my best, but make no verbatim claims, especially when it comes to the 90s,” one passage reads.
Another Harry quote states: “Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory, it does what it does, gathers and curates as it sees fit, and there’s just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts. Things like chronology and cause-and-effect are often just fables we tell ourselves about the past.”
The Duke of Sussex’s book made waves for several reasons — including details of Harry’s strained relationships with Prince William and King Charles III, stories about late mother Princess Diana and the former military pilot’s confessions about drugs and partying — ahead of its Tuesday, January 10, release. As royal followers continue to read the book, some are questioning Harry’s recollection of certain events.
Buzzfeed’s Ellie Hall “stumbled across another little inaccuracy” in Spare on Wednesday, tweeting a passage where Harry implies Dickie Arbiter, whom he refers to as “the Queen’s ex-press secretary,” made a comment that Harry and Meghan Markle should “expect no mercy” after opting to step away from their senior royal duties in January 2020. While Arbiter commented on the royal exit in a column for The Sun at the time, commentator Trevor Phillips was the one to tell The Times “Harry and Meghan will join the rest of us in the trenches” and “expect no mercy.”
Another chapter raising eyebrows is Harry’s recalling he was at boarding school Eton when the Queen Mother — Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother — died in 2002.
“At Eton, while studying, I took a call. I wish I could remember whose voice was at the other end; a courtier’s, I believe,” he wrote. “I recall that it was just before Easter, the weather was bright and warm, light slanting through my window, filled with vivid colours. Your Royal Highness, the Queen Mother has died.”
Several reports and photos have since resurfaced claiming Harry, William and Charles were in Klosters, Switzerland, on a ski trip when Harry and William’s great-grandmother’s died.
Other British outlets are calling out Harry for writing about getting an Xbox from Diana — a game console that hadn’t been released when she died in 1997 — and Moehringer addressed those reports head-on by sharing another quote from the book.
“It was an Xbox. I was pleased. I love video games. That’s the story, anyway. It appeared in many accounts of my life, as gospel, and I have no idea if it’s true,” Harry wrote. “Pa said Mummy hurt her head, but perhaps I was the one with brain damage? As a defense mechanism, most likely, my memory was no longer recording things quite as it once did.”
Spare — which sold more than 1.4 million copies on its first day of publication — is available now.