It’s safe to say Spare may be a tough read for Prince William. Us Weekly can confirm that Prince Harry doesn’t hold back when it comes to his rocky relationship with his brother in his memoir, which drops Tuesday, January 10.
As the title suggests, the 38-year-old prince is candid about being deemed the “spare” a.k.a. behind his older brother in line to the throne. He wrote that even their childhood bedroom in Balmoral was divided to give “Willy” the “larder half” with more luxurious accommodations.
“Two years older than me, Willy was the Heir, whereas I was the Spare. This wasn’t merely how the press referred to us — though it was definitely that. This was shorthand often used by Pa and Mummy and Grandpa. And even Granny,” Harry wrote about father King Charles III, mother Princess Diana, grandfather Prince Philip and grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
Harry wrote that he felt like he was “the shadow, the support, the Plan B” and “brought into the world in case something happened to Willy.”
“I was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion and, if necessary, a spare part. Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow,” he wrote. “This was all made explicitly clear to me from the start of life’s journey and regularly reinforced after.”
The two brothers went through a series of ups and downs as they navigated life as members of the British royal family, with Harry writing that “as boys, [the siblings had] done nothing but fight.” The twosome even “had a million physical fights” throughout their lives, per the Duke of Sussex.
Harry wrote that William was there for him when he went through mental health struggles — sometimes. He recalled that William was the one to instruct him to get help when he initially started having panic attacks, but then mocked him after another incident. While they were bonded by the 1997 death of their mother, Diana, they didn’t always agree on how to handle matters within The Firm and things got tenser when Princess Kate (William’s wife) and Meghan Markle (Harry’s wife) didn’t always get along.
The Prince of Wales also allegedly believed Harry was moving too quickly with Meghan, whom he met in 2016. As viewers of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s CBS interview in 2021 and the Netflix series Harry & Meghan, which dropped in December 2022, may recall, the couple opted to step back from working for the royal family in early 2020 amid allegations of racism in the U.K. One year after Harry and Meghan, who share son Archie and daughter Lili, moved to America, their exit was made permanent.
As Harry has started to promote Spare, he’s been asked about his relationships with William and Charles. While he said in an upcoming ITV interview that he wants relationships with his brother and father, the palace has yet to comment on the various allegations in Spare and made in recent months.
Spare will be available on Tuesday, January 10. Scroll through for the biggest bombshells about William: