Princess Diana tried to protectPrince Harry from the ‘spare’ label that has become the title of his new memoir, according to a royal expert.
The Duke of Sussex’s hotly-anticipated and “unflinching” autobiographywill be released on 10 January next year, his publishers have confirmed.
The provocative and clever title – Spare – has won praise from royal fans. It is no doubt a reference to "heir and the spare" – referring toPrince William , 40, as the heir to the British throne – with Harry, 38, being the "spare" prince.
But it has emerged that the princes’ mother, Princess Diana, was “troubled” by the labels and was determined to protect her sons from them.
According to 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.”
Speaking toFox News Digital, he said: “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.”
He added: “I think she was very aware of the situation. 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.”
Princess Diana also sought to shield her children from the intense spotlight that came with being Royal Family members, Patterson added.
He 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 trying to show William and Harry a “normal life”, Princess Diana took 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 added.
Publisher of Harry’s memoir, Penguin Random House, said the book will be the “definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him.
The memoir’s description reads: “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.”
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