There can be little doubt that with 400,000 copies being sold on its first day of publication, Prince Harry’s autobiography Spare has caught the public imagination, with many people proclaiming how excited they are to read it. The sales of the publication were no doubt primed by the recent Netflix television series and fuelled by a number of sensational interviews to promote it, all reported upon in the newspapers, which is slightly ironic considering Prince Harry’s well-known loathing for the British press.
But whatever your opinion about Prince Harry and the Royal Family, there can be little doubt that the steady stream of salacious material and juicy titbits are all very sad for the individuals concerned and bad for the Monarchy in general. In fact, the sheer volume of information and level of detail has taken everyone by surprise, with the previously understood policy of the Royal family to ‘never complain, never explain’ being well and truly blasted out of the water. At first glance some of the information about sibling rivalry between Princes William and Harry (and their spouses) seems quite petty, but it’s easy to see how a number of these small petty grievances and cultural misunderstandings can easily ‘blow up’ into larger issues breeding anger and resentment – with accusations of one side leaking information to the press for gain over the other, and charges of overt racism being very serious indeed. There is no doubt that Prince Harry feels compelled to protect and defend his wife from the unconscious bias/racism of his prestigious family (and press), but this, combined with his own sense of past hurt has culminated in his fierce resentment of his perceived treatment as the second son as starkly depicted in his book’s title Spare. But the problem is that no one is perfect and no one comes out of this situation very well – so can the family be reconciled?
Of course, the folly of ‘airing one’s dirty linen in public’ is the difficulty of climbing down and ‘losing face’, especially when you are a member of a Royal family in the full glare of the British press and the world’s media, but despite their grievances, Prince Harry has described his love for his father and brother – and his wish that for his children’s sake, they might be reconciled. Equally King Charles has spoken of his love for his sons, including Prince Harry, which may pave the ground at some point for civilised conversation; an honest, mutual meeting of minds resulting not only in the letting go of past hurts, but also an apology for those caused today. This needs to stem from real repentance, love and forgiveness. But if there is to be any chance of a private reconciliation, then the public argument and media circus has to stop.
The Christian will be aware that the Bible often speaks about ‘not letting the sun go down on your anger’ (Romans 4.26-27) which might give the devil a foothold and ‘the renewing of one’s mind’ (Romans 12.2) which means a change of heart, mind and attitude after the fashion of Christ. Now, no one is saying that this is easy, but genuine love can overcome most obstacles. So together, let’s spare a thought for Prince Harry and pray that he and all the members of the Royal family will overcome their differences and be reconciled.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.