SGUK Ep 78 – Part 2 of 3 Book Review of Spare
Following on from last week’s podcast, this weeks publication focuses on life in the military for Harry, and the way that military life was a preferred place to be for Harry compared to life in the UK as a member of the Royal Family. He is on record stating this fact many times over the years, but it a key piece of information that the British Royal Family and its media along with key senior staff within the Firm all chose to ignore. There are golden threads running from Part One of this podcast series, which link directly to many, if not all of the threads in this section with serious implications for the role of Monarchy in the UK and most definitely formed very strong threads feeding into Section Three.
I will state here and now, and emphasise it in Part Three, that the decisions made which led to the move to another continent for the sake of the individuals concerned mental health, can all be traced from a multitude of indicators over decades. All the protaganists chose to ignore those indicators, and focussed on their own priorities linked to the outcomes that they wanted to achieve. No regard was given to the fate or mental health of their targets.
In my opinion (and I am not qualified in mental health or trauma diagnosis) the red flags were there all along, and this book is like a road map from start to finish of choices made and allocated to an individual based on the order of birth that he arrived in the world. It had zero interest in aspirations and desires of the family members who were not heir apparent or next in Line of Succession. All of the others that followed, were brought into the world to serve the aforementioned, regardless of any personal cost to those individuals.
As outlined in Part One, the Royal Family, its media arm in the Royal Rota, the UK Government, Aristocracy and the police decisions made were agreed between themselves with zero interest in the people that they were handling like pieces on a chess board. Newspaper Barons meeting with senior Royals as well as members of the Government on a regular basis (that is on record) and in some cases, every few weeks in some years. Civil servants regularly acquire posts in government offices and at various points with the BRF – there is a revolving door of personnel moving between the two entities. Speaks volumes.
The level of Chess playing by all those groups aforementioned, but particularly by the BRF is not at a high level. It is a standard that they have played for decades, and no attention has been paid to the changes in the techniques and strategies of the game, and the technological advances over the year. The UK Monarchy as an entity operates like a Narcissistic parent, as outlined in Part 1 of this trilogy, and academic research has proven with volumes of evidence, that the narcissistic parent is successful only as long as their target goes along with things, and that same target does not see a way out of the regime. If the target does find a way out, then the key indicators as mentioned in Part One come into play. By that I mean that the Narcissistic parent does all in their power to bring their independent thinking member back into the fold – whether they want to be there or not. Remember the quote that the most important thing to the Queen Mother was The Crown. Everything else was secondary, including family. Let us not forget the Royal Family changed its name in 2017 from its German origin because of the dangers it presented to them in wartime. The name changed to Windsor Mountbatten, and they ignored pleese for help from relatives abroad, some of whom lost their lives. The UK arm of the family, now with its new name, carried on, and continued to look ahead and to ensure that the Monarchy continued regardless of what was happening elsewhere. The reference are in the article linked with that podcast, and I will list them all (ie all 3 parts) at the end of the Third Part of this trilogy; save you having to trawl back through articles.
The late Queen Elizabeth focused on The Firm more than the ‘family side of things, and King Charles appears to be doing the same thing. Remains to be seen what Prince William does, though I personally think he will be more concerned with the cosmetics of the whole framework, and the titles awarded to him, to make him feel important, but I believe the next important element that King Charles and his next in Line want/need is someone who can actually do the work, and be likeable to the population, and bring the interest to the BRF as a whole. So having gone out of the way to try to dull the shine of Prince Harry and Princess Meghan, use them as shields to cover and to distract from serious news of public interest concerning others in the family, along with serious harm to the mental health of this couple and their young child at the time, they chased them out of the UK and thought that they would be fawned over by the UK population and the world at large.
The Uk Royal family threw away their best asset, and are now playing the heavy handed parent and trying to use all manner of blatant tricks and coercive control tactics to force them back into the fold to be abused all over again, as if abuse in an opulent setting is deemed an aspiration. It is not working and evidence is being gathered every day, as to the games being played with people lives, all in the name of protecting the UK Monarchy.
Let’s look at the golden threads running through this section which focusses on the Military.
Key Observations from my 1st Read Through Section Two focussing on Military Life and Experiences
- The Ministry of Defence, in Feb 2007, told the world that Harry would be deploying and that he would be commanding light tanks along the Iraqi border near Basra.
- Having told the world what was about to take place, the “insurgents responded – “we are awaiting the arrival of the young handsome spoiled Prince with baited breath.” There was a Plan for Harry. “Torture, Ransome, Kill.” Promised to return him to his grandmother without ears.”
- “Rebel Harry” said one of the insurgents, “or else a Prince’s blood will flow into our desert.”
- Two months after the announcement, Harry’s deployment was called off. It came to the attention of the armed forces that a photo of Harry had been distributed among groups of snipers, and Harry was described as “the mother of all targets.”
- Harry had become a “bullet magnet”. The leader of Armed Forces (DAnnatt) criticised the media and the detail of his deployment. British media once again accused Harry of being a coward and that he deliberately persuaded his superiors to pull him from their plans for him and his men, from the Iraqi border.
- Harry turned his disappointment into alcohol. Lots of photos appeared in UK tabloids of Harry leaving various alcohol venues, looking worse for wear.
- Harry found the experience with British Media to be triggering. Eg sound of the clicks. Images all over social media. The flashing lights. Made his heart race. Even after Sandhurst, the trigger of these sounds made it like a gun cocking.
- The army had prepared Harry top be able to recognise various threats and how to deal with them. Now they had to cast him aside after all the training and it put Harry in a very dark place in his mind.
- The media even went as far as using physical contact with Harry, by using their cameras to jostle him, push him etc, hoping for a reaction from Harry.
- Any photo of Harry in 2007 could fetch around £30,000 for each one. A snap of him retaliating could command a sum high enough for to buy a house outright.
- British Media just moved to hiring paparazzi instead of using their own resources.
- It is obvious to me that this continues today, in locations outside of the UK, for a family who are non working, non tax funded Royals, and who are resident in another country on another continent. Should legal action take place at any point in the future, I am confident that this aspect will be included in the case.
- To mark the 10th Anniversary of Diana’s death, William and Harry organised a concert in her honour. The planning was emotionless. Things needed to be organised, however when the concert started, William and Harry broke down; swept away after seeing photos on the screen of Diana. 65,000 people attended. 45m watching online.
- Days after the concert, Harry returned to Botswana with Chelsea. Met up with close friends, Teej and Mike, and Adey. Harry felt like it was bringing Chelsea home to meet Mom and Dad and “big bro”. There was a point in a conversation where Teej was reminding Harry to wear a hat out in the sun, and sunscreen etc. Harry eventually said something like “yes Mom, alright Mom.” He stopped in his tracks. Everyone went silent. Everyone knew it was a moment. Harry referred to Diana as Mum. From hereonin he referred to Diana as Mom. It was a turning point.
- When Harry returned to the UK he arranged a meeting with his commanding officer, Colonel Ed Smith-Osborne. “He wasn’t put together like any other human I had encountered. The basic ingredients were different. Scrap iron, steel wool, lions blood. He looked different too. Capable of wit and stoicism. Harry explained that he needed to find a way to get back into operations, otherwise he would have to quit the army. The Colonel understood completely. “He got it” Afghanistan is an option
- Harry was studying The Art of Destruction. You have to start with creativity. You have to imagine what it would look like to be destroyed.
- Once Harry became a Trained FAC. He had to be combat ready. Meant he had to master 28 combat controls. Control was an interaction with an aircraft.
- These exercises were taking place in Sandringham on the Queen’s country estate. No one would ever imagine that is where Harry would be undertaking training exercises.
- King Charles noticed activity and guessed it was training underway involving Harry. King Charles (then Prince Charles) visited Harry in the countryside.
- October 2007 Semi Final Rugby World Cup took place in Paris, France.. Harry asked his driver if he knew the tunnel that Diana had died in. Harry asked the driver if he could drive through the tunnel at exactly 65mph – not the 120mph the British media reported in all the tabloids.
- Just a short no frills tunnel. No reason for anyone to die in it. Harry asked the driver if he could go through it a 2nd They did. Harry decided it was a bad idea. That was the night he received closure- of a type. Harry accepted that Diana was actually gone. Instead it brought a new pain. Pain part 2! Harry asked “is that all of it?” It was a short, simple, no frills tunnel. No reason why anyone should die inside of it.”
- Harry and his bodyguard returned to the hotel. Lots of drinking by Harry. Tried to pick a fight with his bodyguard as a result. Two bodyguards got Harry up to his room at the hotel. Harry managed to sneak out, and left the hotel without any bodyguard. Harry broke a golden rule. “Never leave your bodyguard” Especially in a foreign city.
- Harry rang William. He was coming to France for the Final. They agreed to do the tunnel together. They both agreed that things did not add up. The final report just led to more questions. William and Harry agreed such thoughts as “corruption and cover up”. Talked about taking it further. William and Harry wanted to issue a statement, and even possibly hold a press conference, but they were advised by the Palace, to leave it. To do nothing. Lots of questions but no support to take it any further.
- There are a few section within this Military section of the book relating to the media approach to writing about any females in Harry’s life. Chelsea was under much scrutiny. AS were her parents, and friends, and she had people following her to lectures, and waiting for her outside on the return journey. The same things happened to Caroline Flack. Their relationship was kept low key, and Caroline was used to being in the public eye, so found it initially ok to deal with, whilst at the same time being annoying. In the end, it proved too much for Caroline, and as we all know, Caroline was harassed by British media subsequently in relation to another relationship that had come to an end, but this time the British tabloid media, one in particular could not let it go. I have talked about this in a previous podcast, but they drove that lady to take her own life. In the run up to that fateful day, she appeared fragile and near breaking point, but yet the tabloids, one in particular pursued her continuously, even knowing of her fragile state. I mention this because of what was done to Meghan, and where it could so easily have ended the same way. On the day of Caroline’s birthday, that one tabloid reporter put together a mocked up birthday card, on the front page of the sleazy rag, and the contents on the cover of the card involved blood splats, and a table lamp, referring to a recent argument between Caroline and an ex. That same night, Caroline took her own life. The speed in which British tabloids removed or amended articles they had written over the previous months, was something to behold. The main reporter who was relentless in the pursuit, and was the person who put the mock up birthday card together and teased and berated Caroline that day in the paper, is very much one of those who was has written articles on Harry and Meghan, and it seems no lessons have been learnt. I am so glad Harry and Meghan left the UK when they did, because the treatment by UK media was well on the way to achieving another Caroline. Not to mention the number of people still suffering mental health issues as a direct result of involvement with a tabloid chase.
- There is a clear pattern of behaviour. A business model that was focussed on the business objectives that brought in cash. No concern about the human casualties created along the way. You see why and how the symbiotic arrangement between UK Monarchy and the tabloid press works between them. Casualties on both sides and the other societal groups all work to protect each other. None of those elements on their own has sufficient power to go it alone, but together, they business model has lasted decades. You can see now why Harry and Meghan escaping and surviving puts them at high risk of destruction one way or another, but what these people who are intent in protecting their way of life had not reckoned on, is the global support for Harry and Meghan and their family and Doria, who the Royalist supporters have targeted recently. All these things make the global support network stronger, and within it, there are powerful people also looking on at these antics. Harrys frustration about the media lies and distortion is palpable throughout the book. We will come on to Harry coming into his own, and finding happiness in Section 3.
- In the conclusion for this section, and my summary conclusion in the final podcast, I will clearly state an accurate definition of family life in Section One, and the development of Harry in the military and where he felt comfortable there, rather than with his family, and how he moved on to a life he always wanted. The Narcissists out themselves in the golden tread which run through my review of the book.
- As Harry was travelling back to military life on a plane, travelling in secret. Harry lay there in a bunk bed, feeling that there was nothing he wanted or needed in life had been left behind, other than a pieces of Diana’s jewellery and a lock of her hair, and a silver framed photo of her hat used to sit on his desk at Eton. All of which he had stashed in a safe place.
- Harry role was to liaise with military flying above him. Giving out co0ordinates. “Life and death in his hands.” Stressed the importance of the co-ordinates given , because if one wrong digit was given, it could lead to bombs dropped in the wrong place.
- Harry felt good being in a real role. Doing what he was trained to do. Protecting his country. Given a random number. No Title. No Bodyguard. He asked himself, is this what ordinary people feel like every day? He asked himself, what must your real life be like, if you think that being involved in warfare is normal.
- Boredom is the enemy. Prince Charles loved receiving letters from Harry. Preferred it to a telephone call.
- Gurkhas hold a special place in the hearts of the military, and also to Harry. Gurkha provided protection for Harry.
- Harry later was located in a gun nest, There were 4 Gurkhas protecting him. Harry took aim through the mesh in the windows. “The feeling was like a train through the middle of my chest. Sound was locomotion like.”
- The press were there with Harry too. He had been ordered to have them there. The press agreed not to release any photos from that mission until Harry was on another location. Press wanted to know how many had been killed. Harry replied “we don’t know. It is indeterminate.
- In 2006 a town called |Musa Qala that previously was held by Taliban, was seized. “Some of the worse fighting that British soldiers had seen in half a century.” We aimed to keep it. Harry was on Patrol. Drove in a convoy of tanks. One of the English soldiers had just been blown up by an IED. Added factor the soldiers were despised in the town. Loads who had co-operated with us had been tortured p their heads put on spikes along the town walls” “There would be no winning of hearts and minds here.” Harry was part of a convoy who searched for IEDs and then call in the bomb experts.
- In the distance were poppy fields. “Thought of the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields the Poppies below.”
- In Britain the poppy is a symbol of remembrance but here it is just a coin of the realm. All the poppies would be processed into heroin, sales of which would pay for the Taliban bullets fired at us, and the IEDs left for us under roads and wadis (valley or ravine)
- Next day joined by 3 journalists. Harry was ordered to take them to the battlefield. “give then a tour.” With an explicit understanding that the news embargo was still in place.
- Harry was in Sparton, at the front of the convoy. “The journalists were stowed inside. They kept popping up nagging me. They wanted to get out, take some photos, get some film. The Americans were still clearing the area. Journalists asked again. Harry relented an told them OK but be careful of mines and stay close.”
- Moments later the guys ahead of us came under attack. Rounds whizzing over our heads. The journalists froze. Looked at me, helpless. “Don’t just stand there then, get back in.”
- I did not want them there in the first place but I especially did not want anything happening to them on my watch. I didn’t want journalists on my ledger.”
- I couldn’t handle the irony.
- There was an incident involving a bomb going off, and moments later two men were coming towards the spot where Harry and his men were situated. The two men were pushing a young boy in a wheelbarrow, who had been a victim of the bombing. Both of his legs were badly injured and hanging over the sides.
- NB I decided not to go into further detail here on this podcast due to the situation, and those who can access the book will see it, and other examples for themselves. I am documenting this as an example of many things experienced by Harry and his men, and the emotions fluctuating during many such incidents.
- Whilst trying to assess exactly what had happened and who was involved i.e was it Taliban or American troops operating in the area and possibly an accident occurred. No details could be established for the two men accompanying the injured boy. Whilst thrse discussions were taking place, another bomb went off behind them. The Taliban had already left the area. One of the possibilities explored was that the wheelbarrow incident was a distraction. “The enemy had messed up that boy in the barrow, then used him as bait.” You may ask why did the two men go along with it? Because if they didn’t they would be killed. along with everyone they loved.
- Harry tweaked the radio volume. Mission reports being sent in. Information about mail deliveries. Messages being pushed through battle groups net, none of which related to Harry’s squadron.
- About 1.00am I heard several people talking about Red Fox. “Zero Alpha, the officer in command, was telling someone that Red Fox this and Red Fox that. Harry stopped writing notes and looked up at the stars, when he heard C Squadron mentioned.
- The voices were saying that Red Fox was in trouble, no doubt about it. I made out that Red Fox was a person. Had he done something wrong? No. Were they planning to do him wrong? Yes. Judging from the tone of the voices, Red Fox was about to be murdered. Harry swallowed a mouthful of hot chocolate he had made earlier to try and keep warm in the cold night temperature of the desert, and blinked at the radio and knew with total certainty that Red Fox was Harry.
I have included this small section from detailed coverage by Harry about examples of military life. I would like listeners of this podcast to consider the emotional experiences.
- The triggers
- The threads from childhood and threads from Royal life and treatment to threads in life post Royal family.
- Threads relating to the role of media in Harry’s life.
- Turns out it was Australian media that revealed in a magazine that Harry was in Afghanistan. UK and Australian media have continued the harassment and bullying of Harry for decades and it continues today, as we all know. Time that some of those responsible for decades of hate inciting rhetoric and behaviour are taken to task by an international legal entity. I feel the day is drawing near.
So for a 2nd time Harry had to leave to avoid other people getting hurt or killed due to their proximity to a Royal Prince.
- Harry taken to Kandalar. Getting ready to catch a plane to England.
- There were other soldiers milling about, waiting to board as well. Their mood was very different. They were all jubilant to be going home. Harry stared at the ground.
- Someone asked what was the hold up. A crew member said we are waiting on one last passenger. Who?
- “A Danish soldiers coffin was being loaded into the cargo hold. We all fell silent.
- “When we eventually got on and took off, the curtain at the front of the plane swing open briefly. I could see 3 hospital beds. I unbuttoned my seat belt, walked up the aisle and discovered 3 gravely injured British soldiers.”
- “I spoke with the doctor caring for them, asked if they would live. He didn’t know but even if they did, he said, they faced a tough road.
- “I felt angry with myself for being so self absorbed. I spent the rest of that flight thinking about the many young men and women coming home in similar shape, and all the ones not coming home at all. I thought about the people at home, who didn’t know the first thing about this war by choice. Many opposed it but few knew a damned thing about it. I wondered why. Whose job was it to tell them? Oh yes, I thought. The Press.”
“I walked out of the room after the press conference. Walked straight into Willy and Pa. I think Willy hugged me. I think I gave Pa a kiss on each cheek. He might also have squeezed my shoulder. It would have appeared at a distance a normal family greeting and interaction but for us it was a flamboyant unprecedented demonstration of physical affection”
“I rolled down the window, watched the countryside fly by. My eyes could not absorb all that colour, all that green. I breathed in the fresh air and wondered which was the dream, the month in Afghanistan or this trip in the car? The guns of Dwyer, the beheaded goat, the boy in the wheelbarrow – was that reality? or was reality these soft leather seats and Pa’s cologne
As a result of the section in the book relating to life in the military (and I will add here, that there is more than double the examples I have given above in the book, but I hope it gives a flavour to all those who are thinking of buying this book, the style and the content of this section.
With that in mind, I have added the following extracts from a few of the reference sources listed at the end of this article, that are very much interlinked with military life. Throughout this whole book, there are seeds of this topic sprinkled in the content, and I hope it illuminates some of the things that Harry refers or hints at this memoir. It may help some of the readers too, whether it be for themselves or someone they know. I hope you find it a useful addition to this review.
Symptoms of PTSD in Veterans
While you can develop symptoms of PTSD in the hours or days following a traumatic event, sometimes symptoms don’t surface for months or even years after you return from deployment. While PTSD develops differently in each veteran, there are four symptom clusters:
- Recurrent, intrusive reminders of the traumatic event, including distressing thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks where you feel like the event is happening again. You may experience extreme emotional and physical reactions to reminders of the trauma such as panic attacks, uncontrollable shaking, and heart palpitations.
- Extreme avoidance of things that remind you of the traumatic event, including people, places, thoughts, or situations you associate with the bad memories. This includes withdrawing from friends and family and losing interest in everyday activities.
- Negative changes in your thoughts and mood, such as exaggerated negative beliefs about yourself or the world and persistent feelings of fear, guilt, or shame. You may notice a diminished ability to experience positive emotions.
- Being on guard all the time, jumpy, and emotionally reactive, as indicated by irritability, anger, reckless behavior, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, and hypervigilance (increased alertness).
When you are in the military, you may see combat. You may have been on missions that exposed you to horrible and life-threatening experiences. These types of events can lead to PTSD.
The number of Veterans with PTSD varies by service era:
- Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF):About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
- Gulf War (Desert Storm):About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.
- Vietnam War:About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS). It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
Other factors in a combat situation can add more stress to an already stressful situation. This may contribute to PTSD and other mental health problems. These factors include what you do in the war, the politics around the war, where the war is fought, and the type of enemy
Embedded Journalism & The Implications for Military Personnel
Extract from Wikipedia:-
Embedded journalism refers to news reporters being attached to military units involved in armed conflicts. While the term could be applied to many historical interactions between journalists and military personnel, it first came to be used in the media coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The United States military responded to pressure from the country’s news media who were disappointed by the level of access granted during the 1991 Gulf War and the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
The practice has been criticized as being part of a propaganda campaign whereby embedded journalists accompanied the invading forces as cheerleaders and media relations representatives.
The Dangers of Allowing Royal Rota Journalists in a War Zone
- They are a liability
- They are a Propaganda entity who have years of evidence of negative impact on Mental Health
- The articles in no way inform the UK public of the key pieces of information.
- Royal Rota don’t write or inform about any news, they create the news and then write about what they created and add poetic licence. No thought as to the risk to lives of military personnel not just a member of the British Royal Family.
I hope that you found this review of the military aspects of Harry’s life informative. I also hope you can see the threads forming throughout each section so far, and how they interlink with each other.
I see different aspects of Harry’s life reflected along these golden threads, like pit stops along the journey. You can see the loneliness he felt at times, but he maintained his high level sincere approach to service to others. I will save my thoughts on his treatment and function within that Royal setting, and I can understand why he felt more at home away from Royal life – speaks volumes about what constituted family life. When Prince Harry stayed indoors and interacted with no one outside, it reminded me of when Meghan said that she stayed in Frogmore Cottage for 40 days at one point and when she did make an appearance, someone gave the impression that it was still too soon?? Both of them retreated for a time, in different periods, due to the environment around them. Look at them now.
I found humour in both sections so far, but be sure my review of the final part in this trilogy is full of love and humour, which comes across to any reader with a soul and a heart.
Catch you all next week.