SGUK Episode 79 – Book Review Part 3 of SPARE



Reading through each section of the book, confirmed for me and I believe supporters of Prince Harry, that being in the military saved Harry from all the toxic clouds that descended on him throughout childhood, and particularly his experiences post 1997.  I mean by that Harry had to deal with various labels from birth, all relating to him not being or even allowed to be brighter or more popular than those higher in the line of succession.  A child told from an early age that they are less than, and that they must forever dim their light, to ensure that others look brighter.  That is abuse right there, from the get go.  The situation of a child having to navigate through various psychological push backs were made far worse by the dysfunctional setting he was in with most if not all of his relatives being dysfunctional themselves, and an institution behaving like a narcissistic parent.  The loss of the only parent who outwardly demonstrated acts of love and caring and nurturing in 1997, lit the touchpaper that no one else could see, in their strained and restrained behaviour around each other, never mind the children who had lost a mother.

The military gave Harry structure and boundaries and rules that made logical sense.  Moving through the ranks was based on ability and experience, not the order in which one emerged from a birth canal.  No one was treated better than anyone else, and respect was given based on rank as well as comradery.  Everyone was there to defend and protect, and they each depended upon each other for their safety and lives. All knew that their fellow military personnel would protect each other no matter what.  All for one and one for all.  Harry was more at home in war zones that he ever was living on Crown estates, and through this book we have all discovered  that Harry lived in accommodation that was nothing luxurious, with even the basics of life.  The staff lived in similar or even better.  UK Monarchy has history for doing that with the Spares, and if you go back listen to the podcast “The Dukes of Sussex”  (you will see that the accommodation and funding for the 1st Duke of Sussex was pretty shabby, and the life experiences gained by travelling many places around the world, gave the first Duke of Sussex experiences and knowledge and therefore an education which far outweighed what was offered to him  behind palace walls. As a result the first Duke became quite political in his views, and very much advocated against issues such as slavery and divisions of people because of their religions.  He was treated as if he was less intelligent than his siblings and that he did not need to be afforded the finer things in life, however the Duke became interested in science and music and could more than hold his own in conversations.  He lived in relative squalor compared to his siblings, and was treated less than due to his asthma but he became a force to be reckoned with in his adult life. The first Duke of Sussex asked to be buried away from Royal grounds.  He was buried in another London cemetery, along with one of his sisters who also was regarded as a rebel, because she was a single mother, with two gentlemen who were suspected as one of them being the father.  Neither she nor they ever admitted to the truth on that, and her brother the Duke of Sussex was buried next to her elsewhere in London.  That podcast has photos of the burial site, and gives pages of information on how the Monarch gave that particular title to him, and you will all see that giving Harry and Meghan that title was not accidental; neither was the date of their wedding.


Golden Threads Running Through the Book

“Part One:- Out of the Night That Covers Me”

The following are examples of adverse childhood experiences and stressful experiences that can lead to long-term effects in adulthood.

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical neglect
  • Emotional neglect
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Substance misuse within the household
  • Mental illness within the household
  • Parental separation or divorce
  • Incarceration of a household member
  • Sudden death in the family
  • Caring for someone with a chronic or debilitating illness
  1. I would suggest that most if not all of the bullet points shown here that are not in italic could have possibly been present in the household as Prince Harry and William were growing up. We don’t know but I would say that the last bullet point could apply to Princess Margaret (an earlier “Spare”) who lead such a sad and tragic life towards the end, and who needed around the clock care in the end.


Part Two:- Bloody but Unbowed

As stated above, the military saved Harry.  The previous podcast and article gives more detail, and I will also add more thoughts at the end of this podcast and article relating to military life, and its linkage with sections 1 and 3, and the golden threads which run through the whole series.  One thread in particular, is very strong in all 3 areas of Harry’s life – I will discuss the impact in my conclusions.

Part Three:- Captain of My Soul

Harry was scrolling through Instagram of a friend called Violet.  There was a video of Violet and a young woman.  “They were playing with a new App that put silly filters on your photos.  Violet and that woman had dog ears, dog noses, long red tongues hanging out”

“The woman with Violet ………… my God”


“I had never seen anyone so beautiful”


“Why should beauty feel like a punch in the throat? Does it have

Something to do with innate human longing for order?

Isn’t that what scientists say and artists?

That beauty is symmetry and therefore represents a

Relief from the chaos? Certainly my life

To that point had been chaotic.  I can’t deny

Hungering for order, can’t deny seeking a bit of beauty”


“Just come back from a trip with Pa, Willy and Kate

To France, where we marked the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme,

Honoured the British dead, and I’d read a haunting poem, “Before Action”.

It was published by a soldier two days before he’d died in action.

It ended: Help me to die O Lord.”


“Reading it out, I realised I didn’t want to die.  I wanted to live.

A fairly staggering revelation for me, just then, but this woman’s beauty

And my response to it, wasn’t based merely on symmetry.

There was an energy about her, a wild joy and playfulness.

There was something in the way she smiled, the way she interacted with Violet,

The way she gazed into the camera. Confident and free.

Things that the British Royal Family and British Media took away

From Meghan, bit by bit since 2016.

She believed life was one grand adventure.

What a privilege it would be, I thought, to join her on that journey.”


“I got all that from her face. Her luminous angelic face.

I had a firm opinion on that burning question. Is there just one person on the earth

For each of us? But in that moment I felt there might be only one face for me.”


“Text messages came in the next day from Meghan.  Got the Instagram

Details from Violet.  So began hours of messaging back and forth

To each other.  At some point, eventually we exchanged phone

Numbers and migrated the conversation to text, going late into the night.  Messages

Continued the following morning.”


“We had so much in common, though we came from different worlds.”

“She was American, I was British.”

“She was well educated, I was decidedly not.”

“She was free as a bird, I was in a gilded cage.”

Yet none of these differences felt disqualifying or even

Important.  On the contrary they felt organic and energising.”


The contradictions created a sense of

  • I know you
    • But also, I need to know you.
  • Hey, I have known you forever
    • But also I have been searching for you forever
  • Thank God you have arrived
    • but also, what took you so long?


Sir Keith’s guest room looked out on to an estuary.  Many times mid text, I would walk over to the window and gaze out.  The view made me think of Okavango.  It made me think of destiny and serendipity.  That convergence of river and sea, land and sky reinforced a vague sense of big things coming together. It occurred to me that this marathon conversation should have begun.

It occurred to me, how uncanny, how surreal, how bizarre, that this marathon conversation should have begun on July 1st 2016. My mother’s 55th birthday.


“Acting was her main job, she said, the thing that she was known for, but she had several careers.  Lifestyle writer, travel writer, corporate spokesperson, entrepreneur, activist, model.  She had been all over the world, lived in various countries, worked for the US embassy in Argentina – her CV was dizzying.”

“All part of the Plan she said.  The Plan? Help people, do some good things, be free.”


“Chelsea and Cressida often mentioned Jekyll and Hyde existence.  Happy Spike in Botswana, tightly wound Prince Harry in London.  I had never been able to synthetise the two, and it bothered them, bothered me, but with this woman I thought, I could do it. I could be happy Spike all the time.”


“Meg did not call me Spike.  By now Meg had taken to calling me Haz.  Every moment of that week was a revelation and a blessing, and yet every moment also dragged us closer to the wrenching minute when we’d have to say goodbye.”


“Back in Notts Cottage.  Surrounded by his bags, Harry quizzed himself.

What is this? What’s the word?

Is it ……… the one?

Have I found her? At long last?”


“There were firm roles when it came to Royalty.  The main one was that you absolutely must date a woman for 3 years before taking the plunge.  How else could you know about her? But Meg seemed the shiny example to this rule.  All rules.  I knew her straightaway and she knew me.  The true me.  Might seem rash, I thought.  Might seem illogical, but it’s true.  For the first time in fact, I felt myself living in truth.”


Referring to when the relationship will be announced:-

We are going to be hunted.  No two ways about it.  I will just treat it as If we’re in the bush.  She reminded me of what I had said in Botswana, when the lion was roaming.  “Trust me, I will keep you safe.”


Tabloids were relentless from day one. No need for me to cover in this Review. We all know what has gone on since 2016, and is ongoing now, and in several areas breaches in existing laws.  Matter of time until some of the key perpetrators will be held to account.  I am 100% confident of that process taking place.


In the book one sentence describes exactly how they felt about this direction of travel of the tabloids – again!!!

“I felt wild with rage, and guilt.  I had infected Meg and her mother

With my contagion, otherwise known as my life.”


Plenty of narrative about the behaviour of paparazzi and the constant chases of Meghan, her mother, friends, places of work. Ringing the doorbell, shouting questions from outside the front door. Lines of vehicles following Meghan and Doria every time they left their respective homes.

Harry writes how paparazzi scaled walls and fences of properties trying to gain access or make contact with Meghan.  In Harry’s words, “in other words, every day there was yet another person, like Mummy whose last sound on earth would be a click.”

Harry Snaps at Meghan & It Becomes a Turning Point on a Much Wider Issue

During an evening where Meghan and Harry were preparing a chicken roast dinner, the atmosphere had been fine and music was playing in the background, whilst Harry was being taught the basics of cooking roast chicken.  Meghan said something to Harry, that Harry took the wrong way.  It was a misunderstanding on the words used, and the different interpretation between USA culture and the UK.  Harry immediately became annoyed and responded in such a way to Meghan, that resulted in her switching off the gravy bubbling away on the stove, and left the room. Harry went looking for her upstairs after 15 minutes had elapsed with no sound coming from anywhere in the house. Harry found Meghan upstairs in the bedroom.  She was just sitting there.  Meghan asked Harry where all that anger came from, and about what exactly.  They agreed there had been a misunderstanding based on the words used, a misunderstanding based on cultural differences.  That being said, Meghan enquired what had Harry seen in his childhood that triggered such a response.  Harry admitted that he had heard and seen his parents act that way towards each other.  Meghan told him that he needed to do something about it, and never to speak to her in that way ever again.  It is not the type of life she wants, or the type of co-parenting she envisaged for future.  Meghan said that he needed to see a therapist.  He told her that Cressida had said something similar, and that she had done well to at least get the topic mentioned in conversations.  Meg stressed that he needed to see someone, and get to the root of this problem.  Hence regular visits to a therapist began. Slowly but surely, this therapist managed to extract from Harry deep seated issues that had been bottled up for years.  One of the things that came to light was the role of the UK press. In particular the Royal Rota and paparazzi.  It is one of the golden threads that runs throughout all 3 sections of the book, and will feature in the Conclusions reached at the end of this podcast.


Some Linkages of Golden Threads from Childhood Through Military Life and to Life Outside of the Military

  • Harry went to see a therapist in London on the advice of Meghan.
    • At a point in the conversation, the therapist asked Harry “why are you here?” Harry said “Look what I need……….. is to be rid of the heaviness in my chest. I need……I need to …..  Therapist asks “yes?”  Harry responds, “cry …….please help me to cry.”
  • Harry talked in subsequent sessions of the trigger for rage and the trigger for seeking assistance with a therapist i.e., the incident with Meghan which led to Harry losing his temper, and saying something after Meghan said something which Harry took the wrong way. Cultural and language differences.  The pressure of recent weeks dealing with the press, led to the incident in Notts Cottage, where Harry lost his temper and Meghan made it clear never to speak like that to her again. She asked where he had witnesses such behaviour – was it his family?  Harry said “yes” – they told him he had issues that needed healing and that he needed a therapist, hence this is how these sessions are occurring.
  • Harry vented about his father and brother and Camilla. Let fly about the press; found it much easier.
    • Meghan was getting panic attacks – first time in her life. She had done nothing to deserve such cruelty.
    • Meghan had received a text from a perfect stranger, who knew her address in Toronto and promised to put a bullet into her head.
  • So much more in the book, and the behaviour of the press is beyond toxic and I can see why they and the family that sanction their behaviour, are not comfortable with the this information in the book. They are not denying any of it but they are trying to get the public to hate Harry for fake stories involving other people who are linked to Harry. UK media are like a toxic virus in the air over this skull island otherwise known as the UK.
  • Tiggy became a surrogate mum for William and Harry and how he and William turned women into surrogate mums, and how after they (ie the women) had been eager to cast themselves into that role.


I felt no need to mention Charles and Camilla and William and Catherine in too much detail in this review. Harry mentions them in Section 3 but just like in the SGUK podcast channel, I regard them as bit players with toxic venom, just like Meghan’s father and his adult children.  I refuse to give them air time to feed their egos.  In the case of Meghan’s father and his offspring and the British Royal Family – they have a whole media team of tabloid personnel, dedicated 100% in making the BRF look good.  So, they are given oxygen by their media pals.  They don’t need the likes of me to write anything.  When I do, it will be around the dysfunctionality of that group of people who are triggers to negative actions, and who will forever remain on the wrong side of history.


The Main Golden Threads

  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical neglect
  • Emotional neglect
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Parental separation or divorce
  • Sudden death in the family
  • Caring for someone with a chronic or debilitating illness


  • The military gave Harry a functional group of people. A group who had his back and he had theirs.  They were solid. Outstanding individuals.  Role models. A global military family. Harry was helping to protect his country. He was not a prince, he was a captain in the military.  Each time Harry had to be transported out of a warzone, back to the UK, it was due to media actions, which once again placed not only Harry but his men too in danger.  Unforgiveable, and should be regarded as an offence.


  • The way she gazed into the camera. Confident and free. Things that the British Royal Family and British Media took away From Meghan, bit by bit since 2016.


  • Is there just one person on the earth for each of us? In that moment, I felt that there might be only one Face for me.”


The Key Golden Threads Re: BRF & Media Separately & Combined – (Like Knives in Harry’s Back)

Run Through All 3 Sections


  • In contrast, to the British Royal family, Harry was a shadow, the back up, the distraction, diversion and if necessary body parts such as a kidney if needed.
  • On the day of Harry’s birth, Charles said to Diana “you have given me a heir and a spare – my job is now done” and went off to be with his girlfriend Camilla. There was no secret about it.
  • It was by instinct knowing who you were, which was forever a bi product of who you were not.
  • Darling boy, mummy has been in an accident. They tried but she did not make it. Charles touched his knee and said “it is going to be ok”  It wasn’t. Charles left Harry alone with his thoughts, in bed, in the dark.  Harry asked for no one. Just lay there until morning.
  • Charles tried but never quite prepared for single parenthood. He tried but found it difficult communicating, listening, intimate face to face, but did sometimes leave a letter under Harry’s pillow even though he may have been speaking to him minutes before.
  • The only occasions that William spoke to Harry , really spoke to Harry was in their secret den named H, after Highgrove. Everywhere else William told Harry to act like he did not know him, even when they were at Eton at the same time for a while.   NB  I interpreted that as William only comfortable relaxing around Harry because there was no need to demonstrate his authority/status to others. They were just two guys playing video games, listening to music, eating snacks. The body guards were outside the room. Status is important to William.  It is all about the optics, not the substance.  Since 2020 there has been more public funds spent to chase his brother around the globe and to try to secure his level of competency and popularity, even if it is optics as opposed to factual. William is damaged in a variety of ways but no one who should care, does so, and ignores the obvious.  There are so many red flags building, but it seems the UK establishment is happy with whoever sits on the throne.  Optics and all that.
  • “It was all too obvious William cared less about finding his purpose or passion than about winning his lifelong competition with me.”
  • “It emerged that Willy, when I had gone to the North Pole, had been resentful. He’d felt slighted that he had not been invited.  At the same time, he also said that he had stepped aside gallantly, that he had permitted me to go, indeed that he’d permitted all my work with wounded soldiers. “I let you have veterans, why can’t you let me have African elephants and rhinos?”
  • Anything you do affects the whole family.

One could say the same about all your actions and decisions. They affect us as well. Like, for instance, wining and dining the same editors and journalists who have been attacking me and my wife.

The Bee or The Wasp jumped in, to remind me: One has to have a relationship with the press.

  • We had no other option, and we wouldn’t have had to do it, if you’d all protected us. And protected the monarchy in the process. You’re all doing a disservice to yourselves by not protecting my wife.
  • I recognised the absurdity, a man in his thirties being financially cut off by his father. But Pa wasn’t merely my father, he was my boss, my banker, my comptroller, keeper of the purse strings throughout my adult life….  Cutting me off therefore means firing me, without redundancy pay, and casting me into the void after a lifetime of service. More after a lifetime of rendering me otherwise unemployable.


I have included a few more golden threads in the article.  These are just a sample, being mindful of the duration of this podcast.  My parting thoughts on the book Spare, is that it was a joy to read, so proud of Harry.  I found the pages contained, sadness, love within the Sussex family unit, humour, disbelief, and most importantly, it is a book that will be valuable for future historians, because it is the first book written by and about the subject of the book, among a sea of thousands of articles and books written about Harry in his lifetime.  It is a multi book deal, so there will be more to come in the future.  Who knows what the subject will be?  This book is way more important and informative than the BRF and its media pals will ever admit, and there is nothing that can detract from that fact.  Likewise the most concerning golden threads running through all sections of this book, only involves the British Royal Family and UK media.  They are the toxicity in this story, and the most dangerous.  Two abusers agreeing to be kind to each other, at the expense of their targets will never be a good look in any decent society. Ultimately the outcomes for the majority of their targets, will come back to haunt them in a huge way. I am beyond pleased to know that the history books will have these facts, as opposed to the fiction written by Royal sycophants for money.

A dysfunctional family using public funds, with no real accountability, only smoke and mirrors accounting, and a media who solely cover the BRF in a positive way in return for scoops on other targets instead.  Suffering mental illness of any kind, or worse, loss of life, seems to be accepted collateral damage for the income generated from the advertising placed in these publications.  The ethics and value base of those in top tier societal groups in the UK, with an inspection process that is as useful as a chocolate fire guard, spells out something other than fair auditing or news coverage, and the trail of casualties left in the wake of these publications is a question that must be asked in an international legal setting, but it seems clear to my eyes anyway, that the UK and Australia are leading the way in this type of news reporting, and the UK is right at the forefront.


Meghan and Harry, you saved each other.  The successful projects you are producing along with the charitable efforts on a global basis are so wonderful and impactful and continue to be so on a daily basis.  Your global support network is beyond proud of you both. Do not dim your light in order to make others comfortable in your presence.  Fraternise with people who mean you no harm.  Blood relatives are not worthy of your company or time if they wish to take away your lives.  You are not the bulls in their bullfights.  Let them play their own version of the Hunger Games.  NB We did a SGUK podcast some months ago about the Royal Hunger Games.  It was decidedly clever, if I say so myself, and very very funny.  You will like all the teams involved.

The sad irony of the golden threads running through this memoir, is that the main danger to The Sussexes originates and continues, not from an enemy outside of the UK, but from the Monarchy itself and its business arrangement with the nations media. When the Monarchy ceases to exist, not if, history books will explain how the Monarchy destroyed itself, and the contract with the media was a quid pro quo arrangement, which had nothing to do with achieving benefits for the UK, just the two partners in the invisible contract. Lives lost or damaged along the way, treated like collateral damage and the finer details of the kind of rhetoric used about people who were targeted, erased from the internet

Signing off for another week.


Ivy Barrow

29 Jan 2023


Reference Sources for Section 3: Captain of My Soul         understanding the impact of trauma.


Reference Sources for Section 2: Bloody But Unbowed


Reference Sources for Section 1: Out of the Night That Covers Me