'She was a total stranger.' 19 moments from Prince Harry's Spare that didn't make the headlines.

Content warning: This post includes discussion of pregnancy loss that may be distressing to some readers.

Spare is officially available for the world to read.

Over the past week, we've seen plenty of headlines covering the book's most salacious stories - from Prince Harry and Prince William's physical fight, to fingers in faces between Meghan Markle and her brother-in-law, to Harry reflecting on the disaster that was his Nazi costume.

Now that we've been able to read the whole book from front to back, there's quite a few interesting moments that haven't yet made it to the top of our news feeds. 19 interesting moments to be exact!

Watch: Four major revelations from Prince Harry's memoir. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

1. When Harry was born, King Charles literally congratulated Princess Diana on giving him 'an heir and a spare'.

The day Harry was born, King Charles reportedly said to his wife: "Wonderful! Now you've given me an heir and a spare. My work is done."

Throughout the book, there's a clear level of resentment but also analysis of what being labelled the spare did to him.

As Harry wrote, "I was brought into the world in case something happened to Willy. I was summoned to provide backup... and if necessary, a spare part. A kidney perhaps."


2. Harry recounts the moment he first met Diana's boyfriend.

"Wherever Mummy was, I understood that she was with her new friend. That was the word everyone used. Not boyfriend, not lover. Friend," Harry wrote, referencing Dodi Fayed. 

"Nice enough bloke, I thought. Willy and I had just met him. Actually, we'd been with Mummy weeks earlier when she first met him in St Tropez."

Harry went on to describe the encounter, saying the man had shown obvious interest in Diana when he first met her, "his eyes plumping into red hearts".

3. Harry has regrets over his final conversation with his mum.

He said that his memory just before and following on from the death of Diana is hazy at best, likely due to the trauma of losing a parent so suddenly. But he still recalls the phone call he had with his mum - and his wish for it to have been different.

"I remember, immediately thereafter, regretting. I wish I'd dug deeper, told my mother all the things weighing on my heart. She'd called early in the evening, the night of the crash, but I was running around with Willy and my cousins and didn't want to stop playing.

"So I'd been short with her. Impatient to get back to my games. I'd rushed Mummy off the phone."

4. Harry was a fan of Home and Away and Neighbours growing up.

While boarding at Eton, Harry would kill time by watching TV. Throughout the book, he mentioned a few shows, including Family Guy and Friends. And also some classic Aussie hits.

"Almost every day, straight after lunch, my mates and I would head to the TV room and watch a bit of Neighbours or maybe Home and Away before going off to sports."


5. Harry says Princess Margaret was "almost a total stranger" to him.

Despite the fact she was his great aunt, and they both held the 'spare' title, Harry said he was never close with the late Princess Margaret, who died in 2002 when Harry was 18.

"She was almost a total stranger. Like most Britons, I mainly knew of her. Growing up, I felt nothing for her, except a bit of pity and a lot of jumpiness. She could kill a houseplant with one scowl. Mostly, whenever she was around, I kept my distance," he said.

"As I grew older, it struck me that Aunt Margot and I should've been friends. We had so much in common. Two spares. The simmering rivalry, the intense competition, it all looked familiar."

6. Harry has some choice words for Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell.

Paul Burrell had been a butler and close confidant to Diana while she was still alive. A few years after her death, Burrell infamously published a book on his encounters with Diana, which Harry called "self-justifying".

"He had penned a tell-all, which actually told nothing. It was merely one man's self-justifying, self-centreing version of events. He was milking her disappearance for money. It made my blood boil."

Harry said he and his family then released a statement disassociating themselves from Burrell and condemning his actions. Harry wishes he had been more cutting with the words used in the statement. In the book, Harry doesn't specifically mention Paul Burrell by name, although it's clear who the reference is directed towards.


7. Harry says his brief relationship with Caroline Flack was great, but was ruined by paparazzi. 

Caroline Flack was a very well-known TV presenter in the UK, and host of Love Island and Xtra-Factor, before her death in 2020. In the book, Harry recalled the moment he first met Flack, a few months after he and Chelsy Davy had split. 

"They papped me and Flack, and those photos set off a frenzy. Within hours a mob was camped outside Flack's parents' house, and all her friends' houses, and her grandmother's house."

But he said he looks back fondly on their time together.

"We genuinely enjoyed each other's company, and because we didn't want to admit defeat at the hands of these arseholes. But the relationship was tainted, irredeemably, and in time we agreed that it just wasn't worth the grief and harassment."

8. Harry recounts his infamous Vegas trip involving (almost) tattoos and naked paps photos. 

On a trip away to Vegas, Harry decided he wanted to "commemorate this trip" and get a tattoo, before being dragged away from the tattoo parlour by his friends. 

"Maybe on my shoulder? No, too visible. Lower back? No, too... racy. Maybe my foot? Yes. The sole of my foot!"

As for the highly reported images of Harry naked in front of an open hotel window, he said he was the one who had suggested a game of strip pool.

"Standing outside the hotel in the blinding desert sun I turned and saw one of my mates staring at his phone, his mouth falling open. He told me, 'Spike, you're everywhere mate.' I was naked before the eyes of the world. They'd make a foot tattoo of Botswana look like a splodge of Indian ink."


At the time, Harry was in a relationship with Cressida Bonas.

"After hearing my careful and abashed explanation, she came to the same conclusion. I'd been a dummy, not a debaucher. I apologised for embarrassing her."

9. Harry did magic mushrooms at Courteney Cox's house.

It's been well reported that Harry struggled with drug use in his earlier years, writing that at one point he "smoked an entire shopping bag's worth of weed".

But perhaps something you missed in the coverage was his recount of doing psychedelic drugs at none other than Friends star Courteney Cox's house.

His close mate's girlfriend was a pal of the actor, so while Harry was in Los Angeles visiting his close mate, they ended up at Cox's home.

"She was travelling on a job and didn't mind if we crashed at her place. No complaints from me. As a Friends fanatic, the idea of crashing at Monica's was highly appealing. Then Courteney turned up. Does this mean we have to leave? 'Of course not, Harry. Plenty of room.'"

Harry also said that after he finished up his time in the army, he would watch countless episodes of Friends on repeat to cope. He said out of all the characters; he related most to Chandler.

"Courteney invited more people over. Another party began. We spotted a huge box of black diamond mushroom chocolates. Someone behind me said they were for everybody. My mate and I grabbed several, gobbled them, washed them down with tequila."

Harry said a Batman star was also at the party, although they did not partake in the mushrooms, yet they struck up a friendship. Although he did not give a name, with some amateur sleuthing, it's clear it was Will Arnett.


10. On Harry's first grocery trip with Meghan, he felt out of his comfort zone.

To really drum in the fact that he's royal, Harry recounted the time he and Meghan went grocery shopping together while still dating. They managed to complete the outing incognito, but the highlight of the story was the references to Harry being out of his element at the supermarket.

"Meg had cut out a roast salmon recipe from Food & Wine and with that we'd made a list and divided it in two. She was in charge of finding a baking sheet, while I was tasked with finding parchment paper. I texted her: What the F is parchment paper?"

11. On their first meeting, Queen Elizabeth asked Meghan about Donald Trump.

We've heard about the deep curtsy Meghan gave to the Queen on their first meeting, but what didn't make the headlines were the other details of their first conversation.

Harry said he was relieved to see how the first meeting went, saying it was "lovely".

"It was all very pleasant. Granny even asked Meg what she thought of Donald Trump. (This was just before the November 2016 election, so everyone in the world seemed to be thinking and talking about the Republican candidate). Meg thought politics were a no-win game, so she changed the subject to Canada. Granny looked pleased. Commonwealth. Good, fine. She locked eyes with Meg, gave a wave and a warm smile."

Meg then asked Harry something about "the Queen's assistant" who had been standing next to the Queen. It was in fact Prince Andrew.


"That was her second son, Andrew. [Meghan] definitely hadn't Googled us."

12. Harry proposed with Meghan's dog by his side.

After asking Queen Elizabeth for her 'permission' to marry Meghan - and the Queen saying yes - Harry said he then began to prepare the proposal.

They were at home in Nottingham Cottage when Harry opened a special bottle of champagne and set up a nice area in the backyard.

"I scooped up Guy [Meghan's dog], carried him outside, and put him down on a blanket I'd spread on the grass. Then I ran back inside and asked Meg to grab her champagne flute and come with me.

"We were both wrapped in big coats... I set electric candles around the blanket. I wanted it to look like Botswana, the bush, where I'd first thought of proposing. Now I knelt on the blanket, Guy at my side. Both of us looked up searchingly at Meg. My eyes already full of tears."

13. Both William and Harry confronted their father over a press leak from his staff.

In one part of the book, Harry detailed the moment William came to him very upset in late April 2019, saying King Charles' staff were starting to push too many negative stories about William and his family to the press.

The two brothers had proof from news reporters that it was a certain member of Charles' staff who was leaking the stories in a bid to make Charles look better in the media.

"Willy put it to Pa: How can you be letting a stranger do this to your sons? Pa instantly got upset. He began shouting that Willy was paranoid. We both were. Just because we were getting bad press, and he was getting good, that didn't mean his staff was behind it. But we had proof," Harry wrote. "Pa refused to listen."


14. When Meghan was a week past her due date for giving birth to Archie, the delay annoyed the royal press team.

"When Meg was a week past her due date, the comms team and the Palace began pressuring me. When's the baby coming? The press can't wait forever, you know. Oh. The press is getting frustrated? Heaven forbid!"

15. Harry details what Meghan's first birth was like.

Meghan was induced after being past her due date, with no signs that her waters were going to break. Harry said both he and his wife were calm, but decided to get some takeaway - Nando's to be exact - to make things better.

Meghan used a giant, purple exercise ball during contractions, and was in a birthing bath listening to "soothing music".

"In an overnight bag we had the same electric candles I'd arranged in the garden the night I proposed. Now I placed them around the hospital room. I also set a framed photo of my mother on a little table. Meg's idea. She was in so much pain that she needed an epidural."

Harry then said that watching Meghan give birth was stressful, particularly when they saw the baby's head coming out with the umbilical cord tangled around its neck. Within two hours of Archie being born, they were back at Frogmore Cottage, to avoid media attention at the hospital.

16. Harry says staying with Elton John saved their sanity.

In the summer of 2019, Harry, Meghan and Archie went to Elton John's home in France, trying to get away from the negative press coverage in the UK.

"The best part of the visit was watching Elton and David and their two boys fall in love with Archie. Often I'll catch Elton studying Archie's face and I knew what he was thinking: Mummy. [Diana]. I knew because it happened so often to me as well."


Harry also said the topic of Elton's then-new memoir came up, particularly the fact Elton was providing extracts of the book to the Daily Mail for money. 

"'I want people to read it!' But Elton? The very people who've made your life miserable? 'Exactly. Who better to excerpt it? Where better than the very newspaper that's been so poisonous to me my whole life? They can call me a [gay slur]. But they musn't lie about me.' I loved [Elton]. I'll always love him. I didn't push it. I also didn't want to spoil the holiday."

17. Harry said he's felt "totally helpless" four times in his life.

"Once in the back of the car while Mummy and Willy and I were being chased by paps. In the Apache above Afghanistan, unable to get clearance to do my duty. At Nott Cott when my pregnant wife was planning to take her life. And now," he said referencing Meghan's miscarriage.  

"We left the hospital with our unborn child. A tiny package. We went to a place, a secret place only we knew. Under a spreading banyan tree, while Meg wept, I dug a hole with my hands and set the tiny package softly in the ground."

18. Harry unpacked the double standard levelled at him and Meghan amid their Oprah interview.

Harry said it was upsetting to see some of his royal friends publicly condemn his Oprah interview, with them saying "How could you reveal such things? About your family?"

But as Harry noted, he didn't see the difference between him talking to Oprah honestly and openly, versus the royal family leaking stories to the press constantly.


"I told them that I failed to see how speaking to Oprah was any different from what my family and their staff had done for decades - briefing the press on the sly, planting stories. And what about the endless books on which they'd co-operated, starting with Pa's crypto-autobiography with Jonathan Dimbleby? Or Camilla's collaborations with the editor Geordie Greig? The only difference was that Meg and I were upfront about it. We didn't once hide behind phrases like 'palace sources', we let people see the words coming out of our mouths."

19. When Meghan gave birth to Lilibet, she said something that stopped Harry in his tracks.

"I pulled our precious daughter from that world into this and cradled her for just a moment. 'I'll keep you safe'. Meg and I were skin to skin, and she said: 'I've never been more in love with you than in that moment.' She jotted some thoughts in a kind of journal. Which she shared. 'My love,' she said. 'That is not a Spare'."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

Feature Image: Penguin Random House/Getty/Mamamia.

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