Prince Harry: Pawn or Player?

Prince Harry’s new memoir is another helping of the typical hyper-privileged, overdramatic fanfare we have come to expect from the royals.


illustration by Lichen Fischer

Prince Harry’s memoir, “Spare,” which promises a transparent tale of trauma, broke the record for most copies sold in a day with over 1.4 million copies sold. 

When you’re a prince pleading for privacy, the only logical conclusion is to write a memoir. Prince Harry’s memoir, “Spare,” which promises a transparent tale of trauma, broke the record for most copies sold in a day with over 1.4 million copies sold

Prince Harry airs out his grievances as if he were a player strategizing in a chess match. 

The player: Prince Harry

The Opponent: a dysfunctional family and marriage to the media. 

He sees himself as a pawn. He’s either always in the shadow of his beloved brother and declared archnemesis, Prince William, or his actions are manipulated to shield the family image. 

How did the younger prince, self-declared as the “Spare” to the heir (Prince William), survive after the loss of his mother, the remarriage of his father to his mistress, and the prison the paparazzi painted around him? 

The only solution, Harry writes, is to go to Botswana to bury your head in stag carcasses and join the military to fly Apache fighter pilots in Afghanistan. Global killing sprees are apparently a proper substitute for therapy. 

As Harry notoriously writes, “You can’t kill people if you think of them as people. You can’t really harm people if you think of them as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, bads taken away before they could kill Goods.”

These clearly accessible and actionable steps-which Harry has so eloquently demonstrated-will surely fix your unresolved trauma.

Critics have called this memoir a mid-life crisis. Before Harry felt confined to the strict expectations set by the institution and society- like a Rook only able to move laterally on the chessboard (though this didn’t stop him from cosplaying a Nazi.)

Now Harry moves like a bishop on a chessboard. It’s this new mobility that has permitted him and his wife, Meghan, to campaign for climate change in private planes. 

I bet you didn’t know that his red hair is a metaphor for his fiery fight for social justice. For example, all proceeds from Harry’s memoir have been budgeted by the world’s most charitable corporation: Netflix. 

If you’re Harry, when you seek privacy, you strategize publicly- a wee interview on Oprah, CBS, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Good Morning America. 

Harry’s advocacy for mental health extends to commercializing his deepest, darkest traumas. “Novel” print therapy for a prince. 

Harry overshares. TMI. His training was honed by noteworthy sources like TMZ. 

In Harry’s quest for feminism, he fights the Queen. In “Spare,” Harry welcomes Queen Consort Camilla by accusing her of leaking negative narratives about other royals to the press in exchange for more positive publicity. Conveniently, Harry ignores that he’s also publishing private conversations. As the black sheep of the family, the “Spare,” he’s merely telling his truth with ‘raw, unflinching honesty.” 

When his royal family returns the favor, it’s callous. 

Dear Harry, don’t you know that deflection translates to a poor character reflection?

In hypocritical Harry fashion (I mean the man changes character arcs more than clothing), he hates the media for controlling false narratives. Like any other 31-year-old recently ex-communicated royal (ex royal with infrequent communication) he creates his own narrative.

Nothing’s clear as the chapter closes-is this checkmate? 

Harry’s royal revelations of what really goes on behind the scenes, has shaken the board. In this game of human chess, his hand has tipped over the crown (and potentially tipped off “The Crown,”- perhaps Netflix’s most lucrative historical drama on the British royals.)

He’s an orange oxymoron- praying for peace as he discards the playing pieces. After all, it’s not like these figures are family. 

“Spare” is a stalemate.