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Book club questions for Spare by Prince Henry takes an in-depth look at this captivating memoir.
Spare is the book everyone is reading at the moment. It’s such an ideal book club pick as there is so much to discuss and dissect. I personally thought it was fascinating, surprising, complicated but also heartfelt at times.
I’ve composed 20 original book club questions. Feel free to comment below to answer the questions and also share your thoughts about the book.
It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.
For Harry, this is that story at last.
Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.
At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love.
Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .
For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
Book Club Questions for Spare
- Why do you think Prince Harry decided to write a memoir at this stage in his life?
- Let’s talk about the significance of Harry choosing ‘Spare’ as the title.
- Why is there so much interest worldwide with the British Royal Family, especially when it comes to Harry and William?
- There are so many revelations in the book from William physically attacking Harry to Charles cruelly joking about Harry’s parentage. Which revelations stuck out to you the most?
- Throughout the book, Harry speaks about his beloved mother, Diana. He feels a real kinship with her—do you see similarities between the two?
- We learn that Harry was so traumatized by her death, he convinced himself she was alive and in hiding. And he believed this until his 20s. Let’s discuss our thoughts about this.
- The book is divided into several sections: after Diana’s death; Harry’s time in the military; life after meeting Meghan and his eventual departure from England. Which section was the most compelling to you and why?
- What is your take on Harry’s relationship with William? What are some of the central factors that contributed to their falling out?
- On the same note, what about Harry and his father?
- We read about Harry and Meghan’s whirlwind courtship. Do you feel they are a good match?
- Did Harry do enough preparation to help Meghan adjust to royal life or do you think he should have done more?
- While the press hoped that Harry, Meghan, William and Kate would become the “Fab Four,” reality was quite different. What was behind all the tension between the two couples?
- Harry decided to share the personal exchanges between Kate and Meghan regarding the dispute over bridesmaid dresses. Why do you believe he thought it was important to include this?
- Harry does not hide his disdain for Camilla. He suspects that she is the big leaker to the media. Let’s discuss his complicated relationship with her.
- The British tabloid media, as a whole, serves as somewhat of an antagonist to Harry throughout his memoir (and life). Why would the royal family keep up this toxic relationship knowing how it hurts members of the family? Second, why is this family so obsessed with their own press?
- Was leaving behind the royal family the right move for Harry and Meghan?
- When asked why he wrote the memoir, Harry says that he hopes his family will finally understand the pain he’s been through with the British tabloid media throughout his whole life and especially with the horrible treatment to Meghan. He feels making this so public is the only way to reach them. Do you feel there is any hope for reconciliation? Why or why not?
- Some people thought that Spare would show that Harry is done with the monarchy and doesn’t believe it has a place in our modern society. But it’s actually quite the opposite—he states he believes in the monarchy and supports it. Were you surprised by this? What is your opinion about the British monarchy?
- Did you highlight any specific sections or quotes that you would like to share?
- Did reading Spare change your opinion about Harry, Meghan, and the royal family?
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for Spare! Here’s another recommendation along with a link to book club questions.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
If you’re looking for another memoir and haven’t read Becoming by Michelle Obama, you have to add it to your list!
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Check out my book club questions here.