Prince Harry’s Ghostwriter Details the Tense Argument They Had Over ‘Spare’

Prince Harry’s Ghostwriter Details the Tense Argument They Had Over ‘Spare’

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Good morning, Prince Harry’s ghostwriter J. R. Moehringer just wrote a full New Yorker essay about his experience working with the royal on Spare. And he went ahead and kicked things off by talking about how “exasperated” he was during an argument with Harry about whether or not to include a comment he made about Princess Diana.

“This is so weird. I’m shouting at Prince Harry,” Moehringer recalled. “Then as Harry started going back at me, as his cheeks flushed and his eyes narrowed, a more pressing thought occurred: Whoa, it could all end right here.”

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This moment went down in the summer of 2022 (about two years into the project), when Moehringer and Prince Harry were discussing a passage about a military simulation Harry did when he was serving.

“It’s a simulation, but the tortures inflicted upon Harry are very real,” Moehringer explained. “He’s hooded, dragged to an underground bunker, beaten, frozen, starved, stripped, forced into excruciating stress positions by captors wearing black balaclavas. The idea is to find out if Harry has the toughness to survive an actual capture on the battlefield. (Two of his fellow soldiers don’t; they crack.) At last, Harry’s captors throw him against a wall, choke him, and scream insults into his face, culminating in a vile dig at Princess Diana?”

Apparently, Harry wanted to “end this scene with a thing he said to his captors,” which was a comeback Moehringer found “unnecessary, and somewhat inane.”

“For months, I’d been crossing out the comeback, and for months Harry had been pleading for it to go back in. Now he wasn’t pleading, he was insisting, and it was 2 a.m., and I was starting to lose it. I said, ‘Dude, we’ve been over this.’”

This wasn’t the first time Moehringer and Harry had argued, but “it felt different; it felt as if we were hurtling toward some kind of decisive rupture, in part because Harry was no longer saying anything. He was just glaring into the camera.”

Harry ended up explaining that “all his life, people had belittled his intellectual capabilities, and this flash of cleverness proved that even after being kicked and punched and deprived of sleep and food, he had his wits about him.”

But Moehringer ended up convincing him not to include the line, and Harry joked, “I really enjoy getting you worked up like that.”

Honestly? Gonna need a whole memoir on the making of this memoir.

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