Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: Harry: Life, Loss, and Love

Source: Received from Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Respected biographer Katie Nicholl details the most insightful book on Prince Harry to date, based on exclusive interviews with former Palace aides, courtiers, friends, and family members, and including stories, clandestine lovers, family feuds, and family secrets never before revealed.

My Thoughts:

Honestly, I am not a big reader of biographies. My mom reads them almost exclusively, but I just never have gotten that into them. However, I was very much looking forward to this one, and it did not disappoint!

Yep, I am one of the Americans who loves the Royals. And Harry is Harry - in and out of trouble, it has seemed over the years. I really wanted to read this story, about the prince who lost his mother at a very young age, and who had to very publicly, grow up in the eye of the whole world really. He seems to have settled down, and I am looking forward to seeing what he does in this next chapter of his life.

It must be hard, to be a member of the royal family, and one who was third in line for the throne for most of his life. It seems a weird thing to say, doesn't it? These are people with just about anything they want at their fingertips. Yet everything they do is scrutinized to the nth degree, every move they make, every word they speak. Unlike celebrities, who choose to put themselves in the public eye, you can't help the family you are born into. You don't necessarily want that attention, yet you are going to have it. We have seen throughout history, struggles - Margaret, Andrew to name a few. And it seems Harry is part of those family members who struggled. The "spare" perhaps, has it maybe even harder, without knowing their exact true role. This is all very weird to, as an American. I don't necessarily understand how it all works - the titles, the language to describe it even at times. I was really thrown by the fact that Harry was called Harry Wales while in the military, and in different situations. I realize he is Prince Henry of Wales, so does that substitute as a last name, even though they are from the family of Windsor?

Anyway - I really felt for Harry in this book. No child should lose a parent when they are so young. How lost he must have felt. According to Nicholl, Harry had a special relationship with his mother, who always made sure her second born was taken care of, and not left behind or pushed aside. Or if he was, she was there for him. As a mother does. And being part of a family that is not really at liberty to be free with their emotions, or speak their feelings, it seems, made it even harder. It is no wonder that he wrestled with who he was and where he was headed, and made missteps - anyone would, losing their mother and then not dealing with it.

Then it appears that he also lost two loves of his life to the very fact that he is a part of the royal family. Too much pressure, not enough privacy, the women he loved could not reconcile themselves to the fact that their lives would have to change dramatically if they were to stay with Harry. It is a tall order, to have your life put under the microscope, and these women couldn't do it. Everyone knows what they can handle, and they knew that ultimately they could not bear it forever.

Not all sadness and loss, Harry seems to be full of hi jinks and mischief, energy and passion for living. Reading about him makes me think of how his grandfather Prince Philip is represented in The Crown. I am unsure about the accuracy of that portrayal, but he does remind me of Prince Philip. Active, love of sports and movement and energy, a desire to be in the military. And Harry was in the military, flying Apache helicopters, no small thing there. No matter who you are, they don't just let you fly one. He had to learn along with everyone else, and pass the same tests. You have to know what you are doing, and he showed his mettle. He even served in Afghanistan, which I didn't know. He is also following in his mother's footsteps, with his charitable works, founding a charity in Africa; working with William and Kate in the Heads Together campaign; working with wounded veterans; and finally, the work that Diana started and didn't get a chance to finish, removing land mines from countries.

One part did make me laugh. Nicholl was talking about William and Harry and their teen years and how Prince Charles allowed them to turn a basement room in one of their homes into their den. LOL. Just like every kid on earth, practically. I am sure their basement room was much larger and filled with many more gadgets and electronics and toys, but the idea is the same. It made me chuckle to even imagine.

Finally, Meghan. Seriously, she is beautiful! And I of course love that she is an American. She seems to be the perfect match for Harry. Confident in herself, confident in the new level of attention she is receiving, and loves him so much that she is willing to give up her career, her citizenship, and move to England to become whatever it is that she will become. The two seem made for each other, and I hope that they have a wonderful life together, full of happiness. And I of course, can't wait to watch the royal wedding!

I found this book to be a quick read, fast paced, interesting, with a natural flow. I really enjoyed it! I recommend it to those who are interested in reading about Harry Wales, and his life, and how he came to where he is now.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.