February 7, 2023

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Top takeaways from Prince Harry’s ‘stand-up’ memoir

A trip to the North Pole left Harry with some discomfort. “Upon arrival home, I was horrified to find that my nether regions were also chubby, and while the ears and cheeks were already receding, the baby wasn’t,” he says. When home remedies—like applying Elizabeth Arden cream—didn’t work, he finally went to the doctor.

One evening during their adventure, “Meg said something I’ve gone the wrong way,” so “I bumped into her, and spoke harshly to her—roughly.” Megan left the room. “I went and found her upstairs. She was sitting in the bedroom. She was quiet, but said in a calm, even tone that she would never bear to be spoken to like that.” Harry writes:

She wanted to know where it came from.

I don’t know.

Where have you heard a man speak like this to a woman? Did you hear adults talk this way when you were growing up?

My throat clenched, and I looked away. yes.

Harry told Meghan that he tried therapy, but it didn’t help. She told him “no”. “Try again.”

The exchange between father and son when Harry announced his intention to marry did not go as expected.

Do you want to continue working?

repeat?

Do you want to continue acting?

Oh, I mean, I don’t know, I don’t think so. I expect she’ll want to be with me, and do the job, you know, which might rule out “Suits”…because they’re filming in…Toronto.

They see. Well, boy, you know there’s never enough money to go around.

I stared. What was he banging on?

It is to explain. or try. I can’t pay anyone else. I already have to pay for your brother and Katherine.

Harry writes: “Pa did not financially support Willie and me, and our families, of any largesse. That was his job. That was all the agreement. We agreed to serve the King, to go wherever we were sent, to do whatever we were told, and to forfeit our independence, and to keep our hands and feet in a gilded cage at all times, and in return the cage-keepers agreed to feed and clothe us.”

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But it was not about the money, of course: “Pa may have been afraid of the high cost of our administration, but what he really could not afford was a new person taking over the monarchy, taking the limelight, someone new and brilliant coming in and overshadowing him.”

“The audience was told I would be the best man, but that was an open lie,” Harry wrote. “Willie didn’t want me to give a best man speech. He didn’t think it was safe to hand me a live mic and put me in a position to go off script. He wasn’t wrong.” Still, he did manage to present the newlyweds with a fox fur thong: “The room erupted from communal gasps,” he wrote, and then “a warm, satisfying burst of laughter.”

He writes, “I could not think of a single human being in the 300,000-year history of our species who has done more damage to our collective sense of reality.” But those who are hired to pose for pictures for the British tabloids are also targets of his wrath.

“The Pages have always been horrible people, but as they matured they were even worse,” he says. They were bolder, more extreme, just as the youth in Iraq were radicalized. Their mullahs were liberators, the same ones who undertook to do better after Mummy’s death.”

The couple chose to leave England, but hoped to maintain some of their royal duties and maintain the security that came with their titles. Instead, after a meeting dubbed the “Sandringham Summit” in January 2020, they learned that, in Harry’s words, “the fix was in” – they would no longer represent the Queen and their security would only last for a 12-month transitional period. (In fact, they would lose that security after several months.)

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“I love my home country, I love my family, and I always will,” Harry wrote. “I just wish, in the second darkest moment of my life, that they were there for me.”