Has Prince Harry's memoir, Spare, permanently destroyed his relationship with Prince William? It's been reported that the Prince of Wales was hurt by the things Harry said in the book — not least calling his brother his "arch nemesis." When the two princes attended King Charles III's coronation in May 2023, they apparently didn't talk to each other at all. Now, though, we have another side to the story. The ghostwriter of Spare, J.R. Moehringer, has revealed what Harry was like behind closed doors — and why he penned the book in the first place.
Harry gets ghosted
Moehringer knows what he is talking about, too. He has ghostwritten for other high-profile stars including Andre Agassi and Phil Knight; he was reportedly paid $1 million for his work on Spare. A ghostwriter, just in case, is someone who writes the text for a work credited to another person. So during the intense process of creating Harry's memoir, Moehringer got to know the prince very well indeed. And in May 2023 Moehringer wrote about the experience in magazine The New Yorker.
Arguments were a common occurrence
Moehringer opens the article by describing an intense fight with Harry. "Harry was no longer saying anything," he wrote. "He was just glaring into the camera." The pair were fighting over whether they should include a comeback the royal had uttered during a training exercise with the military. Moehringer said they didn't need it; Harry said they did. They were at loggerheads, and they had started shouting at each other.
Shouting at a prince
"Some part of me was still able to step outside the situation and think, 'This is so weird,'" Moehringer wrote. "I’m shouting at Prince Harry." And what was no doubt stranger was that Harry was shouting back. Moehringer described how the prince's "cheeks flushed and his eyes narrowed." The writer feared he'd be kicked off the book. And as Harry looked down, Moehringer was forced to think that he might have just wasted the last two years of his life.
Taking things too far
This was not a terribly new situation for Moehringer. "One of a ghostwriter’s main jobs is having a big mouth," he wrote. But the thing that was different about this disagreement was that Moehringer thought he'd stepped over a line. "I was questioning the heat with which I’d [gone after Harry]," he wrote. "I scolded myself: It’s not your comeback. It’s not your mother... it's not your... book." But perhaps the relationship he'd cultivated with Harry would save him?