Britain's Prince Harry's autobiography 'Spare' displayed at Waterstones bookstore, in London
Prince Harry released his memoir titled "Spare" on Jan. 10, 2023. Reuters

Author J.R. Moehringer shared what it was like working with Prince Harry on "Spare" and how Meghan Markle made him feel at home during his stay at their Montecito mansion in Santa Barbara, California.

In a piece published by The New Yorker, the ghostwriter remembered the big fight he had with the Duke of Sussex over edits. One particular 2:00 a.m. Zoom fight revolved around a passage about the royal's "gruelling military exercises" in England where he was abducted by fake terrorists, one of whom allegedly made a "vile dig" at Princess Diana.

Moehringer refused to end the passage with the comeback Prince Harry gave one of the perpetrators, which he found "unnecessary, and somewhat inane."

He wrote, "Good for Harry that he had the nerve, but ending with what he said would dilute the scene's meaning: that even at the most bizarre and peripheral moments of his life, his central tragedy intrudes."

He said he had been crossing out the comeback for months and Prince Harry had also been asking for it to be included. But during their call, the writer noted: "Although this wasn't the first time that Harry and I had argued, 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. Finally, he exhaled and calmly explained 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."

Despite his explanation, Moehringer still refused to include the comeback and when Prince Harry asked, he reasoned that everything the duke said was about him, which he explained is not what a memoir is about.

"But, strange as it may seem, memoir isn't about you. It's not even the story of your life. It's a story carved from your life, a particular series of events chosen because they have the greatest resonance for the widest range of people, and at this point in the story those people don't need to know anything more than that your captors said a cruel thing about your mom."

The author remembered the duke looked down and was silent for what felt like an hour before he looked up and they locked eyes. He finally gave in and said he gets what his ghostwriter is trying to say and even shot him a "mischievous grin and said, 'I really enjoy getting you worked up like that'." Moehringer said he "burst into laughter" and shook his head in reply.

The writer also recalled the warm welcome he received when he visited Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in California when the pandemic waned. The first time was with his family and he shared that the duke won the heart of his daughter Gracie because of his "vast 'Moana' scholarship." He noted that the royal's favourite scene is "when Heihei, the silly chicken, finds himself lost at sea."

The second time he visited the royals, he was by himself and he stayed at their guest house. He shared, "Meghan and Archie would visit me on their afternoon walks. Meghan, knowing I was missing my family, was forever bringing trays of food and sweets." He added that the Duchess also sent him home with toys for his children when he left Montecito.

Moehringer said that working on "Spare" with Prince Harry made him reflect on the British royal family's motto of "never complain, never explain." He called it "a prettified omertà" which his wife suggested must have prolonged the duke's grief because the royals discourage talking. But he reasoned that "if you don't speak your emotions you serve them, and if you don't tell your story you lose it—or, what might be worse, you get lost inside it. Telling is how we cement details, preserve continuity, stay sane."