To Top

The Curse Of The Spare

From the beginning of his/her life, the sibling to the heir to the throne knows that their only purpose in life is to be the “spare.” His/her life is based upon the best education and experiences to ensure he/she has the ability to become a successful monarch, without this ever actually happening (with the exception of King George VI). The “spares” have all the experiences without the responsibility and hardships that come from being the heir. From the outside, they seem to lead a carefree, luxurious life, but on the inside they are looking for purpose and belonging in a world that is completely focused around their older sibling. More time than not, the life of a spare is a life of turmoil, public humiliation, and scandal.


Princess Margaret was not always a “spare.” It wasn’t until her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated in favor of her father did she become a “spare.” Just before Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, Princess Margaret made her wishes known to marry a significantly older, divorced man. The Church of England harshly denounced this union and Princess Margaret eventually gave up. Shortly thereafter, she married Antony Armstrong-Jones, a photographer. They lived many seemingly happy years together and welcomed two children. At some point in this marriage, Princess Margaret participated in extramarital affairs that eventually led to the demise of her marriage. Although she never remarried, she was rumored to be with countless men for the remainder of her life. Princess Margaret’s life was a life of luxury and turmoil.


Although his situation was not always his own fault, Prince Andrew has lived a life of public humiliation. His marriage to Sarah Ferguson, although deemed a major success for the Royal Family at the time, can arguably be seen as the beginning of his “downfall.” The fact he has also been dubbed Air Miles Andy doesn’t help his cause either.


What must Prince Harry do to break the “curse,” or is it too late? After his Vegas escapade, many people (me included) thought he was marching down the same paths as Princess Margaret and Prince Andrew but since that trip, Prince Harry has done many things to change his reputation. Sure he is still, and will probably always be known as The Party Prince, but he is showing himself as a soldier who fights for Queen and Country FIRST. His recent tour of America was nothing short of exceptional. Harry’s ability to reach people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities is phenomenal. In the relatively short time since his trip to Las Vegas, Prince Harry has undergone a complete transformation.


All indicators are pointing toward Prince Harry breaking the “curse.” Maybe it’s the characteristics of his mother shining through his personality, or the fact he has fought for his country twice, but there’s something about Prince Harry that Princess Margaret and Prince Andrew did not seem to master. Because of Prince Harry, the “Curse of the Spare” will be a thing of the past.

  • paul jackson

    or is it the fact that james Hewitt is his farther

  • Eric Hufford

    Well umm you left out that Henry I, John, Henry VIII, Charles I, James VII & II, Anne, William IV and George V were not first born

  • Julia Murray

    Also left out were Richard I, Richard III, Edward II, Mary II, Charles II, Elizabeth I and depending on your way of looking at things, either Edward VI or Mary I . Given infant mortality rates until really the last century, it was more common than not that the “spare” became king or queen.

  • Christopher Luther

    Harry seeks to be and has become his own man. That’s admirable for anyone, but particularly when your older brother is such a celebrity. His struggles along the way in getting there, while certainly not acceptable, are very much understandable as well as forgivable. Kids—all kids, royal or no—have to be allowed their occasional missteps and lapses in judgment without condemning them for their entire lives. It doesn’t mean you don’t punish them; it just means you remember that they still have growing to do. That goes double for second children, who always have to live in their older sibling’s shadow, and feel as a result that they need to make themselves more noticeable in order to get the attention they want.

More in Blog Posts

Royal Central is the web's most popular source for the latest news and information on the British Royal Family and the Monarchies of Europe.

Subscribe via Email

To receive the latest Royal Central posts straight to your email inbox, enter your email address below and press subscribe.

Join 31,631 other subscribers.

Copyright © 2017 Royal Central, all rights reserved.