He is considered the best of all, he is 58 years old, he is a New Yorker and he has won an award Pulitzer, but his name is not known as that of the protagonists of the books he wrote, because his job is that of ghostwriters: he owes his fame to his biographies-autobiographies of famous people.
Is called JR Moehringer and wrote Prince Harry’s autobiography “Spare – The minor”, in addition to that of the tennis player Andre Agassi (“Open”) and that of Nike founder, Phil Knight (“Shoe Dog”).
Now, onto the prestigious The New Yorker, talks about his work and above all the experience and discussion behind the drafting of “Spare”. A troubled job that “it exasperated him”, as stated in the American weekly.
As far as we know, Harry and his ghostwriter they tightened a very deep connectionbut also argued furiously. For example, the California-based New York author recalls when, at two in the morning, during a video call on Zoom he and the prince argued over a mid-book passage: Harry, as a young serviceman in Her Majesty’s Army, is in a drill and a British soldier “grievously offends his mother Diana”. Harry wants to enter his reactionthe ghostwriter believes that it is better to end with the humiliation suffered by the prince so as not to dilute the story too much. Furious fight.
My heart is pounding, my jaws clench, and I start to raise my voice. But I say to myself: ‘How strange, I’m yelling at Prince Harry’. He does the same to me, his cheeks burning, his eyes narrowing. At some point I think that our collaboration could end like thisrecalls JR Moehringer.
Working with Prince Harry lasted two and a half years of Zoom calls, meetings with the Duke of Sussex and his friends and many battles over the details of the text.
In the article Moehringer also tells of when he went to Montecito at the home of the Dukes of Sussex, a guest in the outbuilding and spoiled by Meghan Markle with food and sweets. On that occasion the Pulitzer Prize understood what it meant to be slandered in the press. In fact, he himself was chased by the paparazzi and stalked by his colleagues and the only one he could talk to about it was Prince Harry.
Everyone knew I was the ghostwriter and then photographers and journalists besieged me and my family. One morning I looked out the window and a reporter from the Mail on Sunday popped up at me in front of the glass, from the garden.
Another bad memory – says Moehringer – was that of erroneous retranslation from the Spanish version: a few days after the official release of the book, on January 10, some copies were put on sale in Spain by mistake and it happened that entire passages were poorly translated from Spanish. Innocent phrases had become outrageous, because they were absolutely out of context.
In addition to quarrels and comparisons, however, it also emerges so much tenderness between Harry and his ghostwriter. There is talk of their meeting (not through George Clooney, as some have written) and Moehringer says Harry welcomed it by saying: Welcome to my world, man!’ and then adds: I immediately liked Harry as a person. Also I had just lost my mother, as the prince had lost her 23 years earlier. The pain was still alive, for both of them.
And, again in the story published by the American weekly, we talk about the moment in which the book is concluded And Harry thanks publisher and the team. And, moved, he raises his glass and proposes a toast. He had followed my advice, which was to believe in the book. And finally be free. Harry then started crying, and I with him.
Finally, the writer says that despite being only a “ghost” in Harry’s life, he could not do without to be obsessed with the word ‘free’. In fact, he adds that if the prince had asked him to use it in one of the Zoom sessions he would have rejected it, but that he then understood how important it was. Harry both first felt free when he fell in love with Meghan and, again, leaving Britain.
“Never complain, never explain”, the imperious motto of the British House, admits Moehringer himself, means only a “polished silence” and to Harry, it meant only pain.
The article of “Notes from Prince Harry’s Ghostwriter” was published online only, the paper version will be published in the issue of The New Yorker which will be released in the United States on May 15th.