5 Bizarre Quotes From Prince Harry's Bombshell Book Explained

The full story that lies behind five of the most unusual quotes in the memoir.

Prince Harry's memoir Spare has dominated pop-cultural discussion on both sides of the Atlantic this week. Harry has made appearances on popular shows like Late Show With Stephen Colbert, while the British press seemingly can't pump out enough aghast editorials about the revelations in the book, mainly Harry's talking out of school about the royal family and his unprecedented decision to step away from it. Like it or not, the book is a trailblazer.

There are plenty of anecdotes to chew on, from Harry's frank discussion of his genitalia to a detailed account of a physical altercation with his brother, the heir to the throne, to blow-by-blow descriptions of how the royal family froze out his biracial American wife, Meghan Markle. Before an unprecedented best-selling book is published, attention-getting sentences must be written.

And there are many lines in Spare that would read as downright bizarre if glanced out of context. Read on to learn more about the full story that lies behind five of the most unusual quotes in the memoir. 

1
"What was the universe trying to say to me…"

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Just before the blockbuster royal wedding in which big brother William married Kate Middleton, Harry went to the North Pole with a group of wounded soldiers to raise money for charity. When he got back home, he noticed frostbite on his fingers, ears, cheeks—and a certain body part. After the wedding, Harry's private was "was oscillating between extremely sensitive and borderline traumatized." He clearly needed to see a doctor.

"But I couldn't ask the Palace to find me one. Some courtier would get wind of my condition and leak it to the press and the next thing I knew [it] would be all over the front pages." With the help of a friend, he made an incognito visit to a doctor, who said the necessary remedy would be time. "Time, he said, heals. Really, Doc? That hasn't been my experience," he wrote. 

2
"I was not going to get a tattoo … not on their watch, least of all a foot tattoo of Botswana"

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Thanks to a 2012 trip to Las Vegas, nude photos of Harry ended up on the cover of tabloids around the world. In the infamous shots, he's seen carousing with a fully clothed woman. In Spare, Harry explained that he and friends had splurged on a duplex Vegas suite that included a billiard table—which led to a game of strip pool. Copious alcohol consumption was largely responsible for what followed. Harry was talked out of getting a tattoo by a bodyguard named Billy the Rock.

He and his friends came back to the suite around 2 a.m.  with "four or five women who worked at the hotel … and two women they'd met at the blackjack table." Harry proposed a game of strip pool, and one of the blackjack girls took pictures, then sold them to the press. "I had counted on those dodgy girls showing some basic decency, and now I was going to pay the price forever. These photos would never go away," Harry wrote.

3
"She was Monica. And I was a Chandler"

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In January 2016, Harry took a trip to Los Angeles with friends and encountered one of the Friends. His posse went to the home of Courteney Cox, who was friends with the girlfriend of one of his buddies. "As a Friends fanatic, the idea of crashing at Monica's was highly appealing. And amusing." A party ensued, during which Harry consumed chocolates laced with psychedelic mushrooms.

Later, when he went to the bathroom, a trashcan smiled at him. "I laughed, turned away, took a piss. Now the loo became a head too. The bowl was its gaping maw, the hinges of the seat were its piercing eyes. …. I finished, flushed, closed its mouth." 

4
"I could take out a cactus from three miles away with a Hellfire missile but I couldn't quite find her lips"

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In one passage, Harry describes one of his first dates with ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas, "She didn't invite me in. I didn't expect her to, didn't want her to. Take it slow, I thought," he wrote. Harry, then a soldier with the British Army, decided to go for a goodnight kiss anyway. "I leaned in to give her a kiss, but my aim was off. I could take out a cactus from three miles away with a Hellfire missile but I couldn't quite find her lips." 

"She turned, I tried again on the return trip, and we managed something like a graze. Painfully awkward." The next day, his cousin Eugenie—who set the pair up—reported that Cressida also called their clinch "awkward." But it wasn't a dealbreaker; the two dated for several years.

5
"How can you really describe light? Even Einstein had a problem with that one."

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In the book's introduction, Harry pays tribute to his late mother, Princess Diana, with an astronomical allegory. "Recently," Harry he wrote, "astronomers rearranged their biggest telescopes, aimed them at one tiny crevice in the cosmos, and managed to catch a glimpse of one breathtaking sphere, which they named Earendel, the Old English word for Morning Star. Billions of miles off, and probably long vanished, Earendel is closer to the Big Bang, the moment of Creation, than our own Milky Way, and yet it's somehow still visible to mortal eyes because it's just so awesomely bright and dazzling.

"That was my mother," he concluded.