Prince William and Princess Kate Will "Break the Cycle" of the Heir and Spare Cliché With Their Children, Royal Expert Says

They'll avoid the William/Harry, Charles/Andrew, Elizabeth/Margaret situation.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry's memoir now has a confirmed release date and title: SPARE will hit bookshelves on Jan. 10, 2023.

This title has had tongues wagging since it was announced last week, because it's such a striking one—a reference to the widespread expression "the heir and spare," whereby Prince William was a King-in-waiting and Harry was his understudy until Prince George was born.

As you might imagine, being the so-called "spare" isn't always a pleasant position to be in.

"There’s this heir and spare dynamic that we have been talking about for the last few years, in which the spare typically is so completely lost and they fall into trouble," royal commentator Kinsey Schofield told Express.

"We look at Princess Margaret, Prince Andrew and now Prince Harry. I know Prince Harry is trying to do his own thing, but I do think he is struggling."

There is a silver lining here for Schofield: She believes that Prince William and Princess Kate won't continue this harmful pattern with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

"I don’t think that it’s going to happen to Prince William’s children," Schofield said.

"I believe that this is where they’re going to break the cycle. I think that they’re going to stop with the spare talk and I think the 'necessity' for a spare ends now.

"I think we’ll see his children go off to school, find careers that they’re sincerely passionate about and be an adult in a way that we never got to see Margaret or Andrew do.

"They were just content with living off the purse, waving at strangers. I think that William’s children will be encouraged to find their purpose and pursue those things, and it not really being about waiting to see if something happens to the heir."

Let's hope she's right!

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.