These days it seems like everyone has a take on Prince Harry, who is in the midst of a publicity tour to promote his memoir, Spare, which comes out Tuesday, January 10. Every second, it feels like, a new detail from the book emerges, from a physical fight with Harry’s big bro, Prince William, to the duke’s frostbitten penis. Among the many loud voices with a take on all this is Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis, 70. Davis has so many thoughts on Prince Harry’s memoir that she wrote a whole op-ed about it for The New York Times.
“Years ago, someone asked me what I would say to my younger self if I could,” she wrote. “Without hesitating I answered: ‘That’s easy. I’d have said: Be quiet.’”
Davis, the daughter of the former president and his second wife, Nancy Reagan, is not just any nepo baby. She’s a nepo baby who, like Prince Harry, wrote a tell-all memoir about their family, so, in a way, she kind of has experience with all this. In 1992, Davis wrote The Way I See It: An Autobiography, in which she revealed family secrets and aired grievances about both her mother and father.
“My justification in writing a book I now wish I hadn’t written (and please, don’t go buy it; I’ve written many other books since) was very similar to what I understand to be Harry’s reasoning,” Davis wrote in the op-ed. “I wanted to tell the truth, I wanted to set the record straight. Naively, I thought if I put my own feelings and my own truth out there for the world to read, my family might also come to understand me better,” she continued. “Of course, people generally don’t respond well to being embarrassed and exposed in public.”
“Harry may look back as I did and wish he could un-speak what he has said,” she added. As for whether the broken royal family can ever repair itself, Davis writes that reconciliation will likely take some time. “Harry has also expressed a wish that his relationship with William, and with his father, heals,” she said. “Maybe that will happen, but they’ll have to walk a long distance across a battlefield that he has now expanded.”
Now that we’ve got her take on the royal family, maybe Davis will weigh in on the “Nepo Baby” T-shirts next? Here’s hoping.