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The final episodes of The Crown are here, and they could very well leave Prince Harry “triggered,” according to a royal expert. Covering 1998 to 2005, the second part of the sixth and final season, which debuted with part I in November 2023, depicts the years following Princess Diana’s death. But it’s the series’ focus on the Duke of Sussex’s brother, Prince William, as played by Ed McVey, that could hurt Harry most. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains (light) spoilers from The Crown Season 6, Part II.]

Prince William is the ‘linchpin’ in Part II of ‘The Crown’ Season 6 

Royal expert Tessa Dunlop, who has seen the final episodes of The Crown, told OK! Magazine the focus on William “puts Harry’s feelings of being spare in context,” (via Express). 

Take, for instance, the first episode of Part II. It’s titled “Willsmania,” and all about William grappling with his newfound attention from the public in the wake of Diana’s death. 

Meanwhile, Luther Ford’s Harry, in Dunlop’s opinion, is “very much the kind of goofball like the joker. But there’s a kind of tense conversation about William always being the responsible one, etc.”

“Harry was, again, not hugely prominent in this series,” she added. “William is the linchpin here and he’s foregrounded. He takes part in the investigation in the wake of Diana’s death involving the Metropolitan Police. He’s interviewed for that, but Harry isn’t.” 

“While it’s all fictionalized and the conversations are fictionalized, some of the concerns around William’s welfare aren’t entirely inaccurate,” Dunlop said. “He was the heir to the throne, [and] he was the first one to fall in love significantly.” 

As for Harry, he “was trotting along behind, being a bit naughty, making jokes, serving champagne in tea cups, but William was more serious.”

‘The Crown’ puts Harry’s ‘feelings of being spare in context’ with him largely ‘in the shadows’

Luther Ford and Ed McVey as Princes William and Harry in 'The Crown' Season 6, which may leave Prince Harry 'triggered'
Luther Ford and Ed McVey in ‘The Crown’ Season 6 | Netflix

Dunlop continued, noting the “takeaway” from the final episodes of The Crown, which hit Netflix on Dec. 14, 2023, is one of Harry being relegated to the “shadows.” 

“You think, no wonder Harry felt a bit overcast because just like in real life,” the expert said. “While they didn’t love Harry and William probably any differently, the institutional monarchy was more focused on William because he’s going to be king. And that puts Harry’s feelings of being spare in context.”

“The idea that Harry was close to his grandmother, but if I was Harry, I’d be quite triggered by it [because] it’s all about William. It reinforces the idea of Harry in the shadows and why he might feel overlooked and angry.”

Harry on being the ‘spare’ to William’s ‘heir’ 

In his memoir, Spare, Harry started, save for a prologue about arguing with Prince William, by outlining his place. 

Namely, as the second-born child to now-King Charles III and the late Princess Diana, making him the “spare.” Although he outranked his brother, the now-Prince of Wales, on one occasion, Harry grew up where he ranked.

“The Heir and the Spare — there was no judgment about it, but also no ambiguity,” he wrote. “I was the shadow, the support, the Plan B […] brought into the world in case something happened to Willy. I was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion, and, if necessary, a spare part. Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow.” 

“This was all made explicitly clear to me from the start of life’s journey and regularly reinforced thereafter,” he continued, noting his parents and grandparents, the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, “often” used it as “shorthand.”

Harry “took no offense” to being William’s “spare,” saying he felt “nothing about it, any of it.” The line to the throne, he explained, “was the weather. Or the positions of the planets. Or the turn of the seasons. Who had time to worry about things so unchangeable?”

The Crown is streaming on Netflix.