Patti Davis, actress and youngest daughter of the late President Reagan, gave Prince Harry some sage yet unsolicited advice ahead of the release of his memoir, “Spare.”
In an op-ed written for the New York Times, Davis, 70, cautioned the Duke of Sussex to be judicious with his candor.
“My justification in writing a book I now wish I hadn’t written… was very similar to what I understand to be Harry’s reasoning. I wanted to tell the truth, I wanted to set the record straight. Naïvely, 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 wrote.
“During the early stages of my father’s Alzheimer’s, when he still had lucid moments, I apologized to him for writing an autobiography many years earlier in which I flung open the gates of our troubled family life,” Davis admitted. “He was already talking less at that point, but his eyes told me he understood.”
Davis saw a parallel between her decision-making and that of the estranged Prince Harry.
“I thought of that moment when I read that Prince Harry, in his new memoir, wrote about his father, King Charles, getting between his battling sons and saying, ‘Please, boys, don’t make my final years a misery.’ Time is an unpredictable thing…I had the gift of time with my father, which allowed me to apologize, even though a disease hovered between us and clouded our communication. King Charles’s words reveal a man who is aware of his mortality and who would like his offspring to be aware of it as well.”
Davis called attention to how there are multiple versions of the truth, and since storylines from Prince Harry’s book have been teased ahead of its Jan. 10 availability date, she believes the king and Prince William are entitled to their own version as well.
“People generally don’t respond well to being embarrassed and exposed in public. And in the ensuing years, I’ve learned something about truth: It’s way more complicated than it seems when we’re young. There isn’t just one truth, our truth — the other people who inhabit our story have their truths as well,” she wrote.
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