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  • Prince Harry recounted a blooding ritual after shooting his first stag in Spare
  • “It goes against, in a mangled way, his desire to win the hearts and minds of Gen Z and Millennials when a not insignificant portion are big-time animal lovers and protectors,” a commentator said. 
Prince Harry, who recalled being pushed inside the belly of a stag he shot at Balmoral in 'Spare', looks on wearing a gray blazer and white shirt
Prince Harry | Koen van Weel/AFP via Getty Images

A hunting story from Spare could make Prince Harry less popular with Millenials and Gen Z, a commentator says. Ahead, what the Duke of Sussex had to say about shooting his first stag at Balmoral and why it could be “horrific and gruesome” for younger readers. 

Prince Harry recalled being pushed inside the belly of his first stag kill in ‘Spare’ memoir

Of the many anecdotes from his life he recounts in Spare, Harry included his recollection of going hunting at the Balmoral estate in Scotland. Accompanying him was Sandy, a “proper old school” guide. Harry shot his first stag and watched as Sandy “bled it from the neck and slit open the belly” before signaling for him to kneel.

“Sandy snapped at me: ‘Closer!’ Close enough to smell Sandy’s armpits. He placed a hand gently on my neck, and now I thought he was going to hug me, congratulate me. ‘Atta boy.’ Instead he pushed my head inside the carcass,” Harry wrote (via Newsweek). 

“My breakfast jumped up from my stomach. ‘Oh please oh please do not let me vomit inside a stag carcass,’” he continued. “After a minute I couldn’t smell anything, because I couldn’t breathe. My nose and mouth were full of blood, guts, and a deep, upsetting warmth.”

Thinking “this is death,” or “the ultimate blooding,” Harry went limp before Sandy pulled him out. When he started to wipe his face, “which was dripping,” Sandy told him to “let it dry.” 

Harry went on remembering how he’d later felt “swelling pride.” 

‘Spare’ hunting story ‘goes against’ Prince Harry’s desire to win over Gen Z and Millennials, commentator says

Prince Harry, who recalled being pushed inside the belly wound of the first stag he shot in 'Spare', stands next to King Charles III and Prince William at the Balmoral estate in Scotland
King Charles III, Prince Harry, and Prince William | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Harry could potentially lose his younger supporters, according to Eric Schiffer, chair of Reputation Management Consultants. The hunting story from Spare might end up alienating both Gen Z and Millennials. 

“That kind of rendition will be horrific and gruesome to many Gen Z who care about protecting animals,” Schiffer said (via Newsweek). “So it goes against, in a mangled way, his desire to win the hearts and minds of Gen Z and Millennials when a not insignificant portion are big-time animal lovers and protectors.”

“And for many, they will look at maiming an animal, however fast, as a serious question about who that individual is,” he added. 

Harry is believed to have stopped hunting because of Meghan Markle in recent years. Dr. Jane Goodall spoke of Harry — and Prince William — being a champion of nature in all respects apart from hunting and shooting. “But I think Harry will stop because Meghan doesn’t like hunting, so I suspect that is over for him,” she said.

‘It’s not too late’ for Prince Harry to avoid ‘professional victim’ label if he focuses on causes, commentator says

Harry’s at a critical moment concerning his reputation, Schiffer explained, noting he and Meghan have done well with young people in England and around the world.

The 38-year-old would have to quit talking about his issues with the royal family and focus on helping others. 

“Harry can deflect and ensure that his brand doesn’t get cemented as the professional victim,” he explained. He could do it “by refocusing on the impressive and honorable efforts to bring the important issues of the environment, mental health, and equality back to [the] attention of the world versus his own personal pain of his experience with his family.” 

Although the potential for “disfiguring” Harry’s “brand” is there. He could lose “leader” status because of the current “power keg” and favor with Gen Z and Millennials globally.

Spare dropped on Jan. 10.