Patti Davis, the daughter of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is advising Prince Harry that spilling all in a book may not be the best idea.
Davis, 70, wrote her own explosive memoir “The Way I See It” in 1992 and has since come to regret exposing the inner workings of her family – much like the Duke of Sussex is gearing up to do on January 10.
“Years ago, someone asked me what I would say to my younger self if I could. Without hesitating I answered: ‘That’s easy. I’d have said: “Be quiet,”” she wrote in a New York Times op-ed.
“Not forever. But until I could stand back and look at things through a wider lens. Until I understood that words have consequences, and they last a really long time.”
In her warning to the prince, Davis has opened up on the negative consequences of her own memoir.
“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. I wanted to tell the truth, I wanted to set the record straight,” she wrote in the op-ed.
“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 continued. ‘Of course, people generally don’t respond well to being embarrassed and exposed in public.”
“Harry has called William not only his “beloved brother” but his “arch nemesis.” He chose words that cut deep, that leave a scar; perhaps if he had taken time to be quiet, to reflect on the enduring power of his words, he’d have chosen differently.”
She herself apologized to her own father years after her book was published while her dad was in the throughs of his Alzheimer’s disease. Now looking back, she said she would have benefited from being silent herself, as “silence gives you room, it gives you distance.”
“Harry may look back as I did and wish he could un-speak what he has said,” she speculated.