Prince Harry makes series of sensational claims in new memoir
WATCH: William and Harry, a life in the spotlight
By James Gregory & Sean Coughlan, Royal Correspondents
A torrent of sensational claims and accusations from Prince Harry’s autobiography Spare has leaked out.
The book outlines grievances and bitterness in the royal family, such as a claim that he and Prince William asked her father not to marry Camilla.
But one of Harry’s most striking allegations, first reported by the Guardian newspaper, was how he was physically assaulted by his brother.
Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have both said they will not comment.
BBC News has received a copy of Spare in Spain and is translating it.
The Guardian received a copy of the book and published an extract in the early hours of Thursday.
The Sun newspaper and others also received a Spanish version, having been published in Spain ahead of its official release date – January 10.
Since the Guardian’s first article, further allegations from the book have been published.
Among them is Harry’s claim that William and Catherine, now the Prince and Princess of Wales, laughed after seeing him in a Nazi uniform for a party.
There are also accounts of Harry’s drug use and his experiences as an army helicopter pilot in the Afghanistan conflict.
Reconciliation and compromise are not on the agenda, at least according to the leaked excerpts. So far there is a tone of unresolved grief, complaint and accusation in Harry’s claims.
It’s also very personal, about his immediate family, brother, stepmother, sister-in-law, father. A nasty cloud hangs over these claims, and it will be impossible to ignore when Harry is next seen with the royal family.
The crowning glory is only a few months away and the run-up could turn into a he-won’t-come story about Harry.
These are some of the key claims and revelations from the book:
Harry and William urged father not to marry Camilla
Harry writes that he and William begged their father not to marry Camilla, now Queen Consort, over fears she would be their evil stepmother, the Sun reported.
The Sun reports that Harry claims he and his brother met separately with Camilla before she officially joined the family.
Harry claims that he thought about whether she would one day be his “wicked stepmother”, but that he and his brother were willing to forgive her “in their hearts” if she could make King Charles happy.
There are no details as to when the meeting took place or how old Harry was at the time.
Image source, PA MediaCaption,
The two royal couples seen together at Windsor Castle after the death of Queen Elizabeth II
A woman with powers who relays a message from Diana
Harry describes how his sadness at the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, led him to seek help from a woman who “claimed to have ‘powers'”.
“Your mother says you’re living the life she couldn’t live,” says Harry, the woman told him. “You live the life she wanted for you.”
Diana died in a car accident in Paris in 1997 when Harry was 12 years old.
Harry’s account of a conversation he allegedly had with his late mother is brief, says the Guardian. There is also no information about where or when the meeting with the woman took place.
William ‘beat him to the ground’
Harry claims his brother grabbed his collar, tore his necklace and pushed him to the ground at his cottage in London.
The book sets out a dispute between the two, which Harry says was sparked by comments made by William about Meghan.
Harry writes that his brother was critical of Meghan, with William describing her as “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”.
The Duke of Sussex said his brother was a “parrot”.[ing] the press narrative,” as the confrontation escalated, according to the Guardian.
Image Source, Getty Images Caption,
William is said to often refer to Harry as “Harold”, although that is not his official name – Henry Charles Albert David
Harry is asked to describe what happened next, including an alleged physical altercation.
“He sat down [a glass of] water, called me another name, and then approached me. Everything happened so fast. So very quickly.
“He grabbed my collar, tore my necklace and threw me to the ground.
“I landed on the dog’s bowl, which broke under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there dazed for a moment, then got up and told him to get out.”
William and Catherine laughed at Harry’s Nazi costume
The memoir also claims that William and Catherine laughed when Harry returned home in a Nazi uniform before a costume party in 2005.
Harry says he discussed costumes for the event and prompted the couple to ask her opinion that he had a pilot’s uniform and a Nazi outfit to choose from. He describes it in his memoirs:
“I called Will and Kate and asked them what they thought.”
“Nazi uniform, they said.”
“I rented it, along with a ridiculous mustache, and returned home.”
“Willy and Kate laughed. It was worse that Willys Leopard [cat] Costume. Much more ridiculous.”
Harry was 20 when the Sun ran a front-page photo of him dressed in uniform at a ‘Native and Colonial’-themed costume party.
Using cocaine at 17 and smoking cannabis at Eton
Harry says he was offered a series of cocaine in someone’s house when he was 17 and admits to having used the drug on several other occasions, although he didn’t enjoy it.
He writes, “It wasn’t a lot of fun and didn’t make me particularly happy like everyone else seemed to, but it made me feel different and that was my main goal.
“I was a 17-year-old boy willing to try anything that would change the pre-established order.”
He also says he smoked cannabis in a bathroom at Eton College as a pupil when the Thames Valley Police officers who served as his bodyguards were patrolling the outside of the building.
William didn’t like having Harry at Eton
“You don’t know me, Harold. And I don’t know you,” Harry claims William told him when he was about to start school at Eton College.
Harry says his brother explained to him “that Eton was a haven for his first two years there”.
“It was without the burden of a little brother pestering him with questions or poking his nose into his social circle,” says Harry.
He says he told William not to worry. “I will forget that I know you,” he is said to have said to his brother.
25 Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan
While serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan in 2012-13, Harry said he participated in six missions, all of which involved fatalities but considered them justifiable.
“It wasn’t a statistic that made me proud, but it didn’t make me feel ashamed either,” he writes. “When I saw myself thrown into the heat and confusion of battle, I didn’t think of these 25 as human beings. They were pawns removed from the board, bad people eliminated before they could kill good people.”
Image source, PA MediaCaption,
Prince Harry in Afghanistan in 2012
William suggested a village band for Harry and Meghan’s wedding
Harry claims the royal household has been mulling over the date and place for his wedding to Meghan.
He says that when he questioned his brother about the possibility of getting married at Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral, William said it was not possible because they were the locations for the weddings of Charles and Diana and William and Catherine respectively had been.
William instead suggested a village chapel near her father’s Highgrove House in the Cotswolds, Harry says.
Harry and Meghan were married at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
“Frightening” panic attacks before public appearances
“At the end of the summer of 2013 I went through a bad moment, alternating between bouts of debilitating lethargy and horrible panic attacks,” Harry writes in his memoir.
Describing his duties at the time, from giving speeches to giving interviews, Harry said he was “unable to perform those basic functions”.
Just before speaking, his body was drenched in sweat and putting on the suit was what triggered the panic, he says.
“By the time I put on my blazer and tied my shoes, sweat was pouring down my cheeks and back.”