Prince Harry’s memoirs are making headlines before they even hit the market. Allegations against the royal family are made public via the British media. The palace is silent.
One bad word too many, a push from William – and Prince Harry is on the ground, injured by shards of a broken dog bowl. At least that’s how the royal describes, according to a report, in his memoirs what is probably the most violent dispute known to date between him and the man, who is not only his brother, but also the heir to the British throne.
The “Guardian” and other British media already secured copies of the book, which is actually still top secret, on Thursday – and give a first insight into the abysses of the approaching royal escalation. Harry’s autobiography “Spare” (German: “Reserve”) is scheduled for release on January 10th.
“It all happened so quickly, very quickly, he grabbed my collar, tore my chain and threw me to the ground,” the Guardian quotes Harry’s description of the argument more than three years ago. Prince William is said to have previously described Harry’s wife Meghan as “difficult” and “rude”, after which Harry accused his brother of adopting the narrative of the British tabloids.
The Sun and Daily Mail later reported a passage in which Harry said he and William had pleaded with Charles decades ago not to marry his partner Camilla – now Queen Camilla. The palace initially did not comment on any of this.
“Never complain, never explain”
It is questionable whether the royal family can continue to uphold its motto “Never complain, never explain”. It seems certain that Harry will be much harder on his family in his autobiography than in the Netflix docuseries “Harry & Meghan”, which was released before Christmas. In it, the couple recounts their exit from the royal family, but above all they go to court with the British tabloids.
This time the peace in the family, which at least superficially seemed to have been restored after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, is likely to collapse. “Time may heal wounds, but it’s hard to see how the brothers are going to recover and rebuild trust when one of them wants to share the rift very publicly with the rest of the world,” Sky News commented.
The fact that the difficult relationship between the brothers also puts a strain on the family is explicitly mentioned in Harry’s book. At a meeting after Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021, Charles – then heir to the throne – is said to have asked his sons: “Please boys, don’t make my last years miserable,” Harry recalled, according to the Guardian.
A secrecy operation is currently underway for “Spare”, which has been compared to that of the Harry Potter series, but apparently went wrong: According to British media, the prince’s book was accidentally sold in Spain on Thursday. British news channel Sky News reported that the books were available in the windows of a major bookstore chain in Spain “and then hastily removed after the error was discovered”. Many British media secured a copy in good time.
Hour after hour, they reported new revelations that Harry processed in his autobiography: At 17 he took cocaine. He was offered the drug on a hunting weekend, after which he used coke more often, he wrote to Sky News. “It wasn’t very fun or made me particularly happy like some people do, but it made me feel different and that was my main goal. To feel. To be different,” Harry wrote. He was a teenager who wanted to rebel against the establishment – at least that’s how he explained it to himself.
Even before the book has unfolded its full impact, the author seems to be trying to limit the damage at the same time. “The door is always open,” Harry says in a teaser for an ITV interview the British broadcaster plans to air on Sunday. He hopes his family is willing to sit down and talk about everything.
When asked if he wanted to attend his father’s coronation in May, the 38-year-old replied evasively: “A lot can happen by then.” However, in the same interview, Harry also reveals that he wishes William and his father “back”. The ball is now in the playing field of the palace.
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