Prince Harry's book Spare: the leaks, the quotes, the damage

LONDON, 06 Jan. - (ANA) - Prince Harry has accused his brother of knocking him to the floor, according to a leaked extract of his memoir published by The Guardian and cited by The Week.

Days before the Duke of Sussex’s highly anticipated autobiography, Spare, was due to hit the shelves, the newspaper obtained a copy and broke one of its “most shocking stories”, said Vanity Fair.

Then Sky News reported that Spanish copies of the book had mistakenly gone on sale.

Harry allegedly writes about a confrontation in 2019 at Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, sparked by Prince William calling Meghan Markle “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”.

In the copy seen by the newspaper, Harry claims he told William he was “parroting the press narrative” about his wife. William “grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and… knocked me to the floor”, he writes in what the paper calls an “extraordinary scene” that is “likely to spark a serious furore for the British royal family”.

What else do we know about the book?

Publisher Penguin Random House has reportedly spared no expense to prevent leaks of the memoir, with security measures compared “to the release of the Harry Potter series” when “millions” of pounds were spent to ensure no details were revealed before publication day, said The Times.

But that has done little to prevent national newspapers gathering details from insiders. One told The Sun the book would reveal “Harry’s bitterness and feelings of unfairness that by the nature of hierarchy and birthright that he always played second fiddle to older William”.

Another told The Sunday Times that the book will likely be “worse” for the royal family than they are expecting, adding that even Kate Middleton “gets a bit of a broadside”.

“There are these minute details, and a description of the fight between the brothers. I personally can’t see how Harry and William will be able to reconcile after this,” added the source.

And today Spanish copies of the book mistakenly went on sale, said Sky News. The broadcaster, which has also obtained a copy of the book, said Prince Harry calls William his “beloved brother and arch-nemesis”. He admits he took cocaine as a teenager, and that he had visited a woman with “powers” in a bid to contact his late mother, Diana.

The broadcaster says Harry and William asked King Charles not to marry Camilla after their mother died. “Willy and I promised our father that we would welcome Camilla to the family,” writes the prince. “The only thing we asked for in return was that he didn’t marry her.”

It is not just the British media. Page Six reported that Harry will put “some of the blame for his Nazi uniform scandal” on his brother and sister-in-law, claiming they “‘howled with laughter’ when they saw him dressed up for the 2005 party”.

What about the TV interviews?

Prince Harry has taken part in two television interviews ahead of the book’s release, with US TV heavyweight Anderson Cooper and ITV’s Tom Bradby.

The pre-recorded interviews, thought to have been filmed at his home in California, are set to be broadcast on Sunday 8 January, two days before the slated release of his memoir on 10 January.

In his interview with Bradby, the prince speaks of his desire to reconnect with his father and brother. “I would like to get my father back, I would like to have my brother back… they’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile. It never needed to be this way,” he says.

Harry’s interview with Cooper, set to air on CBS, will also reveal how Harry felt he and Meghan were “betrayed” by the royal family, claiming that there were “briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife”. He adds that the royal family’s motto of “never complain, never explain” is just that – a motto – as he suggests Buckingham Palace was responsible for leaking damaging stories to the press.

Why does Harry want to publish his story?

In a statement in July 2021 announcing the planned memoir, Harry said he would be writing “not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become”.

Random House said the book offers “full insights, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief” with “raw, unflinching honesty”.

Readers will be taken back “to one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow – and horror”, the publishers said.

It’s thought that the book will go on to detail the prince’s childhood, his military service in Afghanistan, and his family life, according to Hello!.

The choice of title is “presumably a nod to the phrase that monarchies need an ‘heir and a spare’”, said the BBC’s Sean Coughlan. Harry “will tell his version of his life in that ambiguous territory of the ‘spare’”, he continued – being put under “the spotlight from birth” but “with no defined role”, said Vogue.

What will it mean for the royal family?

“The project has been shrouded in rumors, delays and secrecy,” said The New York Times. But friends of the ghostwriter told the Mail on Sunday “they have no doubt that Harry’s memoir will dig deep and contain bombshells”.

It’s “expected to take aim at members of the royal family, as well as the institution [of the monarchy] as a whole”, said The Telegraph. Harry’s family have not seen the manuscript, or been given an opportunity to address claims made by the book through their lawyers, the newspaper continued.

Publishing sources told The New York Times that the prince “has gotten cold feet about the memoir’s contents at various points”.

The Mail on Sunday reported that the duke pushed for “significant” last-minute alterations to avoid a public backlash following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.

A source told The Telegraph that these reports were “overblown”, but “any attacks” that the book makes on members of the royal family “could strike many readers as unseemly”, said The New York Times.

As preparations for King Charles’s coronation get underway, Harry’s relationship with his father and step-mother Camilla “is likely to come under the microscope”, said the Mail on Sunday.   - (ANA) -

AB/ANA/06 January 2023 - - -