Prince Harry: For the Palace, 'Truth Didn't Matter'

He describes falsities, Charles planting unflattering stories about his sons
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2023 7:35 AM CST
Prince Harry: For the Palace, 'Truth Didn't Matter'
Copies of the new book by Prince Harry called "Spare" are displayed at a book store in London, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Then-Prince Charles awoke his 12-year-old son to tell him his mother had died in a car crash—but he didn't hug him. "He wasn't great at showing emotions under normal circumstances. How could he be expected to show them in such a crisis?" Prince Harry writes in his memoir Spare, released Tuesday after much leaking, per British Vogue. Charles did try to assure his son that all was "going to be OK," per USA Today. But "with nothing to do but roam in the castle and talk to myself, a suspicion took hold, which then became a firm belief. This was all a trick," Harry writes. "Her life's been miserable, she's been hounded, harassed, lied about, lied to. So she's staged an accident as a diversion and run away." More on this and family tensions:

  • Acceptance: Harry finally came to accept his mother's death years later, but learned his brother William had at one time shared the same doubts. The brothers then planned to call for a renewed investigation into Diana's death but "we were talked out of it by the powers that be," Harry writes.
  • Jokes about Harry's parentage: "Who knows if I'm really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I'm even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!" Charles liked to joke, according to the book. Harry writes that it was an "unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then that my actual father was one of Mummy's former lovers: Major James Hewitt," per CNN.
  • Sibling rivalry: William "cared less about finding his purpose or passion than about winning his lifelong competition with me," Harry writes. He gives several examples, including the time he called William with his idea for the Invictus Games, expecting his brother to be thrilled. But "he was sorely irritated," Harry writes. "He wished I'd run all this by him first."

  • Harry didn't give William the ring: The palace's account of Harry giving William the engagement ring that he gave to Kate Middleton, which formerly belonged to Princess Diana, was "absolute rubbish," Harry writes, per USA Today. Harry notes William had "asked for it after Mummy died, and I'd been more than happy to let it go." Harry also reveals the palace falsely claimed Harry was William's best man—and vice versa.
  • Charles' envy: "Many times" Charles and Camilla "openly scolded" William about him and Kate "drawing attention away from them," Harry writes. He adds the brothers later came up with "proof" showing their father was "selling us out" to the press. Though he promised not to, Harry writes that William would later use the same strategy against him.
  • Kate and Meghan: Describing tensions between the two couples, Harry describes a time Kate demanded an apology from Meghan for having mentioned her hormones in the lead up to Harry and Meghan's wedding. When Kate forgot something, Meghan said, "It's not a big deal, it's baby brain. Because you'd just had a baby. It's hormones," Harry writes. He describes another time Kate "grimaced" as Meghan borrowed her lip gloss.

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  • A contrast: While William and Kate lived in a beautifully renovated Kensington Palace residence, which looked "like a museum," Harry and Meghan were living nearby at Nottingham Cottage with IKEA lamps and a second-hand couch purchased with Meghan's credit card on, Harry writes, per Harpers Bazaar, adding that they did the painting themselves.
  • Palace communications: "Truth didn't matter. Keeping people tuned to the show, that was the thing," Harry writes, noting the official announcement that Meghan had gone into labor was issued two hours after Archie was born. A woman on the communications team "explained that the press must be given the dramatic, suspenseful story they demanded," Harry adds.
  • Countering the narrative: When Harry put out a statement condemning press attacks on Meghan, Charles and William were "furious" and complained it "made them look bad … because they'd never put out a statement for their girlfriends or wives when they were being harassed," Harry writes, per USA Today.
  • His breakup with Chelsy Davy: Harry writes that several ex-girlfriends complained about intense paparazzi attention, and Chelsy Davy found someone had put a tracking device on her car. "Chels said again that she just wasn't sure if she was up for this," Harry writes. "A lifetime of being stalked? What could I say? I'd miss her, so much. But I completely understood her desire for freedom. If I had a choice, I wouldn't want this life either."
(More Prince Harry stories.)

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