In his much-anticipated autobiography, “Spare,” Prince Harry talks about what he says was a violent attack by his brother, Prince William, who is now the Prince of Wales. Their relationship had gotten worse after Prince Harry married actress Meghan Markle.
In an argument that happened in 2019 at Harry’s home in London, he says that William called Meghan “difficult,” “rude,” and “abrasive.” Harry says that William was just “repeating the journalistic story” about his American wife.
The argument escalated until William “grabbed me by the collar, ripped my necklace, and… knocked me to the floor,” according to Harry.
This strange situation, which Harry says gave him noticeable back pain, is just one of many in “Spare,” which will be released around the world next week and is likely to cause a big stir in the British royal family.
The Guardian secured a copy despite the book’s tight pre-launch protection.
The title of the book derives from an ancient proverb in royal and aristocratic circles: a firstborn son is an heir to titles, power, and riches, and a second is therefore a backup in case the firstborn dies.
Spare is a great book, and the fight between the two princes is a striking sequence.
William wanted to talk about “the whole rolling calamity” of their relationship and their troubles with the press, according to Harry. But when William arrived at Nottingham Cottage, known as “Nott Cott” on the grounds of Kensington Palace, where Harry was staying, he was already “piping hot,” according to Harry.
Harry says that after William complained about Meghan, he reminded him that he was repeating the news narrative and that he expected better. But, according to Harry, William was not being sensible, which resulted in the two men yelling at one another.
Harry then accused his younger brother of acting like an heir, unable to see why his younger brother would not be willing to be a spare.
Insults were hurled before William stated he was attempting to assist.
“Are you serious?” Harry asked. Can you assist me? I’m sorry, is that what you call it? “Can you assist me?”
That reply, according to Harry, enraged his brother, who swore as he approached him. Harry recalls that he walked to the kitchen, terrified, with his enraged brother following.
“Willy, I can’t speak to you when you’re like this,” Harry writes, handing his brother a glass of water.
“He laid down the drink, called me another name, and then came at me,” he writes. It all occurred so quickly. So quickly. He grabbed my collar, ripped my necklace, and threw me to the ground. I landed on the dog’s dish, which broke beneath my back and slashed into me. I lay there disoriented for a time before getting to my feet and telling him to go.
William pushed Harry to fight back, referencing conflicts they had as youngsters. According to Harry, he declined. William went, Harry recalls, then returned “looking remorseful, and apologized”.
When William went again, he “turned and yelled back: ‘You don’t need to tell Meg about this,'” his brother wrote.
“Do you mean you attacked me?”
“‘I did not assault you, Harold.'”
Harry claims he did not immediately inform his wife but did contact his therapist.
When Meghan subsequently observed “scrapes and bruises” on his back and he consequently told her of the incident, Harry claims she “wasn’t that astonished and wasn’t all that upset.”
“She was quite depressed.”
The unifying theme of Harry’s book is his resentment of being the “spare,” which runs through chapters on his childhood, schooling, career as a royal and in the British army, relationships with his parents and brother, and life with Meghan through courtship, wedding, and marriage to their own experience of parenthood.
Early on, Harry tells the story of his father, now King Charles, allegedly saying to his wife, Princess Diana, on the day Harry was born: “Wonderful! “My task is done now that you’ve given me an heir and a spare.”
Whether recalling his recollections and feelings for Diana, who died in a car accident in Paris in August 1997, or his feelings for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died last year, Harry is unflinching in his portrayal of extremely intimate situations and discussions.
Harry and Meghan first met in 2016. In 2018, they married at Windsor Castle. They began as working royals as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but rapidly drifted off from the family and finally went on a largely independent existence, going to Canada and then California.
Their painful departure from the royal family has been the subject of nonstop news coverage, some of which they have directed. In 2021, they did a famous interview with Oprah Winfrey that caused a lot of controversies on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world.
In Harry’s book, he talks about everything from that interview and a new Netflix documentary, like Meghan’s miscarriage and suicidal thoughts, to rumors of racism in the royal family.
The book has been promoted, and two interviews with Harry will air this weekend on ITV1 and ITVX, as well as CBS 60 Minutes. Both interviews are eagerly anticipated, with previews and teasers being published as news while speculation about what Harry would say in his book continues.
In an ITV interview, Harry stated, “I would want to have my father back, and I would like to have my brother back.”
Given the specifics in his book, it may not appear to be the case. Indeed, one of Harry’s most salient discoveries about private talks between senior royals occurs right at the beginning of his book.
In April 2021, Harry recalls an agonizing meeting with Charles and William following the death of the queen’s husband, Prince Phillip, at Windsor Castle.
“Looking up at our hot cheeks,” he claims Charles stood between his fighting sons.
“Please, lads,” his father says, according to Harry. “Don’t make my last year miserable.”