Prince Harry has been more vocal about his royal family’s affairs in recent times, especially after his quitting his royal duties in 2020. He has been attracting raging eyes and all sorts of criticism since the release of his and his wife’s docuseries, Harry & Meghan, which talked about flaws of the royal institution, and anecdotes that show the dark side of British royalty.
Sparking controversies since then, he has again come in the news for his much-sensational autobiography ‘Spare’. Where his docuseries talked more about his family, the book is a peek into his own story.
Prince Harry’s Sunday interview, to promote his upcoming book, with British ITV’s Tom Bradby is a tell-all memoir in which he spoke more openly than before on the Royal family’s affairs. Harry read some excerpts from the book during the interview. Below are some topics he touched upon during his interview.
On the book, Spare
Harry told Britain’s ITV channel he had endured “38 years… of intentional spin and distortion”.He said he had “no intention” of harming anyone in his family by releasing the book.
But he needed to speak out as “certain members have decided to get in bed with the devil to rehabilitate their image”, at his and his family’s expense.
On Camilla, his stepmother
In his memoir in the book, Harry mentioned that his interests had been “sacrificed” to Camilla’s “PR altar”.
When asked if he was “pretty consistently scathing” regarding his stepmother and the press, Harry replied: “Scathing? There’s no part of any of the things that I’ve said are scathing towards any member of my family, especially not my stepmother. There are things that have happened that have been incredibly hurtful, some in the past, some current.”
He calls her “the villain” and “the third person in their marriage”. He explained that she was required to rehabilitate her image.
Asked about her marriage with their father the then Prince Charles, Harry told that he and his brother never thought that it would be “necessary”. “We thought that it was gonna cause more harm than good and that if he was now with his person, that– surely that’s enough. We wanted him to be happy. And we saw how happy he was with her. So, at the time, it was, “Ok.””
On his brother William
But it does give a full picture of the situation as we were growing up, and also squashes this idea that somehow my wife was the one that destroyed the relationship between these two brothers. Both of them were in the same school, high school but william told him to pretend that they dont know each other which hit harry personally. Harry also said that they dealt with the grief of their mother’s death in two different ways”.
He explained how difficult it was for him to talk about their mother’s death with his brother as he “didn’t know how to talk about it with anyone”. He said, “ I never ever thought that maybe talking about it with my brother or with anybody else at that point would be therapeutic.”
On his mother’s death
Harry and William were on a vacation in Scotland with their father when Harry got the news of his mother, Diana’s, death. While talking about the painful incident he said that he did not get teary-eyed as he “was in shock”. “You know? Twelve years old, sort of 7:00– 7:30 in the morning early. Your father comes in, sits on your bed, puts his hand on your knee and tells you “There’s been an accident.” I– I couldn’t believe.”
He also revealed in the interview about the next few days post his mother’s death that “nothing was okay for a long time”. He said that his father King Charles did not show any emotions but only said that everything will be okay. He told in the interview that he never believed in his teenage days that his mother was actually gone and he hoped everyday in the morning that maybe she would reappear.
On his military career
Harry said that his military career with the British Army and especially his mission in Afghanistan gave him normalcy and he found a purpose for him. He said, “My military career saved me in many regards.”
He recalled how his mother’s death changed everything for him. He could never recover from the grief for a long time and was in adrenaline and that has been since he knew about his mother’s death.
When asked about the war in Afghanistan he said, “The war for me unknowingly was when my mum died.” Harry had always criticized the British media for its part in his mother’s death. He said that he was not fighting a war against an enemy but himself and was frustrated over the media.
Harry admits his heavy drinking and drug addiction
“It was obvious to us as kids the British press’ part in our mother’s misery and I had a lot of anger inside of me that luckily, I never expressed to anybody. But I resorted to drinking heavily. Because I wanted to numb the feeling, or I wanted to distract myself from how… whatever I was thinking. And I would, you know, resort to drugs as well, “ he told ITV.
Harry said that he smoked pot and used cocaine. He writes in Spare that in his late 20s he felt “hopeless” and “lost.”
He admits that he could not cry for many years as “there was this weight on his chest” of his mother’s death. He resorted to many ways in a desperate attempt to lift off that weight so he could cry, but he could not.
He mentioned in his book the drugs he used to take like psychedelics, Ayahuasca, psilocybin, and mushrooms. He reasons that they “cleared the windscreen, the windshield the misery of loss. They cleared away this idea that I had in my head that– that my mother, that I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her. When in fact, all she wanted was for me to be happy.”
Harry wrote in his book that even before he introduced Meghan Markle to his family in 2016, she was seen as skeptical and stereotyped. His father was okay with her but William was skeptical and thought of her as “an American actress.” he blamed the media for feeding on some facts to make news sensational like she was American, an actress, divorced, Black, biracial with a Black mother.
He told Tom Bradby that these were the reasons for his family’s mistrust and that his family held “judgment based on a stereotype”. “And a large part of it for the family, but also the British press and numerous other people is, like, “He’s changed. She must be a witch. He’s changed.”
He called the British comments, “the racial undertones of comment pieces.”
“They felt as though it made them look bad. They felt as though they didn’t have a chance or weren’t able to do that for their partners. What Meghan had to go through was similar in some part to what Kate and what Camilla went through, very different circumstances. But then you add in the race element, which was what the press– British press jumped on straight away. I went into this incredibly naïve. I had no idea the British press were so bigoted. Hell, I was probably bigoted before.”