In a memoir, Prince Harry says William assaulted him during a rowThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry says his brother William physically assaulted him during a heated argument — one of many startling claims in a new memoir that includes revelations about the estranged royal’s drug use, first sexual encounter and his role in killing people during his military service in Afghanistan.
In a ghost-written memoir titled Spare, Harry said his brother Prince William lashed out during a heated argument about the strained relationship between the siblings. The Associated Press purchased a Spanish-language copy of the book ahead of its publication in 16 languages worldwide on Tuesday.
Harry recounts a 2019 row at his Kensington Palace home in which he says William called Harry’s wife, former actress Meghan Markle, “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”. Harry said William grabbed his brother by the collar and tore off his necklace before knocking him down.
“I landed on the dog’s bowl and it burst under my back, the pieces went into me,” Harry says in the passage first reported by The Guardian.
Harry says he had scrapes and bruises as a result of the collision, for which William later apologised.
The claim is one of many in a book that reveals painful, intimate – and in some cases controversial – details about the lives of Harry and other members of the royal family. The memoirs are the next in a series of public revelations and accusations by Harry and Meghan that have rocked the British royal family.
It includes Harry’s claim that he killed 25 people while serving as co-pilot and gunner on an Apache helicopter in 2012 as part of Britain’s military campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said he felt neither pride nor shame in his actions and, in the heat of battle, viewed enemy combatants as pieces removed from a chessboard.
Harry spent a decade in the British Army – years he described as his happiest because it allowed him some normalcy – before taking up full-time royal duties in 2015.
The book chronicles Harry’s decades of disenchantment with his privileged, circumspect and restricted royal life. In it, he refers to the book’s title, recounting the alleged words of his father, then Prince Charles, to his mother, Princess Diana, on the day of his birth: “Wonderful! Now you have given me a successor and a spare—my work is done.
While William was destined from birth to be king, Harry, who is fifth in line to the throne after his brother and William’s three children, often seems to struggle with the more ambiguous role of ‘back-up’.
In the book, Harry describes his rebellious teenage years. He tells how he lost his virginity – to an older woman in a field behind a pub – and describes how he took cocaine when he was 17.
Neither Buckingham Palace, which represents King Charles III, nor William’s office at Kensington Palace have commented on the allegations.
38-year-old Harry and the American actor married at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Less than two years later, the couple left royal duties and moved to California, citing what they saw as racist media treatment of Meghan, who is biracial, and a lack of support from the palace.
They have since presented their side of the story in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and a a six-part Netflix documentary released last month, which chronicles the couple’s rocky relationship with the UK media and estrangement from the royal family.
In the series, Harry said William shouted at him during a family meeting and accused palace officials of lying to protect his older brother, who is now heir to the throne. Meghan, 41, has opened up about wanting to end her life as she struggles to cope with toxic press coverage.
Harry recorded interviews with several broadcasters in Britain and the United States to promote the book.
In previously released excerpts, Harry told Britain’s ITV that the royal family had described him and Meghan as “villains” and had “shown absolutely no desire to reconcile”. In an interview with CBS, he said the palace’s refusal to protect him and Meghan from attacks was a “betrayal”.
Palace officials declined to comment on any of Meghan and Harry’s allegations.
Since Harry and Meghan split from the royal family in 2020, the couple have started new lives as US-based charities and media personalities.
Harry has spoken of his desire to reconcile with his brother and father, who became King Charles III when Queen Elizabeth II died in September aged 96. The searing revelations in the book will likely make that more difficult.
Asked by ITV’s Tom Bradby if he would play a role in the future of the British monarchy, Harry said: “I don’t know.”
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