LONDON — Prince Harry, the memoirist and estranged son of the House of Windsor, launched a full broadside against Buckingham Palace on Sunday and Monday, appearing in more interviews to promote his new book, “Spare,” claiming his family, especially his stepmother, Camilla, now the Queen Consort, is actively feeding negative stories to the press about him and his wife, Meghan.
Harry said he is often asked in America, his new home, “How could you ever forgive your family for what they’ve done?”
In Britain, the royal family may ask the same about Harry, who has broken the fourth wall of the royal soap opera and named the names of those he says have leaked against him, including his father, King Charles III and his wife Camilla, and his brother Prince William and his wife Catherine — and their PR teams.
The family treated press coverage as a zero-sum game, Harry said, and dumped it on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex because it feared being outshined. Harry accused his family of “getting into bed with the devil,” meaning the royal reporters and tabloid newspapers.
The 38-year-old prince offered up what the British news special called “unprecedented detail on life in and outside the royal family,” in an exclusive interview with broadcaster Tom Bradby, on ITV in Britain.
Repeatedly, Harry railed against his brother and father, who, he alleged, essentially forced him and Meghan away.
“At the moment I don’t recognize them, as they don’t recognize me,” said Harry.
Harry said he loved his brother, the heir to the throne, but that William was always competitive, often against him, in “a sibling rivalry” that continues today.
“I don’t think my father or brother will read the book,” Harry said, nor watching his TV interviews.
The royal family has continued to decline to comment on any of this.
At one point, Harry was asked by Bradby why he was revealing the most intimate moments of his life and laying so much of the blame at his family’s door, while at the same time complaining about the intrusiveness of the British tabloid press.
Bradby, who said he has been friends with Harry for 20 years, said on camera that Harry was burning his bridges and had deployed a flamethrower against the royal family.
In one exchange, Harry denies that he and Meghan accused the royal family of being racist during their 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, when Meghan said that while she was pregnant with her son, Archie, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born” by family members.
Bradby said to Harry: “In the Oprah interview you accused members of your family of racism …”
“No I didn’t,” Harry replies. “The British press said that … did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist?”
Charles is set for coronation in May. If Harry and Meghan are there, things will probably be awkward.
After the ITV interview aired in Britain, Harry appeared on CBS in America, in an interview with Anderson Cooper for “60 Minutes.”
Alongside further accusations that members of the royal family spoke against Meghan in the British tabloid press, Harry also described the personal trauma of losing his mother, Princess Diana, in a Paris car crash in 1997when he was 12 years old.
He told Cooper that for many years he did not believe she was dead, and woke up each day thinking that she might reappear. “I had huge amounts of hope,” Harry said.
Diana was being hounded by paparazzi on the day of the fatal crash. In his book, Harry wrote: “the last thing Mummy saw on this earth was a flash bulb.”
Harry’s memoir will be published on Tuesday. It follows six hours of the documentary series.Harry & Meghan,” produced by the couple themselves, which aired on Netflix last month.
Last week, the British media got hold of leaked copies of his memoir “Spare,” in Spanish, and have been doling out the highlights.
They include Harry’s claim of killing 25 Taliban fighters; his story about how he lost his virginity in a field behind a pub at age 17; and his account of a kitchen confrontation in 2019 with his older brother, after William called Meghan “difficult,” “rude” and “abrasive.”
The interviews with handpicked talent, Meghan’s podcasts, the Netflix documentary series, and now his memoir are Harry and Meghan’s attempt to seize control of the narrative of their rift with the House of Windsor—and to profit from the same. It’s sparking strong emotions in Britain.
Many Britons claim they have already heard enough. But presales have put Harry’s book, scheduled for an official release Tuesday, at the top of Amazon’s bestsellers,
The Harry-hating tabloids here are going nuts on the story, and social media in Britain is filled with dueling hashtags on the pros and cons of the couple.
The latest polling, conducted by YouGov on Thursday and Friday, continues to find public support for the Sussexes shrinking. Just 23 percent of the British public have a positive view of Meghan, down from 49 percent in 2017, the year of their engagement. Support for Harry is at 26 percent, down from 81 percent in 2017.
The decline is steepest among those over 50 in Britain, who tend to be more supportive overall of the monarchy. Younger people in Britain appear more supportive of Harry and Meghan; more than 40 percent still hold positive views of them.
“It never needed to be this way,” Harry told ITV. “The leaking and the planting.”
The prince said, “I want a family, not an institution.” But, he claimed, his family members “feel as though it’s better to keep us, somehow, as the villains.”
He said, “They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile.”
On Monday, Harry told “Good Morning America” that such a reconciliation would “have a ripple effect across the world.”
He said: “I genuinely believe that, and that’s kind of what is pushing me. And if that doesn’t happen, then that’s very sad.”
Harry claimed that William and his wife never got on with Meghan “from the get-go,” and that they bought into “a stereotype” of her as a divorced, biracial American actress.
In a review of the 90-minute ITV interview, the Guardian newspaper’s Lucy Mangan wrote, the whole show left her with “a great sorrowful weariness: for all that has been done wrong, all that has been lost and how, in the end, how sad and ordinary every little life, however gilded, can be .”
On Tuesday, Harry is scheduled to appear — with a degree more levity, one assumes — on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
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