All the explosive revelations and claims from Harry’s tell-all memoir Spare

The Duke has claimed William physically attacked him and revealed the brothers call each other Willy and Harold

Laura Elston
Friday 05 May 2023 13:26 BST
Spare: Revelations from Prince Harry's book

Prince Harry released a neverending wave of allegations and revelations about the royal family when he debuted his tell-all memoir, Spare, in January.

The book covers a wide range of subjects from his fractious relationship with his brother Prince William to the struggles after his mother Diana’s death in 1997.

His sex life, drug use and time served in the army are also covered in a memoir that goes into uncomfortable levels of detail.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment about any of the contents of the book at the time of its release.

Here are the claims and revelations made in the book:

The scale of the brothers’ split is detailed in the tell-all book (AP)

Harry claimed William physically attacked him

Harry wrote: “(William) called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor.

“I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.”

Prince Harry has also spoken of the “red mist” that came over his brother during this altercation.

Harry told ITV’s Tom Bradby: “What was different here was the level of frustration, and I talk about the red mist that I had for so many years, and I saw this red mist in him.”

The Duke claimed William urged him to hit back, citing fights they had as children, but Harry refused and his brother left before returning, looking regretful and apologising.

Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry, has launched her long-awaited podcast (AFP via Getty Images)

William’s ‘harsh words for Meghan’

The alleged altercation took place at Harry’s then home in Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace, when William is said to have called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”.

Harry told him he was parroting the press narrative about his wife.

The duke claimed William told him he did not need to tell Meghan about the confrontation.

Harry wrote that he told his therapist first and his wife later after she noticed the scrapes and bruises on his back. “She was terribly sad,” he said.

Brothers’ nicknames revealed

William and Harry’s nicknames for each other were revealed in the Duke’s account of the alleged altercation.

Harry wrote that he gave his brother a glass of water and said: “Willy, I can’t speak to you when you’re like this.

William told him “I didn’t attack you, Harold.”

King Charles is said to be saddened by the split between his children (Getty Images)

Charles’ plea to his feuding sons

The princes’ father is said to have urged them to stop fighting at Windsor after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

In a tense meeting, a grieving Charles told his sons: “Please, boys. Don’t make my final years a misery,” Harry claims.

Harry made headlines 18 years ago with his fancy dress outfit (AFP/Getty)

Harry claims William and Kate encouraged him to wear Nazi uniform

Harry sparked outrage in 2005 when he wore a Nazi uniform complete with a swastika armband to a fancy dress party.

But in the book, he claims he phoned William and Kate to ask them whether he should choose a pilot’s uniform or a Nazi one for the fancy dress party.

He says the couple urged him to wear the latter, and both howled with laughter when he went home and tried it on for them.

Charles’s delight at Diana giving birth to a “spare”

The title of the book refers to the idea of an “heir and a spare” – one sibling in line for the throne, with the other a “back up”.

Harry claimed that, after he was born, his father told the Princess of Wales his arrival was wonderful but now she had given him an heir and a spare ‘his work was done’.

Charles, Diana and Harry after his birth in 1984 (AP1984)

Meghan upset Kate over ‘baby brain’ comment

Harry claimed that Meghan upset Kate, who had recently given birth, by telling her that she must have “baby brain” during a phone call in the run up to the Sussexes’ wedding in 2018.

Harry said his wife apologised but claims William “pointed a finger” at her, saying: “Well, it’s rude, Meghan. These things are not done here.”

The American actor is said to have replied: “If you don’t mind, keep your finger out of my face.”

Harry reveals moment he learned of Diana’s death

The prince covers the tragic loss of his mother in a car crash in Paris in 1997, including the moment he found out when he was just 12 years old.

Harry wrote that Charles sat on the end of his bed at Balmoral Castle and told him: “My dear son, mum has had a car accident.”

The duke also claimed his father did not hug him and he later “felt like a politician” as he greeted members of the public in the wake of her death.

Harry lost his mother when he was 12 years-old (PA Archive)

Harry says he killed 25 people in Afghanistan

The duke has faced backlash after writing about his time in Afghanistan in his memoir.

Harry wrote that flying six missions during his second tour of duty on the front line in 2012 to 2013 resulted in “the taking of human lives”, of which he was neither proud nor ashamed.

“So, my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” he wrote.

The Duke of Sussex said the killings were like “chess pieces removed from the board,” penning that bad people” were “eliminated before they could kill Good people.”

Servicemen and critics have claimed that the comments have risked his security and made him a target.

Harry, or Captain Wales as he was known in the Army, on a tour of duty in Afghanistan

Harry admits illegal drug use

Prince Harry admits to taking cocaine in the book, writing that “at someone’s house, during a hunting weekend, I was offered a line, and since then I had consumed some more.

“It wasn’t very fun, and it didn’t make me feel especially happy as seemed to happen to others, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main objective. To feel. To be different.”

He also said he smoked weed and took magic mushrooms.

Woman ‘passed on message’ from Princess Diana

The Prince also tells of visiting a woman “with powers” to reach his late mother, Princess Diana. Whilst Harry recognised the “high-percentage chance of humbuggery”, he ultimately decided to meet the woman because she was recommended by friends.

“You’re living the life she couldn’t,” Harry says he was told. “You’re living the life she wanted for you.”

Harry wanted further investigation into mother’s death

The brothers were dissuaded from requesting that the investigation into their mother’s death be reopened, Harry wrote.

“Especially the summary conclusion, that our mother’s driver was drunk and, as a result, that was the only cause of the accident,” the Duke of Sussex wrote. “It was simplistic and absurd.

“Even if the man had been drinking, even if he had been drunk, he wouldn’t have had any problem driving through such a short tunnel. Unless paparazzi were following him and dazzled him.”

Queen Elizabeth II died in 2022 (PA Wire)

His last words to the Queen on her deathbed

The Duke of Sussex has revealed the words he said to the Queen on her deathbed at Balmoral last year.

Harry described how he whispered to her that he “hoped she was happy” and would be reunited with her husband Philip, who died in April 2021.

The prince flew up to Scotland on September 8 after Buckingham Palace announced that she was gravely ill but he reached Balmoral after she died aged 96.

Breaking silence rumours about his ‘real’ father

Harry finally addressed a longstanding rumour that a man who had an affair with his mother is his real father.

“The rumour going around at the time that my real father was one of my mother’s ex-lovers: Major James Hewitt”, Prince Harry writes. “One cause of the rumour was Major Hewitt’s red hair, but another was sadism.

“Tabloid readers loved the idea that Prince Charles’s youngest son was not Prince Charles’s son. They never got tired of that ‘joke’, for some reason”, he remarked, feeling that the rumour was used to “humiliate him”.

James Hewitt had an affair with Diana in the 1980s (Getty Images)

Googling Meghan’s sex scenes

Though he admitted to looking up his now-wife Meghan Markle’s sex scenes in Suits during the early days of their relationship, Prince Harry said this was a “mistake.”

“I’d witnessed her and a castmate mauling each other in some sort of office or conference room,” he writes. “I didn’t need to see such things live.”

Chauffeur drove Harry through the Paris tunnel

The Duke of Sussex said he asked his chauffeur to drive him through the tunnel in Paris where his mother was killed.

He was attending the 2007 Rugby World Cup semi-final at the time.

“The World Cup provided me with a driver, and on my first night in the City of Light I asked him if he knew the tunnel where my mother…” he writes.

“I watched his eyes in the rearview, growing large. The tunnel is called Pont de l’Alma, I told him. Yes, yes. He knew it.”

Harry and Meghan left the royals for a new life in the new US (REUTERS)

Harry says he was ‘probably a bigot’ before meeting Meghan

Harry admitted that he was “probably a bigot” before he met his wife.

Questioned by host Anderson Cooper, he responded: “Put it this way, I didn’t see what I now see.”

“I went into this incredibly naive. I had no idea the British press were so bigoted. Hell, I was probably bigoted before the relationship with Meghan”, he added.

Prince Harry addresses Prince Andrew scandal

According to US Weekly, the Duke of Sussex wrote that he “never imagined” he’d lose palace security after his uncle was permitted to retain it.

In January 2022, Andrew was stripped of his royal title after he was accused of sexual assault by one of Epstein’s trafficking victims, Virginia Guiffre. He has said he had no recollection of ever meeting Giuffre and vehemently denied Giuffre’s allegation.

In his book, Harry reportedly wrote that Meghan worried their family would be left unprotected after they moved to Montecito, California, and he reassured her, saying: “Never. Not in this climate of hate. Not after what happened to my mother [Princess Diana]. Also, not in the wake of my Uncle Andrew.”

“He was embroiled in a shameful scandal, accused of the sexual assault of a young woman and no one had so much suggested that he lose his security. Whatever grievances people had against us, sex crimes weren’t on the list,” he reportedly writes.

Kate ‘made Meghan cry’

Prince Harry elaborates on a claim made by Meghan during the couple’s interview with Oprah that the Princess of Wales made her cry in the lead-up to their wedding.

Harry said he arrived home before the wedding to discover Meghan crying on the floor following an argument with Kate.

He said the pair had disagreed over the size of Princess Charlotte’s flower girl dress, which Kate had wanted Meghan to sort out while she was dealing with the news of her father not attending the wedding.

The prince corroborated Meghan’s claim that the following day Kate came over with flowers and an apology card.

Harry claims his role in William’s wedding was a ‘bare-faced lie’

Prince Harry is claimed to have called his role as best man at Prince William’s wedding a “bare-faced lie”.

In one part of his memoir, Harry reportedly wrote that he was forced to go along with the “bare-faced lie” that he was William’s best man at his wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011.

According to reports by MailOnline and The Mirror, Harry claimed he was made to “act out” the role at the royal wedding to spare scrutiny into the lives of his brother’s two closest friends James Meade and Thomas Van Straubenzee.

King Charles ‘jealous of attention received by William and Kate’

Prince Harry has claimed that his father was jealous of the amount of public attention Prince William and Princess Kate received.

In one translated extract of Harry’s upcoming book in the Daily Telegraph, Harry claims: “Willy did everything he [Charles] wanted, and sometimes he didn’t want him to do much, because my dad and Camilla didn’t like Willy and Kate getting too much publicity.”

One example he reportedly provides as apparent evidence involved the King’s staff making sure the then-Duchess of Cambridge was not photographed holding a tennis racket at a public engagement as “that kind of photo would have pushed Dad and Camilla off every front page”.

“And that couldn’t be tolerated under any circumstances,” Harry adds.

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