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Prince Harry explains why he never hugged the Queen

Prince Harry has made many claims about royal family in his newly-released memoir, ‘Spare’

Meredith Clark
New York
Thursday 19 January 2023 15:37 GMT
Related: Prince Harry recounts day Queen Elizabeth died

Prince Harry has drawn sympathy for claiming in his record-breaking book Spare that he was never able to hug his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The Duke of Sussex’s highly-anticipated memoir finally hit shelves on Tuesday, 10 January. Just hours after the autobiography was released, more than 400,000 copies were sold in the UK, making Spare the fastest-selling non-fiction book ever.

The 38-year-old royal has shared many shocking revelations about the royal family in his new book, including an alleged fight between himself and his brother, Prince William; his emotional struggle after the death of his mother, Princess Diana; and the last words he said to Queen Elizabeth after she died in September.

Now, one claim has gained sympathy from Prince Harry fans online after a clip from the Spare audiobook was posted to TikTok.

On Tuesday, TikTok user @sugarnspicey went viral when they shared an excerpt of Spare narrated by Prince Harry, in which he writes about seeing his grandmother enjoying her Golden Jubilee concert in 2002.

“To see her tapping her foot and swaying in time, I wanted to hug her,” he wrote. “But of course I didn’t. Out of the question. I never had done and couldn’t imagine any circumstance under which such an act would be sanctioned.”

Harry went on to describe the moment his mother, Princess Diana, attempted to hug the late British monarch. “There’s a famous story about mummy trying to hug Granny,” he continued. “It was actually more of a lunge than a hug, if eyewitnesses can be believed. Granny swerved to avoid contact, and the whole thing ended very awkwardly with averted eyes and murmured apologies.”

The father of two then wondered whether the queen had ever hugged her own son, now King Charles III. “I wondered, watching Granny rock out to Brian May, if Pa ever tried [to hug her]. Probably not,” he said, before recalling how the Queen offered her son a “firm handshake” after she returned home from a months-long royal tour.

According to Prince Harry, his grandfather, Prince Philip, is no different, writing, “Which may have been more than he ever got from Grandpa. Indeed, Grandpa was so aloof, so busy travelling and working he barely saw Pa for the first several years of his life.”

Prince Harry’s revelation instantly drew sympathy from viewers, with TikTok user @sugarnspicey captioning their post: “This is sad, where is the family love.”

“The lack of physical affection he grew up with makes me SO sad,” another person commented.

“This is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. I wish I didn’t know this. Grandma hugs are one of the best things in life,” said someone else.

Meanwhile, others pointed out how often Harry’s mother Diana was pictured hugging her two sons, before her tragic death in 1997 when he was just 12 years old.

“Diana gave a speech around the divorce, saying the boys would be raised with ‘lots of hugs,’” one person recalled. “SO MUCH DEEPER MEANING in context.”

“I feel like H is just a scared little boy who lost his nurturing mother too soon and wants a normal life and Megan makes him feel safe and loved,” another user commented, while someone else wrote: “I think Harry just wanted his mother he missed being hugged and loved.”

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