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Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: Biggest Bombshells About King ...

Prince Harrys Spare Memoir Biggest Bombshells About King
Prince Harry didn't hold back when discussing his father, King Charles III, in his new memoir, 'Spare' — his biggest bombshells

A fraught father-and-son dynamic. Prince Harry didn’t hold back when discussing his relationship with his dad, King Charles III, in his new memoir, Spare, which hits shelves on Tuesday, January 10.

The Duke of Sussex, 38, refers to his father, 74, as “Pa” throughout the book while recounting some of their tenser moments over the years. At one point, the Invictus Games founder recounts a joke his dad made about not being Harry’s real father, which came amid rumors that the prince’s biological dad was Princess Diana‘s former lover Major James Hewitt.

“‘Who knows if I’m even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!'” Harry recalled his father saying in an excerpt from Spare obtained by Us Weekly. “He’d laugh and laugh, though it was a remarkably unfunny joke.”

Elsewhere in the memoir, the BetterUp CIO accused his dad of cooperating with the media on news items about him and his brother, Prince William. The Prince of Wales, 40, was particularly “upset” in 2019 when he called Harry to discuss how someone on Charles and Queen Camilla‘s communications team was planting stories about William, Princess Kate and their children Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.

“He was seething actually,” Harry wrote of his brother, noting that Charles and Camilla, 75, weren’t “technically” responsible for the leaks. “It was the most gung-ho member of Pa’s comms teams, a true believer who’d devised and launched a new campaign of getting good press for Pa and Camilla at the expense of bad press for us.”

Last month, the former military pilot accused his father of similar behavior in his Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst graduate hinted that someone on Charles’ team leaked news of his and Meghan Markle‘s plans to leave the U.K. before the couple’s plans were made public.

“It became clear that the institution leaked the fact that we were going to be moving back to Canada,” Harry said, referring to the period in late 2019 when he and Meghan, 41, were figuring out their next steps. “And the key piece of that story that made me aware that the contents of the letter between me and my father had been leaked was that we were willing to relinquish our Sussex titles. That was the giveaway.”

The couple ultimately announced their decision to step down as senior working royals in January 2020, making their final official appearance two months later. The following year, they opened up about their issues with the royal family for the first time in a tell-all interview with CBS that aired in March 2021.

At the time, Harry claimed that his father had stopped taking his calls. “It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something, for my own mental health and my wife’s,” he said.

Keep scrolling for Harry’s biggest bombshell revelations about Charles in Spare:

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Geoff Pugh/Shutterstock/Wigglesworth/AP/Shutterstock

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Bombshell Revelations About King Charles III

A fraught father-and-son dynamic. Prince Harry didn't hold back when discussing his relationship with his dad, King Charles III, in his new memoir, Spare, which hits shelves on Tuesday, January 10. The Duke of Sussex, 38, refers to his father, 74, as "Pa" throughout the book while recounting some of their tenser moments over the years. At one point, the Invictus Games founder recounts a joke his dad made about not being Harry's real father, which came amid rumors that the prince's biological dad was Princess Diana's former lover Major James Hewitt. "'Who knows if I’m even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!'" Harry recalled his father saying in an excerpt from Spare obtained by Us Weekly. "He’d laugh and laugh, though it was a remarkably unfunny joke." Elsewhere in the memoir, the BetterUp CIO accused his dad of cooperating with the media on news items about him and his brother, Prince William. The Prince of Wales, 40, was particularly "upset" in 2019 when he called Harry to discuss how someone on Charles and Queen Camilla's communications team was planting stories about William, Princess Kate and their children Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4. [jwplayer rd8YItd5-zhNYySv2] "He was seething actually," Harry wrote of his brother, noting that Charles and Camilla, 75, weren't "technically" responsible for the leaks. "It was the most gung-ho member of Pa's comms teams, a true believer who'd devised and launched a new campaign of getting good press for Pa and Camilla at the expense of bad press for us." Last month, the former military pilot accused his father of similar behavior in his Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst graduate hinted that someone on Charles' team leaked news of his and Meghan Markle's plans to leave the U.K. before the couple's plans were made public. “It became clear that the institution leaked the fact that we were going to be moving back to Canada," Harry said, referring to the period in late 2019 when he and Meghan, 41, were figuring out their next steps. "And the key piece of that story that made me aware that the contents of the letter between me and my father had been leaked was that we were willing to relinquish our Sussex titles. That was the giveaway." The couple ultimately announced their decision to step down as senior working royals in January 2020, making their final official appearance two months later. The following year, they opened up about their issues with the royal family for the first time in a tell-all interview with CBS that aired in March 2021. At the time, Harry claimed that his father had stopped taking his calls. "It's really sad that it's gotten to this point, but I've got to do something, for my own mental health and my wife's," he said. Keep scrolling for Harry's biggest bombshell revelations about Charles in Spare:

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

A Tough Conversation About Camilla

Harry claimed that he and William urged their father not to marry Camilla after Diana's 1997 death in a car accident in Paris. “Despite Willy and me urging him not to, Pa was going ahead. We pumped his hand, wished him well. No hard feelings,” Harry wrote. “We recognized that he was finally going to be with the woman he loved, the woman he’d always loved, the woman Fate might’ve intended for him in the first place.”

Charles, who divorced Diana in 1996, wed Camilla in 2005. Harry went on to say that multiple delays in the ceremony made him feel like his mother was “blocking rather than blessing their union” after her death. "Whatever bitterness or sorrow we felt over the closing of another loop in Mummy’s story, we understood that it was besides the point," he added.

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

A 'Remarkably Unfunny' Joke

The Archewell cofounder alleged that his father would sometimes joke about not being Harry's real dad. "'Who knows if I’m really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I’m even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!'" Harry recalled his father saying. “He’d laugh and laugh, though it was a remarkably unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then that my actual father was one of Mummy’s former lovers: Major James Hewitt. One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt’s flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism. Tabloid readers were delighted by the idea that the younger child of Prince Charles wasn’t the child of Prince Charles.”

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

'Not Enough Money' for Meghan

When Harry and Meghan were discussing their future with the royal family, Charles allegedly told Harry there wasn't "enough money to go around" to support the Sussexes. “Pa didn’t financially support Willy and me, and our families, out of any largesse,” Harry wrote. “That was his job. That was the whole deal. We agreed to serve the monarch, go wherever we were sent, do whatever we were told, surrender our autonomy, keep our hands and feet inside the gilded cage at all times, and in exchange the keepers of the cage agreed to feed and clothe us.”

Charles did briefly support the couple with private funds in 2020 after their royal exit, but Harry believed the conflict was never about money in the first place. “Pa might have dreaded the rising cost of maintaining us, but what he really couldn’t stomach was someone new dominating the monarchy, grabbing the limelight, someone shiny and new coming in and overshadowing him,” the U.K. native wrote. “He’d lived through that before, and had no interest in living through it again.”

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Appealing to His Father

When Harry asked his dad for help regarding the U.K. media's treatment of Meghan before their engagement, he claimed that Charles was "unmoved" by his pleas. "I tried a new argument," he wrote. "I reminded Pa that these were the same shoddy bastards who'd been portraying him as a clown all his life, ridiculing him for sounding the alarm about climate change. These were his tormentors, his bullies and now they were tormenting him and bullying his son and his son's girlfriend — did that not inspire his outrage?"

After Harry released a statement condemning the attacks on Meghan, his father — and brother — were not pleased. "Pa and Willy were furious. They gave me an earful," he claimed. "My statement made them look bad, they both said. Why in hell? Because they'd never put out a statement for their girlfriends or wives when they were being harassed."

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Shutterstock/ Jackson/WPA Pool/Shutterstock/ Wigglesworth/AP/Shutterstock

A Conversation Like a 'Duel'

When Harry returned to the U.K. for his grandfather Prince Philip's funeral, he agreed to meet with Charles and William a few hours after the ceremony, but things quickly went south. "Shoulder to shoulder, striding towards me, they looked grim, almost menacing," Harry wrote, describing his father and brother as they approached him for their conversation. "The thought occurred: Hang on, are we meeting for a walk ... or a duel?"

After some "small talk," they "got down to business" about Harry's feelings toward the family. "Pa and Willy had their parts to play, and they'd come ready for a fight," he wrote. "Every time I ventured a new explanation, started a new line of thought, one or both of them would cut me off." Ultimately, both William and Charles told him they didn't understand why he'd decided to leave the U.K., which Harry found "staggering."

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: John Redman/AP/Shutterstock

What Diana Would Have Been Like Without Charles

At one point, Harry admitted he wondered what his mother's life would have been like if she'd never met and married Charles — and might still be alive. "Long before she was Princess Diana, back when she was simply Diana Spencer, kindergarten teacher, secret girlfriend of Prince Charles, my grandfather was her loudest advocate," he wrote. "Some said he actually brokered my parents' marriage. If so, an argument could be made that Grandpa was the Prime Cause in my world. But for him, I wouldn't be here. Neither would my older brother. Then again, maybe our mother would be here."

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Geoff Pugh/Shutterstock

Using the 'Spare' Nickname

The title of the book refers to Harry's nickname, with William being dubbed "the heir" to Harry's "spare." According to Harry, his own father — and occasionally Elizabeth and Philip — would call him "the spare" to his face.

When Harry was 20, he heard a story about what Charles allegedly said to Diana after she gave birth to their second child. "'Wonderful! Now you've given me an Heir and a Spare — my work is done,'" Harry wrote. "A joke. Presumably. On the other hand, minutes after delivering this bit of high comedy, Pa was said to have gone off to meet with his girlfriend. So. Many a true word spoken in jest."

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Times Newspapers/Shutterstock

How Charles Told Him About Diana's Death

In one heartbreaking passage, Harry revealed how his father told him that his mother had died. "[Charles] sat down on the edge of the bed," Harry wrote. "He put a hand on my knee. 'Darling boy, Mummy's been in a car crash.'"

Harry, then 12, recalled feeling hopeful that his mother would undergo treatment and recover, until his dad informed him that she'd already passed. "'I'm afraid she didn't make it,'" he remembered Charles saying. "These phrases remain in my mind like darts in a board. He did say it that way, I know that much for sure. She didn't make it. And then everything seemed to come to a stop. Pa didn't hug me. He wasn't great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis? But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said: 'It's going to be OK.' That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue."

Prince Harry's 'Spare' Memoir: His Biggest Revelations About King Charles III

Credit: Shutterstock

Playing Ball With the Press

Harry claimed that a "spin doctor" working for Charles and Camilla once decided to "play ball" with a tabloid editor who reported that Harry was a drug addict, deciding that the best approach was to "spin me — right under the bus."

The approach was an attempt to "bolster" Charles' reputation, Harry noted. "No more the unfaithful husband, Pa would now be presented to the world as the harried single dad coping with a drug-addled child," he wrote.

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