Prince Harry’s hit memoir Spare broke records upon its release in January, going on to become the fastest selling non-fiction book in history. The prince’s intimate revelations made headlines around the world and engaged a global readership, despite the contents of the book being leaked to the press prior to publication.
Harry spared himself and his family no blushes in his book, recounting how he lost his virginity and giving his side of a number of royal scandals, such as his 2004 decision to wear a Nazi uniform to a costume party.
Among the royal family members who found their personal lives at the center of Harry’s narrative are King Charles, Queen Camilla, Kate Middleton and Prince William, the latter of whom plays perhaps the most prominent part.
Part of his impetus for writing the book, Harry told 60 Minutes‘ Anderson Cooper, was to dispel the idea that Meghan Markle destroyed the inseparable bond between himself and William, giving a more accurate idea of their relationship than the one the public was shown for many years.
From descriptions of bitter jealousies and explosive arguments, Harry paints a picture of two brothers at odds with one another, though has repeatedly stated that he has enduring “love” for William and has no desire to emotionally hurt him.
For his part, William has remained silent about Spare and his bother’s claims against him. Kensington Palace, who run the royal’s press communications, have adopted a “no comment” position, as have Buckingham Palace who act for King Charles and the wider royal family.
Here, Newsweek looks at five times Prince Harry slammed Prince William in Spare:
Stranded at School
An insight into Harry’s relationship with his brother William is provided early on in Spare where the royal recounts his school experiences, including his hurt at William’s coldness towards him when he attended Eton College.
According to Harry, William enforced a social distance between himself and his younger brother, telling him to: “pretend I didn’t know him.”
Among the harsher descriptions of his brother, Harry hones in on William’s physical appearance in a chapter detailing a meeting after the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip in 2021.
Taking in the face of his brother after the strain and pain of stepping away from the monarchy and moving to the United States with Meghan, Harry goes so far as to describe his belief that William has lost the famous resemblance he once had to their mother, Princess Diana.
Plotting His Revenge
Among the childhood resentments felt between the royal brothers, Harry describes William’s resentment that he appeared to face harsher punishments than his younger brother.
In one annecdote, Harry recounts an argument in a car after which the then-Prince Charles ordered William to get out and sit in the back-up vehicle following them. William, Harry says, was “plotting his revenge.”
According to Harry, his older brother’s jealousy over the freedom he was allowed as the “spare” came to a head in the weeks before the 2018 royal wedding.
Harry recounts how he wanted to wear his beard on his wedding day, something he needed to ask his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for as it was against the rules in the British Army to appear in uniform with facial hair. The queen, he writes, granted him permission, something that didn’t go down well with William who wasn’t allowed to keep his own beard when he joined the Royal Air Force.
One of the most explicit arguments between William and Harry, recounted in Spare, took place in 2019 when William allegedly confronted his brother over Meghan’s treatment of palace staff, calling her “rude” and “abrasive.”
The confrontation came to a head in the kitchen of Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace where Harry and Meghan were living, in which the prince claims that William physically attacked him, knocking him to the ground and causing injury.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.
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