Prince Harry, the youngest son of King Charles III, was accused this Friday of wanting to “demolish” the British royal family with the revelations contained in his memoirs, leaked days before its publication and arriving four months before his father’s coronation.
Entitled Spare (“In the shadow” in Spanish), the autobiography will be released worldwide on January 10, in a context of tension in the British monarchy.
The crown has been scrambling to modernize its image since Elizabeth II’s death in September, but has already been embroiled in controversy including racist comments from a godmother to Prince William, Harry’s older brother and heir to the throne.
The book, replete with private details, accusations and reproaches, was accidentally put up for sale for a few hours on Thursday by a Spanish bookstore chain, allowing British tabloids to get their hands on a copy.
On the left and right of the political spectrum, all of them lashed out this Friday at the revelations of the 38-year-old prince, who in 2020 shook the monarchy when he left the institution with his wife Meghan to go live in the United States, alleging media and family pressure. unbearable.
(Also read: Harry and Meghan: the harsh revelations of the royal family in their new docuseries)
“No one escapes Harry’s brutal mission to demolish the family,” headlined the left-wing Daily Mirror, while the right-wing Daily Mail accused him of “spitting as much venom as possible.”
“We have never seen anything like this, a member of the royal family attacking the institution in such a public way,” Craig Prescott, a constitutional expert at Bangor University in Wales, told AFP.
“If this goes on for a while — it’s been like this for a year or two now — people might start asking ‘should we start thinking about the monarchy differently? Is reform necessary?'” he adds.
(You may be interested in: Harry’s harsh accusation to the monarchy: “They lie to protect my brother”)
What the text reveals
The book recounts a dispute in 2019 in London during which William, Now 40, he called former American actress Meghan Markle, whom his brother had married a year earlier, “difficult,” “rude” and “rough.”
He claims that he was shaken and knocked to the ground and expected him to hit him back and start a fight. Harry also calls William “dear brother and archenemy”.
According to excerpts from the book made public, the Duke of Sussex talks about his frustration at growing up as the “spare” when his brother, “the heir”, was being groomed to become king.
In an interview to be broadcast in the United States on Monday, Harry admits that his mother Diana would be “sad” to see how strained the relationship between her two children has been. And he believes that she would know that “there are certain things that need to be fixed to heal the relationship.”
(You can read: Prince Harry was unfaithful to Meghan Markle, according to biographer: that would have been the case)
In his book, Harry also claims that Charles III made “sadistic” jokes about whether he was Harry’s “real” father, who grew up among rumors about his resemblance to the older James Hewitt, lover of Diana, his mother who died in 1997.
Other sordid details include how he lost his virginity to an “older lady” behind a pub, his cocaine use as a teenager, or the woman, whom he refrains from calling a “medium”, who allowed him to contact his late mother.
He also reveals that he killed 25 people during his two tours of duty in Afghanistan, saying it was like removing “chess pieces” from a board. “My number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but I’m not ashamed either,” she wrote.
No one escapes Harry’s brutal mission to demolish the family
His remarks on Afghanistan outraged some British veterans. “Harry turned on the other family, the military, that once embraced him, having torn apart his biological family,” said retired Col. Tim Collins, who led a battalion in Iraq in 2003.
(Also: Meghan Markle talks about her relationship with Queen Elizabeth II: ‘I’m so grateful’)
And even Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban leader, criticized the Duke of Sussex for considering his targets as “chess pieces”: “they were human, they had families waiting for their return,” he tweeted.
In the opinion of Richard Fitzwilliams, an expert on the royal family, “the worst” is “the way William is presented.” “Someone who betrayed his trust (…) someone who really attacked him. It is not a very flattering portrait for a future king,” he underlines.
Harry now repeats that he wants to make his “truth” known about what happened. And he decided not to stay with the relatively bland six-hour documentary series released by Netflix in December, in which he and Meghan settled their scores with the media and the royal family.
The duke already recounted in it that his older brother had yelled at him during a meeting about his departure from the monarchy. Harry also accused his brother’s press service of negative media coverage against him and Meghan, due in his opinion to the fact that they “stealed prominence” from other members of the family.
However, the duke assures that he wants to “reconnect” with his brother and father. He considers that the ball is now in his court and does not rule out attending the coronation of Carlos III in May. “Many things can happen until then,” he says in an interview with the British channel ITV. What is not clear is if he will be invited.
Although according to sources cited by The Sun, Carlos III and William are saddened by these accusations, Buckingham Palace did not react.
“For one thing, when something isn’t disproved, people start to believe it,” says Fitzwilliams. “For another, the royal family has a real problem: how to manage this situation?”
*With information from agencies
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