Prince Harry sat down with ITV interviewer Tom Bradby on Sunday, unveiling new revelations about his experiences growing up in the British royal family ahead of the publication of his memoir, “Spare,” this week.
The young royal talked about the night his father told him about his mother Princess Diana’s death and said he never wanted to be in his father’s position during the interview.
“I never want to be in that position, part of the reason why we are here now. I never, ever want to be in that position. I don’t want history to repeat itself. I do not want to be a single dad. And I certainly don’t want my children to have a life without a mother or a father,” Prince Harry said.
The Duke of Sussex also talked about his decision to write the book, saying, “thirty-eight years of having my story told by so many different people, with intentional spin and distortion felt like a good time to tell own my story and be able to tell it for myself. I’m actually really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to tell my story because it’s my story to tell.”
The duke said, “it never needed to be this way,” in the interview with the ITV news anchor, in reference to his rift with the royal family.
Prince Harry pointed out that he has done everything for the past six years privately to get through to his family.
“It never needed to get to this point. I have had conversations, I have written letters, I have written emails, and everything is just, no, you, this is not what’s happening. You, you are, you are imagining it,” he added. “That’s really hard to take. And if it had stopped, by the point that I fled my home country with my wife and my son fearing for our lives, then maybe this would have turned out differently. It’s hard.”
The duke also said he wants “reconciliation but first there needs to be some accountability”, in the interview.
Prince Harry said, “You can’t just continue to say to me that I’m delusional and paranoid when all the evidence is stacked up, because I was genuinely terrified about what is going to happen to me.”
“And then we have a 12-month transition period and everyone doubles. My wife shares her experience. And instead of backing off, both the institution and the tabloid media in the UK both doubled down,” he added.
Still, the duke said, “forgiveness is 100 percent a possibility,” during the interview.
“There’s probably a lot of people who, after watching the documentary and reading the book, will go, how could you ever forgive your family for what they have done? People have already said that to me. And I said forgiveness is 100% a possibility because I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back. At the moment, I don’t recognize them, as much as they probably don’t recognize me,” Prince Harry said.
He acknowledged that his memoir mentions includes reference to his past drug use, which, Prince Harry said, was “important to acknowledge.”
Buckingham Palace has repeatedly declined to comment on the contents of Prince Harry’s memoir.
The 90-minute one-on-one with ITV is the first of several interviews the 38-year-old royal is doing to promote his upcoming autobiography. His “60 Minutes” interview with Anderson Cooper will air on CBS later Sunday.
The following day his sit-down with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Michael Strahan will air on the ABC show, followed in the evening by a half-hour special on ABC News Live. And to top things off, the duke will make an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” hours after his book is released on Tuesday.
With that all to come before the public is even able to get their hands on book, one has to wonder if there will be any revelations left to read. For days now, leaks from the upcoming tome have sparked headlines around the world.
It is now known the duke has made a slew of damaging accusations against the British royal family in “Spare” after several outlets obtained early copies of the book before the weekend. CNN has not seen a copy of the book but has requested an advance copy from the publisher Penguin Random House.
Perhaps the most incendiary revelation to emerge was Prince Harry’s claim of a scuffle with the Prince of Wales during an argument over his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in 2019, as he described while reading in an excerpt of his memoir on air on Sunday.
It was just one of a series of incredibly candid accounts of life as the “spare heir.” The book’s title of “Spare” – a reference to a nickname the duke lived with while growing up – now appears to be most apt as not only is the extreme sibling rivalry front and center, but Prince Harry’s version of events also tackles his final moments with the late Queen Elizabeth II, his attempts to seek closure after his mother’s death, and other deeply personal conversations with members of “The Firm.”
One part of the book that is seeing some backlash is his reported remarks on killing 25 Taliban fighters during his time in the British Army in Afghanistan. In addition to disclosing the figure, the duke is also quoted as describing the insurgents as “chess pieces” taken off the board rather than people, according to UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
Prince Harry’s omments have prompted criticism from some British security and military figures – and an angry rebuke from the Taliban.
The duke, who now lives in California with his wife and two children, has suggested he would be open to reconciling with his family, but maintains his desire for some accountability. Amid his bitter tale of royal life and the damaging accusations against the UK’s head of State and immediate heir to the throne, a détente seems unlikely.
Before publicity ramped up around the duke’s book, the Sussexes had previously opened up about the challenges and hardships of royal life in their Netflix docuseries and to Oprah Winfrey.
In both those royal exposés, the couple outlined their acrimonious split with the House of Windsor and blamed the media for invasive, unrelenting coverage, particularly of Meghan.
The Sussexes announced in 2020 that they were stepping away from their roles as senior royals and planned to work towards becoming “financially independent.” The following year, the palace confirmed the couple had agreed with Queen Elizabeth II that they were not returning as working members of the royal family.
In the recent six-part Netflix documentary, Prince Harry didn’t hold back when he blamed the press for placing undue stress on his wife, saying it led to her having a miscarriage and suffering suicidal thoughts.
Meghan said she wanted to go somewhere for help but claimed she wasn’t allowed to because of the optics on the institution, without specifying who she believed stopped her. She made similar comments in her explosive 2021 interview with Winfrey.