Love it, hate it or feel a bit sad about it all, Prince Harry’s outpouring of “truth” about his family continues to flood the headlines with even more dramatic revelations.
As the world awaits the official release of his memoir, Spare, on Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex has given two televised interviews, shedding yet more light – or, if you’d prefer, dishing more dirt – on his dramatic fallout with William and other close relatives.
In a conversation with Tom Bradby for ITV, the dad-of-two labelled royals “complicit” in the “pain and suffering” his wife Meghan faced, and said he was speaking out in his memoir because “silence only allows the abuser to abuse”.
He separately told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he is currently “not texting” his brother, and hasn’t spoken to his father for “quite a while”. He also described his stepmother Camilla as “the villain”, saying her willingness to forge relationships with the British press made her “dangerous".
\u201cThe irony is Meghan and Harry ostracised Thomas Markle for giving press interviews about their family.\n\nThey are doing the exact same as him but expect different treatment #HarryTheInterview\u201d
\u201cWhatever your view of Prince Harry, he could have written a book about the British press, intrusion, and the tabloidisation of the British broadsheets without blowing up his relationship with his family to the point of no return. #HarryTheInterview\u201d
— Jennifer Johnston (@Jennifer Johnston)
\u201cReally crass for Harry to say "I fled my home country" when so many refugees flee real danger. And in the week that he himself grubbily grabbed attention, and made himself a target by bragging about Afghanistan. #HarryTheInterview\u201d
\u201cIt's really obvious that Prince Harry is not used to people disagreeing with him or even gently questioning him. He's a damaged and angry young man, yes, but he also oozes the arrogance and entitlement of his wealth and royal status.\n#HarryTheInterview\u201d
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@Julia Hartley-Brewer)
\u201cTom Bradby asks about the critique that Harry is doing the book and all the promo interviews for money and to \u201cfund his life,\u201d - Although Harry addresses telling his truth, he does not address doing this for money.\n\n#HarryTheInterview\u201d
\u201cWatching #HarryTheInterview and the overriding sense I get is of relief that he no longer has to remain silent. No one - not even a royal - should be made to take a lifetime vow of silence. It is a ludicrous tradition in an outdated monarchy.\u201d
\u201cI think when all is said and done, he is a good guy. None of us \u201cnormal folk\u201d will EVER understand what it is to live in his shoes & experience life & loss the way he has. I think he has a good heart and loves his family. I believe in that there is hope here . #HarryTheInterview\u201d
\u201cI\u2019m a journalist and even I can understand why Harry doesn\u2019t like the press. Imagine your mum had been killed and someone was taking photos of her body \ud83d\udc94 He deserves the right to take control of his own narrative #HarryTheInterview\u201d
\u201cHarry: \u201cNo institution should be immune to accountability\u201d\n\nThis seems to be a sticking point for many in the UK, so many seem to put the Royals on a pedestal so they can get away with anything. \n\nThey 100% should be held accountable for their decisions #HarryTheInterview\u201d
\u201cPeople need to stop deluding themselves that Harry and Meghan are taking down the monarchy. They are ultimately pursuing reform for the monarchy\u2019s benefit - their vision is a \u201cmulticultural, diverse\u201d monarchy but the basis of its wealth and power is unchanged #HarryTheInterview\u201d
Appearing on 60 minutes with Anderson Cooper, Harry spoke about the royal family’s mistrust of Meghan – allegedly sparked by her being “American, an actress, divorced, black”, before joking: “She must be a witch”.
Cooper put it to the duke that his family dynamic was like “Game of Thrones without dragons”, but Harry replied: “I don’t watch Game of Thrones but there’s definitely dragons – and that’s again the third party that is the British press.”
During the interview, the presenter said Harry had written how he had believed his mother was still alive until the age of 23, when he visited Paris for the first time.
Harry also said he was “not invited” onboard a plane taking other members of the royal family to Balmoral Castle, ahead of the Queen’s death.
Speaking about his relationship with his brother, the CNN presenter asked: “Do you speak to William now, do you text?”
“Currently, no, but I look forward to us being able to find peace,” Harry replied.
Asked how long it had been since he had spoken to Charles, he said: “We haven’t spoken for quite a while, no, not recently.”
Questioned on what his mother Diana would think of his fractured relationship with his brother, Harry said: “I think she [Princess Diana] would be sad that it is where it is now. I believe that she would want reconciliation. And I hope that’s what’s achievable.”
When asked if he could see himself returning as a full-time member of the royal family, Harry replied: “I can’t see that happening.”
On Sunday, in his first primetime television interview promoting his controversial memoir, Harry also criticised “family members” for a “really horrible reaction” on the day the Queen died, with leaking and briefings.
He labelled royals “complicit” in the “pain and suffering” the Duchess of Sussex faced, and told ITV’s Bradby he was speaking out in his memoir because “silence only allows the abuser to abuse”.
Harry lambasted the British press throughout the sit-down interview, venting his frustration at the “conflict” he accused the media of creating, but saying his family had a part in this.
He also told Bradby he loved his father and brother, but said: “At the moment, I don’t recognise them, as much as they probably don’t recognise me.”
He added: “Nothing of what I’ve done in this book or otherwise has ever been any intention to harm them or hurt them.
“The truth is something that I need to rely on, and after many, many years of lies being told about me and my family, there comes a point where, you know, again, going back to the relationship between certain members of the family and the tabloid press, those certain members have decided to get in the bed with the devil, right, to rehabilitate their image.”
Harry’s book Spare has sparked a furore over his claims that William physically attacked him, while his admission he killed 25 Taliban members during the Afghanistan war generated protests in Helmand province over the weekend.
In shock remarks, Harry denied he accused the royal family of racism in his Oprah interview, when Meghan revealed an unnamed family member raised concerns about how dark their unborn son’s skin would be.
“No I didn’t…the British press said that…did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist?…There was concern about his skin colour,” the duke said.
Bradby, appearing taken aback, asked: “Wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racist?” Harry replied: “I wouldn’t, not having lived within that family.”
He added: “Going back to the difference between what my understanding is because of my own experience, the difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different.”
The claims in March 2021 left Oprah open-mouthed with shock and plunged the monarchy into crisis as it faced accusations of racism, but Harry again refused to name the royal allegedly involved.
Harry also backed the Queen’s former lady in waiting Lady Susan Hussey who quit an honorary role after asking a black British domestic violence campaigner where she really came from.
“Meghan and I love Susan Hussey…She never meant any harm at all,” he said.
Accusing his family of a having a role in Meghan’s distress, Harry said: “At that time I didn’t fully understand how much – or how complicit – the family were in that pain and suffering that was happening to my wife, and the one group of people that could’ve helped or stopped this from happening were the very people that were, that were encouraging it to happen.”
Meghan and Harry talking to Oprah back in 2021Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese v
As Bradby outlined Harry’s criticisms of his father including that the duke’s interests are “sacrificed to his interests, certainly when it comes to the press”, the duke said he understood the need to have that relationship with the tabloid press but did not agree with it.
He said there had been “incredibly hurtful” decisions, adding: “And they, and it continues. It hasn’t stopped. It’s continuing the whole, the whole way through.”
Harry also revealed how he felt “slightly isolated” and different from his family in his younger years following the death of his mother, but shared joyful times with his great-grandmother the Queen Mother.
Two more interviews are set to be broadcast, with Michael Strahan of Good Morning America on Monday and Stephen Colbert on the Late Show on CBS on Wednesday morning UK time.
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