It seems like everything I've learned about Prince Harry within the past few months has been against my will.
The Duke of Sussex's memoir, Spare, is due out next week, but leaks have other plans. An early copy was leaked to the Guardian newspaper and it accidentally hit the shelves early in Spain. Now, we can enjoy some spicy Harry tea, and some of it should've stayed under lock and key.
One of the most alarming claims is a physical confrontation between Harry and his brother William, Prince of Wales. Harry said that his relationship with his family began to deteriorate after he married Meghan Markle. At his London home in 2019, Harry alleges that William referred to Meghan as "rude" and "abrasive." The confrontation escalated and Harry writes that William "grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and … knocked me to the floor."
There are some other interesting claims that range from fascinating to downright odd.
Harry reportedly writes, "My number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me," referring to the 25 Taliban fighters while serving in Afghanistan for the British Army. "It wasn't a statistic that filled me with pride but nor did it make me ashamed," he adds.
Senior Taliban leader Anas Haqqani took to Twitter to address the former helicopter pilot for referring to the militant political movement's members as "chess pieces" in the book.
\u201c2/3- The truth is what you\u2019ve said; Our innocent people were chess pieces to your soldiers, military and political leaders. Still, you were defeated in that \u201cgame\u201d of white & black "square".\u201d— Anas Haqqani(\u0627\u0646\u0633 \u062d\u0642\u0627\u0646\u064a) (@Anas Haqqani(\u0627\u0646\u0633 \u062d\u0642\u0627\u0646\u064a)) 1673002422
We even learn of Harry's bedroom activities. He reveals that he lost his virginity to an "older woman" who "liked horses, quite a lot, and treated me not unlike a young stallion." Although it sounds like it may be a fun experience, the young stallion in question was not too into it. "It happened in a grassy field behind a busy pub," he confesses. Can't say that sounds too appealing.
He even clears up rumors about the state of his penis. "My penis was a matter of public record, and indeed some public curiosity,” Harry writes. “The press had written about it extensively. There were countless stories in books, and papers (even The New York Times) about Willy and me not being circumcised.”
Harry further goes on to assert, "I was snipped as a baby," but he did recall nearly getting penile frostbite during a trip to Antarctica shortly before William wed Kate Middleton. During the pre-wedding dinner, Harry entertained the crowd with tales of Antarctica. "I regaled the company with tales of the [South] Pole," he writes. "Pa was very interested and sympathetic about the discomfort of my frostnipped ears and cheeks, and it was an effort not to overshare and tell him also about my equally tender penis."
He even addresses the controversial Nazi costume photo that has haunted him, accusing William and Kate of playing a part in his decision to wear it to a costume party in 2005. There are also tales of Harry trying cocaine when he was 17, but it wasn't his cup of tea. "It wasn't very fun, and it didn't make me feel especially happy as seemed to happen to others, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main objective. To feel. To be different," he confesses. "I was a seventeen-year-old willing to try almost anything that would alter the pre-established order. At least, that's what I was trying to convince myself of."
A big theme throughout the book is the grief after losing his mother Princess Diana. Harry opens the book with a recollection of his father breaking the news of their mother's death and the then-12-year-old didn't receive a hug. Harry and William "begged" their father, now known as King Charles III, to not marry Camilla Parker-Bowles.
The leak arrives a month after the tell-all Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan. The show, which focused on their love story and the ensuing fallout with the Royal family and the British tabloids, was met with intense criticism. According to polls conducted by Savanta, six out of ten Britons felt that it was a bad idea for them to release the documentary.
As for the book's title, "spare" comes from a saying within old royal circles: the first son is the rightful heir to titles and fortune, while the second born is a spare just in case something happens to the older son. Harry is two years younger than William.
Photo courtesy of Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty
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