Prince Harry’s much-awaited memoir, Spare, details his complicated relationship with King Charles and Prince William, memories of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and his last conversation with the Queen.
The book is out Tuesday, but it accidentally went on sale in Spain five days before the official release date, giving readers a premature look at the explosive revelations about the Royal Family. It is released on the heels of Meghan and Harry’s six-part Netflix documentary, released in December and that broke streaming records, which disclosed more royal bombshells and caused a media frenzy in Britain.
In July, 2022, Penguin Random House announced that it would publish an “intimate and heartfelt” memoir by the Duke of Sussex. “I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful,” Prince Harry said in a statement when the memoir was announced.
The dedication at the beginning of the book reads: “For Meg, Archie and Lili … and of course, my mother.”
Here’s a look at some of the biggest revelations from the memoir so far.
Prince Harry details physical attack by William over Meghan
Prince Harry writes that his brother and heir to the throne, Prince William, knocked him to the floor during a 2019 argument over Harry’s wife Meghan, according to a preview from The Guardian.
In the book, Harry says the physical altercation with William took place at Harry’s London home. William had called Meghan “difficult,” “rude” and “abrasive,” Harry says, which sounded to him like “the press narrative” about his wife.
“He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor,” Harry writes.
William then challenged his younger brother to hit back but Harry refused. William later returned to the scene, “looking regretful, and apologized,” Harry writes, with his brother asking him not to tell Meghan that he had “attacked” him.
Opinion: Prince Harry’s Spare is, ultimately, a story about brothers
Page Six also reports that Prince Harry refers to Prince William as his “beloved brother and arch-nemesis” in the memoir. He was questioned about the quote in a Good Morning America interview and said: “There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it really plays into or always played by the heir/spare.”
Prince Harry says William and Kate told him to wear 2005 Nazi costume
The memoir also reveals that William and his wife, Kate Middleton, encouraged Harry to wear his controversial Nazi costume in 2005, according to a Page Six report.
In the book, Harry writes that he was deciding between wearing a pilot uniform or a Nazi outfit to a London party with a “native and colonial” theme and asked the couple for their opinions: “I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said,” Harry writes.
Page Six also reports that Harry tried it on for them: “They both howled. Worse than Willy’s leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point.”
The Sun broke the story with a front-page photo of the costume at the time, Harry dressed as a Nazi soldier with a red armband emblazoned with a swastika, when he was 20 years old. He later apologized and has since called the scandal “one of the biggest mistakes in my life.”
Prince Harry on taking drugs as a teenager
Harry says that when he was 17 he was offered a line of cocaine at someone´s house and consumed the drug on several other occasions, although he insists media reports suggesting he was a drug addict were false and that he did not enjoy it.
“It wasn’t much fun and it did not make me feel especially happy as it seemed to do to everyone else, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main objective. I was a 17-year-old boy ready to try anything that altered the pre-established order,” he writes, according to an excerpt released by Reuters.
Opinion: Spare me: Prince Harry’s claim of victimhood doesn’t quite fly
Harry also recounts how, as a student at the exclusive private school Eton, he used to smoke cannabis in a bathroom at his house while the Thames Valley police served as his bodyguards, patrolling the exterior of the building.
How Prince Harry found out about Diana’s death
In a leaked excerpt from the memoir, Harry reveals that he found out about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, from his father.
Harry, who was 12 at the time, writes that the then-Prince Charles sat on the edge of his bed and said: “My dear son, mum has had a car accident. There have been complications. Mum has been seriously injured and has been taken to hospital, my dear son.”
“He would always call me ‘dear son,’ but he was repeating it a lot. He spoke quietly. It gave me the impression he was in shock,” the Duke writes, according to an excerpt from Sky News.
He also recounts that his father “did not hug” him, but instead put his hand on his knee and said it would be okay.
Prince Harry says a woman with ‘powers’ sent a message from Diana
Harry describes meeting a woman with “powers” who said she could feel the spirit of Diana, Princess of Wales. He says the woman was recommended by friends and that, while he had his doubts about her, as soon as he sat down with her, “I felt an energy around her.”
“Your mother says that you are living the life that she couldn’t live, the life she wanted for you,” Harry quotes the woman as telling him.
But Harry says he was still skeptical and wanted more proof. The woman told him Diana mentioned a Christmas decoration. Harry said it must have been the one his son, Archie, had tried to fix.
Prince Harry and Prince William asked King Charles not to marry Camilla
Harry reveals that he and his brother asked Charles not to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles, who is now Britain’s Queen Consort, after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, fearing she would become their “wicked stepmother.”
He writes: “That’s why when the question came, Willy and I promised our father that we would welcome Camilla to the family. The only thing we asked for in return was that he didn’t marry her. ‘You don’t need to get married again,’ we asked him.”
Nonetheless, he writes that both he and William ended up wishing their father a happy marriage and had some sympathy for their relationship. On April 9, 2005, Charles married Camilla in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall.
Prince Harry on losing his virginity
Harry describes how he lost his virginity at 17 — in a field behind a pub to an older woman who loved horses and treated the teenage prince like a “young stallion.” It was, he says, an “inglorious episode.”
Prince Harry says he killed 25 people in Afghanistan
Harry says he killed 25 people when serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan. He says he participated in six missions, all of which involved deaths, but says he saw them as justifiable as Taliban insurgents wanted to kill his comrades.
“It wasn’t a statistic that filled me with pride but nor did it leave me ashamed. When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat I didn’t think of those 25 as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bad people eliminated before they could kill Good people.”
The revelation has since drawn anger and protests in Afghanistan.
Prince Harry had ‘chocolate mushrooms’ at Courtney Cox’s house
Harry reveals that he’s a compulsive watcher of Friends and relates most to the wisecracking Chandler Bing, played by Matthew Perry. He also reveals that he had chocolate psychedelic mushrooms with another Friends star, Courteney Cox, while staying at her house in Los Angeles.
He writes: “I was still confused because … she was Monica. And I was a Chandler. I wondered if I’d ever work up the courage to tell her [that he had a slight crush on her]. Was there enough tequila in California to get me that brave?”
Prince Harry had a frostbitten ‘todger’ at William and Kate’s wedding
Harry describes how during a trip to the North Pole he suffered from early stages of what appears to be frostbite, including to his penis. The Duke returned home following a 200-mile Arctic charity walk in March 2011 to discover that his ears, cheeks and “todger” had been frost nipped.
Harry writes that he was still recovering from his injuries during William and Kate’s wedding. In the book, he recounts telling his father about the injuries at a dinner on the eve of William´s wedding.
“My father showed interest and sympathized with me when I mentioned that my ears and cheeks had burned due to the cold. I struggled to contain myself to not talk too much and tell him that my penis had also been affected.”
Prince Harry meets secretly with Charles and William after Prince Philip’s funeral
The memoir begins with the story of Queen Elizabeth telling the Duke that his grandfather had passed away. Harry says that he woke up to 32 missed calls when Prince Phillip died in April, 2021.
Harry also reveals that he held a secret meeting with William and Charles hours after Prince Philip’s funeral. The Daily Mail reports that the first chapter describes the meeting on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Harry said his father and brother wouldn’t listen and said that they didn’t understand why he had left Britain and moved to the United States.
He writes: ‘I looked at Willy, really looked at him, perhaps for the first time since we were little, taking in every detail: his familiar scowl, which had always been the norm in his dealings with me.’
Prince Harry’s last conversation with the Queen
Prince Harry’s memoir also shares touching details about his last conversation with his grandmother – four days before her death in September, 2022.
According to Hello Magazine, Harry phoned the Queen during her break at Balmoral Castle. They discussed the chaos going on at Downing Street, the Braemar Gathering Highland Games and the drought in Britain. Harry writes that he joked that the grass was like his head – bald with patches.
With a report from Reuters and The Associated Press