James Haskell calls Royal Family 'dysfunctional' as he defends Prince Harry

The rugby player said the Royal Family need to stop pretending they aren't the same as everybody else.

James Haskell attends
James Haskell has said the Royal Family need to stop pretending they aren't the same as everybody else. (Getty Images)

James Haskell has branded the Royal Family "dysfunctional" as he defended Prince Harry's right to speak out against the way he feels they have treated him.

The retired rugby player - who was a guest at Prince Harry's wedding Meghan Markle - voiced his own opinion of the royals when asked about the Duke of Sussex's controversial memoir Spare.

Haskell, 37, told OK! magazine: "The royal family is a dysfunctional family, pretending they're ordained by God and they're not. They're literally like every family in the world."

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Watch: James Haskell defends Prince Harry for publishing tell-all book

Prince Harry speaks to Engand rugby player James Haskell as he attends attends the England rugby team's open training session as they prepare for their next Natwest 6 Nations match, at Twickenham Stadium on February 16, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and James Haskell chat ahead of a Six Nations training session at Twickenham Stadium in 2018. (Getty Images)

The former England rugby player - who has said he is still in touch with the prince since he moved to Los Angeles - defended Prince Harry's right to publicly voice his family disagreements in his autobiography.

Haskell said: "Everybody's entitled to an opportunity to say what they want, and when someone feels like they and their partner have been oppressed, lied about, contradicted and put into a corner, I think it's very important [to speak out]."

The retired sportsman - who took part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2019 - is married to Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan's daughter Chloe Madeley.

He recently appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about his own new wellbeing book where he told his father-in-law Madeley he felt it was important that Prince Harry had been allowed to tell his own story.

James Haskell and Chloe Madeley arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
James Haskell and wife Chloe Madeley at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in 2018. (Getty Images)

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He said: "If Emily Pankhurst had never done what she done, women wouldn't have achieved what they've achieved, if Rosa Parks hadn't said I'm not going to get up, certain things wouldn't have happened.

"I'm not likening Harry to them, but I'm saying in respect of standing up for something, you can't let people keep walking over you."

Spare has become the fastest-selling non-fiction book ever, with 400,000 copies sold across hardback, ebook and audio formats on its first day of publication.