PM defends royal family as institution to be ‘proud’ of despite Harry’s memoir

Rishi Sunak has defended the royal family as an institution to be “proud” of, despite a string of revelations from the Duke of Sussex.

The disclosures, which include claims that the Prince of Wales physically attacked his brother Harry, come from the duke’s memoir, Spare, which is due to be published on Tuesday.

The controversial book has been the subject of headlines for days after excerpts were leaked detailing personal details of Harry’s love life, drug-taking and rifts within his family.

Asked whether the public can still have faith in the institution, the Prime Minister told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I think the public like me have enormous regard for the royal family, they’re deeply proud of them.

“I certainly am, it’s one of the things I’m most proud of when I think about what it is to be British.

“When I get to go around the world and champion Britain as an amazing country with so many things that we can be proud of, our institutions including the royal family are one of those.”

William and Harry together in 2021 in London
William and Harry together in 2021 in London (PA)

Asked if the royals have been damaged by Harry’s allegations, Mr Sunak said: “In general I wouldn’t get into talking about the royal family but it’s something that I’m proud of and I think the country is proud of.

“We saw that last year very movingly multiple times and I’m confident we’ll see it this year with King Charles’s coronation, which will be another fantastic occasion for the country to come together and celebrate something that’s special about Britain.”

Other controversial claims in the memoir include that William and Kate encouraged Harry to wear the Nazi fancy dress uniform that sparked outrage in 2005, and that he killed 25 Taliban while serving in Afghanistan.

The Telegraph reported Harry said flying six missions during his second tour of duty on the front line resulted in “the taking of human lives”, of which he was neither proud nor ashamed.