Prince Harry reportedly says he was knocked to the floor by his brother during an argument, and that he killed 25 Taliban troops while in Afghanistan, among several extraordinary claims in his upcoming memoir.
In his book Spare, to be released publicly next Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex also admits to having taken cocaine and said a woman with “powers” relayed a message from his mum to him, according to reports.
The bombshell claims are being reported after a copy of the memoir was apparently leaked, and some copies went on sale five days early in Spain.
According to The Guardian, which says it has seen a copy of the book, an altercation between the brothers culminated with Prince William grabbing Harry by the collar and throwing him to the floor, shattering a dog bowl with his back.
William then allegedly declared: “I didn’t attack you, Harold.” Kensington Palace has not commented on the allegations.
The claim came as ITV released a second trailer for its forthcoming interview with Harry, in which he casts doubt on whether he will attend his father’s coronation saying: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then.”
Prince Harry reportedly calls William both his “arch nemesis” and his “beloved brother” in his autobiography as he admitted there has always been competition between them in their heir/spare roles.
The Guardian also claimed Harry sought help from a woman “with powers” while grieving the loss of his mother, Diana, although details of when and where are scarce.
The Duke claimed the woman told him that Diana said: “You’re living the life she couldn’t. You’re living the life she wanted for you.”
Harry also reportedly admits to taking cocaine for the first time in his memoir, after being offered “a line” during a hunting trip, aged 17, according to Sky News.
Furthermore, he disclosed that he killed 25 people in his role as an Apache helicopter pilot during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, the Telegraph reports. Harry said he flew on six missions that resulted in “the taking of human lives” and that he saw them as “chess pieces” instead of “people”.
Among other revelations apparently detailed in the book are claims that:
- Harry once feared his father’s second wife Camilla would become his “wicked stepmother”.
- William and wife Kate encouraged him to wear a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party in 2005 — a move that became a major scandal.
- The King confronted both sons after Prince Philip’s funeral and begged them not to make his final years “a misery”.
- The King told Princess Diana on the day that Harry was born that his “work was done” and that he had produced an heir and a spare.
Both Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have declined to comment on the claims.
Harry’s account of the altercation, which he says took place at his home in the grounds of Kensington Palace in 2019, describes how he was left with visible injuries to his back after his brother grabbed him by the collar, ripped his necklace and knocked him to the floor.
The book reportedly recounts how William branded Meghan “rude” and “abrasive”, which led to Harry accusing his brother of repeating “the press narrative” about her.
Harry describes his brother’s mood as “piping hot” when he arrived at his then home, Nottingham Cottage, to discuss the “catastrophe” of their relationship and said the conversation turned into a shouting match.
He wrote: “(William) called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.”
Harry goes on to say that William urged him to fight back but he refused before the heir to the throne apologised and told him not to tell Meghan about the altercation. Harry then said: “You mean that you attacked me?”, to which William responded: “I didn’t attack you, Harold.” He added that the story came out after his wife noticed “scrapes and bruises” on his back.
According to the leaked memoir — which the Standard has not seen — Harry also recounts a meeting with his father and William after Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021, describing Charles standing between his sons and pleading: “Please boys. Don’t make my final years a misery.”
The book - copies of which have already gone on sale in Spanish bookshops - also claims that Harry asked his brother and Kate for advice on what to wear to the infamous 2005 fancy dress party where his Nazi costume caused headlines around the world and resulted in a grovelling apology.
The prince has since described wearing the uniform as one of the “biggest mistakes” he has ever made.
Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex share personal images for Netflix show
The revelations come despite publisher Penguin Random House going to great lengths to try to ensure the memoir was not leaked ahead of the book’s publication with preview copies tightly controlled. More claims are due this weekend when two interviews — with ITV and US channel CBS — are broadcast. The memoir’s official release is on Tuesday.
A trailer from the ITV conversation was released on Thursday morning. Asked by journalist Tom Bradby if he still believes in the monarchy, Harry says “yes”, but admits he does not know if he will play any part in it in the future.
After casting doubt on whether he will attend the King’s coronation on May 6, Harry adds: “But the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they’re willing to sit down and talk about it.”
In an earlier clip from the duke’s ITV conversation, he said: “They feel as though it is better to keep us somehow as the villains” and “have shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile”, although it is unclear who he is referring to. Harry also reveals to the US broadcaster that he will not return as a full-time royal.
The interviews and the book are the latest move by the couple since they quit their duties as working royals and mark an escalation in their very public row with the rest of the royal family, which started when they gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey that included allegations of racism against Meghan and a lack of care for her mental health.
The couple were also said to be upset by the row over their security arrangements and how they were treated after the death of the Queen when Harry was not personally contacted by the King before a public statement was released.
Those close to Charles insist he has always made clear how much he loves both of his sons, keeping communication channels open throughout the past few years, despite the increasingly tense relationship with Harry since his move to California.
The King is understood not to have watched the couple’s Netflix documentary and will not read Harry’s book when it is published but has stayed in contact with his son including several meetings during last year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The hardback edition will be in UK bookshops on Tuesday morning.
Harry and Meghan are said to have signed a $20 million, four-book deal with Penguin Random House.