The Duke of Sussex, 38, dedicated his tome in part to wife Meghan Markle and to the late Princess Diana. “For Meg and Archie and Lili,” he wrote in the acknowledgements, referring to the couple’s 3-year-old son and 19-month-old daughter. “And, of course, my mother.”
Harry’s debut memoir won’t be released until Tuesday, January 10 — but it’s already making waves among readers. Early excerpts obtained by Us Weekly detail an alleged physical fight with William, 40, as well as an argument with the Suits alum, 41. Throughout the book, Harry also opens up about grieving the death of Diana in August 1997 when he was 12 years old.
“Pa didn’t hug me,” he wrote, remembering how his father, now 74, told him about the princess’ fatal car crash in Paris. “He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis? But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said: ‘It’s going to be OK.’ That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue.”
The former military pilot recalled not fully understanding the gravity of the situation at the time. “[Charles] sat down on the edge of the bed. He put a hand on my knee. ‘Darling boy, Mummy’s been in a car crash.’ I remember thinking: Crash … OK. But she’s all right? Yes? I vividly remember that thought flashing through my mind,” Harry wrote. “And I remember waiting patiently for Pa to confirm that indeed Mummy was all right. And I remember him not doing that.”
As the California resident reflected on his highs and lows as a senior royal before his 2020 palace exit, he got candid about his position within the line of succession. While William is currently first in line for the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Harry is behind his nephews and niece — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
“Willy was the heir, whereas I was the spare,” the Invictus Games founder wrote, noting that the perspective was “regularly enforced” by other family members, including his parents. “I was the shadow, the support, the plan B. I was brought into the world in case something happened to Willy. I was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion … This was all made explicitly clear to me from the start of life’s journey.”
Buckingham Palace has yet to officially comment on the book’s revelations. Harry is set to give a handful of TV interviews — which will air both in the U.S. and the U.K. — before Spare hits shelves.
“Should the king or the future king — that is to say Charles or William — have anything to say in private, they’re probably very afraid to because they’re worried that it will just be on Netflix or on Spotify or in a book or told to Gayle King or to Anderson Cooper,” royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti exclusively told Us on Tuesday, January 3. “I don’t think that is how you make peace within any family, but one that’s so in the public eye, so much under the public gaze, I don’t think it stands any chance.”