While many declared it groundbreaking for Prince Harry to release a statement confirming his relationship with Meghan Markle – and condemning the racism she was experiencing in the U.K. media — in 2016, he felt repercussions from Prince William and King Charles III.
The 38-year-old prince writes in Spare, out Tuesday, January 10, that he wasn’t “ready for the racism” that Meghan, 41, began to experience when news of their relationship broke. Harry explains that he felt “ashamed” and “angry” when a headline that read: “Harry’s new girl is (almost) straight outta Compton” ran.
“My Mother Country. Doing this? To her? To us? Really?” he asks, revealing that a Huffington Post article calling his silence “unforgivable” prompted him to release a statement.
At the time, Harry told the media that he was “worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his.”
In the lengthy comment, Harry acknowledged that “he knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”
In Spare, Harry claims that the decision “generated a whole new onslaught” from his family.
“Pa and Willy were furious. They gave me an earful. My statement made them look bad, they both said,” he writes. “Why in hell? Because they’d never put out a statement for their girlfriends or wives when they were being harassed.”
Meghan, for her part, spoke about the Compton headline for the first time in the couple’s Netflix series, Harry & Meghan, which dropped last month.
“Firstly, I’m not from Compton, I’ve never lived in Compton, so it’s factually incorrect,” she recalled. “But why do you have to make a dig at Compton?”
The Duke of Sussex noted that “the direction from the palace” was “don’t say anything.”
“But what people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they had been put through as well,” he explained. “So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family were like: ‘My wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?’ And I said, ‘The difference here is the race element.’”
Spare will be released on Tuesday, January 10.