If you’ve been keeping up with Prince Harry’s new book, you might be wondering if his dad had any say in the book. What was King Charles’ reaction to Prince Harry’s Spare?
The book named Spare launched on January 10, 2023, but many details of its contents were leaked a week prior. The book is described by its publisher, Penguin Random House, as a “landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.” The book will be the first insight into Prince Harry’s life since he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties and since the bombshell Oprah interview in 2021. The book was obtained in advance by outlets including The Guardian and Page Six, which revealed bombshell details about the Duke of Sussex’s life including his ongoing feud with his brother and exclusive insights into his royal family.
So how did King Charles respond to Prince Harry’s Spare?
How did King Charles respond to Prince Harry’s Spare?
How did King Charles respond to Prince Harry’s Spare? A source told Us Weekly on January 12, 2023, that Charles is “outraged” by what Harry wrote about his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, in Spare. “Charles is distraught. He’s angry and outraged that Harry’s aired so many embarrassing and damaging assertions, and it’s put him in a terrible position with Camilla of course now that she’s been dragged into the equation,” the insider said. “That’s really crossed the line in more ways than one, but there are so many egregious comments and revelations from Harry that his father doesn’t know where to start. He has hope that in time the dust will settle and Harry will soften his heart toward his family, at least he hopes so. But he’s not going to push or apologize.”
Another source also told Us Weekly on January 12, 2023, that Charles, Harry’s brother, Prince William, and other British royal family members are in “constant talks” over “how to handle” Harry’s claims in Spare. “It’s obviously business as usual as far as their royal duties go,” the insider said, adding that senior members of the British royal family continue to “speak via phone and have met in person numerous times” to discuss Harry. Though Spare has moved to the “top of the agenda” since it was published on January 10, 2023, the source claimed that Charles will “likely continue not to dignify his comments” publicly. The insider continued, “There’s an acute awareness that Harry and Meghan seem to be looking for a reaction. [They] don’t want to get into a slanging match by any means.” The source added that the British royal family has had a policyy “for centuries not to stoop to such unseemly conduct.”
“The Palace isn’t publicly commenting about Spare, but relationships between the royals and Harry have been torn to shreds,” a source also told Us Weekly on January 8, 2023. “King Charles is a 74-year-old man and does not want this drama at his age.” According to a source for Entertainment Tonight on January 7, 2023, the new details of Spare are “deeply upsetting” to King Charles. While the book mostly reflects his relationship with William, Harry “still makes jabs at his father.”
Other sources said that Buckingham Palace was already aware of what Spare could possibly contain. “There were undoubtedly fears about what Harry was going to write, and in particular they were worried about the highly personal moments of their lives being retold,” one source told Page Six on January 7, 2023. “The King wanted to move ahead with the traditional ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude and follow in the Queen’s famous footsteps of ‘never complain, never explain’, but the Prince of Wales argued that perhaps the family should, in fact, go on the offensive and release a statement, much in the same way, he said ‘We are very much not a racist family’, but he was overruled by his father.”
As for if the book will affect Harry and Meghan’s prospects of attending Charles’ coronation, it’s totally up in the air. “This is all so ghastly,” a royal insider dished to People. “Although there is sorrow because the Queen has died, the coronation should be a joyful moment, too, because Charles will be crowned. But this is a massive shadow.” Though another source assured that the newly crowned King wants his son to attend. “It is such a momentous occasion for Charles, and he would want his son to be at the coronation to witness it,” the source said. “He would like to have Harry back in the family,” the source adds. “If they don’t sort it out, it will always be part of the King’s reign and how he has left his family disjointed. He has had a reputation as a distant parent, and it would be awful for him for that to continue.” Though the source added that “The problem is that [the Sussexes] want a capitulation and apology by the palace, but when ‘recollections vary,’ that’s quite difficult.”
Royal correspondent Valentine Low, author of Courtiers told the outlet that the Royal family delayed saying anything official about the Duke of Sussex’s book. “They didn’t want to fan the flames of the rift and the dispute,” “They know that anything said in a statement or a briefing would prolong it. They wanted it to calm down as soon as possible. The longer it goes on, the less hope there is for reconciliation.”
In the new book, Prince Harry goes into detail about how his father used to make fun of him with the rumor that Diana’s rumored lover James Hewitt was actually Harry’s father. “Pa liked telling stories, and this was one of the best in his repertoire. He’d always end with a burst of philosophizing … Who knows if I’m really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I’m even your real father?” per Page Six. “He’d laugh and laugh, though it was a remarkably unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then that my actual father was one of Mummy’s former lovers: Major James Hewitt. One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt’s flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism.”
Though, Charles never talked about the rumors with Harry directly. “Maybe it made them feel better about their lives that a young prince’s life was laughable. Never mind that my mother didn’t meet Major Hewitt until long after I was born,” he added.
Harry also claimed Charles had planted stories about William and Kate’s family, about which the older prince was “seething”. Apparently, a “gung-ho” member of Charles’ communication team had “devised and launched a new campaign of getting good press” for Charles and Camilla, but that came “at the expense of bad press” for the two boys.
“They’ve done this to me for the last time,” William was said to have told Harry during a phone call. He “wasn’t going to take it anymore.” William went to see Charles and Harry accompanied him as “moral support”. Charles did not appreciate it. “Pa instantly got upset. He began shouting that Willy was paranoid. We both were,” Harry wrote. “Just because we were getting bad press, and he was getting good, that didn’t mean his staff was behind it.”
In an ITV interview premiering on January 8, 2023, Harry revealed what he really wants from the coronation. “If you are invited to the Coronation, will you come?” ITV News anchor Tom Bradby asked Harry, who responded, “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. 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.”
Charles seems to be on board with it. A source told Vanity Fair that Charles wants to project an image of unity for the royal family and would like a genuine rapprochement with his youngest son. However, Harry may have crossed a line by attacking Camilla, of whom he said, “hurtful things have happened. Some in the past, some in the present.”
Harry went into detail about how he didn’t want Camilla to marry his father Charles. “Despite Willy and me urging him not to, Pa was going ahead,” he wrote. “We pumped his hand, wished him well. No hard feelings. We recognized that he was finally going to be with the woman he loved, the woman he’d always loved.”
He continued: “Fate might’ve intended for him in the first place. Whatever bitterness or sorrow we felt over the closing of another loop in Mummy’s story, we understood that it was besides the point… I remember wondering … if she would be cruel to me; if she would be like all the evil stepmothers in the stories.” He added: “Willy had been suspicious of the Other Woman for a long time, which confused and tormented him. When those suspicions were confirmed, he felt agonizing remorse for not having done or said anything before.”
Spare by Prince Harry
For more about Prince Harry, read his upcoming memoir, Spare. Told for the first time in his own words, the book takes readers through the Duke of Sussex’s life with the British royal family, from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 to how the moment led to his decision decades later to move to America with his wife, Meghan Markle, and leave Buckingham Palace for good in 2020. “With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief,” the publisher’s description reads.
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