The Guardian has obtained a copy of Prince Harry’s Spare. It is not known if they “obtained” a copy from the publisher, Penguin Random House, or if a bookseller sold a copy to the Guardian before the book is released next week. Given the anticipation around Spare, I think it’s remarkable that this is the first real leak of the text and it’s only coming less than a week before the book comes out. The Guardian notes in its first article about the book leak: “Amid stringent pre-launch security around the book, the Guardian obtained a copy.”
Once you read the Guardian’s first piece about Spare, you understand why the newspaper decided to risk the publisher’s code of omerta to publish some of the text. What Harry describes is not only newsworthy, it is a constitutional issue for Britain. Harry describes a 2019 incident in which the current heir to the throne, the new Prince of Wales, violently assaulted Harry in his London home, Nottingham Cottage. From The Guardian:
In his highly anticipated autobiography, Spare, Prince Harry recounts what he says was a physical attack by his brother, William, now Prince of Wales, as their relationship fell apart over the younger prince’s marriage to the actor Meghan Markle. Describing a confrontation at his London home in 2019, Harry says William called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”, which Harry calls a “parrot[ing of] the press narrative” about his American wife. The confrontation escalated, Harry writes, until William “grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and … knocked me to the floor”.
Harry writes that William wanted to talk about “the whole rolling catastrophe” of their relationship and struggles with the press. But when William arrived at Nottingham Cottage – where Harry was then living, in the grounds of Kensington Palace and known as “Nott Cott” – he was, Harry says, already “piping hot”.
After William complained about Meghan, Harry writes, Harry told him he was repeating the press narrative and that he expected better. But William, Harry says, was not being rational, leading to the two men shouting over each other. Harry then accused his brother of acting like an heir, unable to understand why his younger brother was not content to be a spare. Insults were exchanged, before William claimed he was trying to help.
Harry said: “Are you serious? Help me? Sorry – is that what you call this? Helping me?”
That comment, Harry says, angered his brother, who swore while stepping towards him. Now scared, Harry writes, he went to the kitchen, his furious brother following.
Harry writes that he gave his brother a glass of water and said: “Willy, I can’t speak to you when you’re like this.”
He writes: “He set down the water, 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 writes that William urged him to hit back, citing fights they had as children. Harry says he refused to do so. William left, Harry says, then returned “looking regretful, and apologised”.
When William left again, his brother writes, he “turned and called back: ‘You don’t need to tell Meg about this.’
“‘You mean that you attacked me?’
“‘I didn’t attack you, Harold.’”
Harry says he didn’t immediately tell his wife – but did call his therapist.
When Meghan later noticed “scrapes and bruises” on his back, and he therefore told her of the attack, Harry says she “wasn’t that surprised, and wasn’t all that angry. She was terribly sad.”
William wanted to “talk” about how Meghan was “difficult, rude and abrasive,” and William thought the best way to make his point about Meghan was to violently assault his younger brother. As we’ve covered extensively here at Celebitchy, the British media has left a trail of breadcrumbs about William’s rage and anger issues for years. “Incandescent with rage” was first used by a British outlet sympathetic to William. It’s been widely reported that William screamed at and raged at his father, his mother and his staff. This is the first time we’ve heard of a violent assault committed by William as an adult. What I keep thinking is: it took Harry more than three years to report this. He had to leave that island and deal with the aftermath of his brother’s assault privately for more three years before he was ready to speak about it publicly.
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