LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry says his brother William physically attacked him during a wild argument — one of many stunning allegations in a new memoir that includes revelations about the estranged royal’s drug use, first sexual encounter and role in killing people during his military service. service in Afghanistan.
In the ghostwritten memoir, titled “Spare,” Harry said his brother Prince William lashed out during a heated argument about the siblings’ deteriorating relationship. The Associated Press purchased a Spanish-language copy of the book ahead of its release in 16 languages around the world on Tuesday.
Harry recounts a 2019 argument at his Kensington Palace home in which he says William called Harry’s wife, former actor Meghan Markle, “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”. Harry said William grabbed his brother by the collar and tore off his necklace before knocking him to the ground.
“I landed on the dog’s bowl, which burst under my back, the pieces cutting into me,” Harry says in the passage, first reported by The Guardian.
Harry says he had scrapes and bruises as a result of the fight, for which William later apologized.
The allegation is one of many in a book that exposes painful, intimate – and in some cases disputed – details about the lives of Harry and other members of the royal family. The memoir is the latest in a series of public revelations and accusations by Harry and Meghan that have rocked Britain’s royal family.
It includes Harry’s claim that he killed 25 people while serving as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner in 2012 as part of Britain’s war campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said he felt neither pride nor shame in his actions, and in the heat of battle regarded enemy combatants as pieces removed from a chess game.
Harry spent a decade in the British Army – years he described as his happiest because they allowed him some normalcy – before taking up full-time royal duties in 2015.
The book recounts Harry’s decades of disenchantment with his privileged, scrutinized and restricted royal life. In it he alludes to the title of the book, recounting the alleged words of his father, then Prince Charles, to his mother, Princess Diana, on the day of his birth: “Wonderful! Now you have given me an heir and a replacement—my work is done.”
While William was destined from birth to be king, Harry, who is fifth in line to the throne behind his brother and William’s three children, has often seemed to struggle with the more ambiguous role of ‘backup’.
In the book Harry describes his rebellious teenage years. He tells how he lost his virginity – to an older woman in a field behind a pub – and describes how he took cocaine when he was 17.
Neither Buckingham Palace, which represents King Charles III, nor William’s Kensington Palace office commented on the allegations.
Harry, 38, and the American actor married in Windsor Castle in May 2018. Less than two years later, the couple left royal duties and moved to California, citing what they saw as racist media treatment of Meghan, who is biracial, and a lack of support from the palace.
They have since presented their side of the story in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and a six-part Netflix documentary. published last month, which chronicled the couple’s bruising relationship with the British media and estrangement from the royal family.
In the series, Harry said William shouted at him during a family gathering and accused palace officials of lying to protect his older brother, who is now heir to the throne. Meghan, 41, spoke of wanting to end her life as she struggled to cope with toxic press coverage.
Harry recorded interviews with several broadcasters in the UK and the US to promote the book.
In excerpts released in advance, Harry told Britain’s ITV that the royal household cast him and Meghan as “villains” and “showed absolutely no willingness to reconcile.” In an interview with CBS, he said the palace’s refusal to defend him and Meghan from attacks was a “betrayal”.
Palace officials declined to comment on any of Meghan and Harry’s allegations.
Since Harry and Meghan split from the royal family in 2020, the couple have launched a new life as American charity activists and media figures.
Harry has spoken of his desire for reconciliation with his brother and father, who became King Charles III when Queen Elizabeth II died in September, aged 96. The book’s searing revelations are likely to make that difficult.
Asked by ITV’s Tom Bradby if he will play a role in the future of the British monarchy, Harry said: “I don’t know.”