Leaked Copy of Harry's Spare Making Headlines
Happy New Year! I hope you took some time over the Christmas and New Year’s week to unwind and unplug. I traveled for Christmas and New Year’s to visit my family and my in-laws, but it is clearly time to get back to royal watching, because the arena is heating up quickly.
Harry’s autobiography Spare, due for release on January 10th, has been on strict lockdown. No advance copies have been sent to the press or reviewers, as is usually done, and the world has only been able to speculate on what the book contains. But The Guardian has apparently gotten its hands on an advance copy, and yesterday, on January 4th, began publishing details from the book.
The paper chose to start by highlighting an incident between Harry and William in which Harry claims his brother was complaining about Meghan to Harry and ended up “physically attacking” Harry.
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.
The paper provided a lengthy description of the drama:
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.”
This characterization of William as a man with an out-of-control temper, and Harry as calm and even cowed by William’s anger is right in line with the Sussexes’ approach to the drama with their family—they are always 100% innocent and in the right and the royals are 100% wicked and in the wrong. It is impossible to believe in its entirety anything Harry claims because we have witnessed the Sussexes telling their story again and again and seen that they are comfortable fudging facts.
Is it possible that William and Harry got into a physical altercation? Sure. They are siblings, and siblings sometimes fight. Although I don’t condone it, a physical tussle also doesn’t scandalize me.
It is also entirely unbelievable that Harry was frightened and wholly innocent in a tussle, if one did indeed take place.
Both William and Harry obviously have hot tempers. Anyone who has watched the royals over the years knows this.
What is interesting is that it is clear that William has mastered his temper better than Harry. Harry has been trying to suggest—both in the Netflix series when he discussed William shouting at the Sandringham Summit, and now here—that William’s temper is somehow out of control and his is not. The public can observe, however, that as William has gotten older, he has become more tempered. We can observe this most obviously in his interactions with the press. William has become more polite and reserved over the years.
By contrast, there is no indication that Harry’s control of his emotions has been tempered in any way as he has moved into his late 30s. In fact, he was appallingly rude to Rhiannon Mills in South Africa in the final days of his time as a royal. Although I am sure that William still has a temper, this suggestion that William is out of control while Harry is zen is ludicrous. Harry can’t even be polite to reporters while cameras are trained on him, which means we can confidently infer he is even more explosive in private when his temper is up and with members of his own family.
Other stories are emerging from other outlets, so I assume the copy of the book The Guardian got is making the rounds. PageSix reported an uncomfortable incident between Meghan and Kate:
In Prince Harry’s forthcoming memoir, “Spare,”out Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex remembers a tense moment between his wife, Meghan Markle, and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.
Prince Harry recalls an uncomfortable encounter before the fab four’s Royal Foundation Forum appearance in 2018 when his new wife asked to borrow Kate’s lip gloss when she forgot hers, calling it an “American thing.”
“Kate, taken aback, went into her handbag and reluctantly pulled out a small tube,” the “Harry and Meghan” Netflix star says. “Meg squeezed some onto her finger and applied it to her lips. Kate grimaced.”
Harry goes on to write that they “should’ve been able to laugh about” the moment but the press “sensed” it was “something bigger.”
“I think it had Kate on edge while putting her and everyone else on notice that she was now going to be compared to, and forced to compete with, Meg,” Harry admits.
Perhaps the book will make a clearer connection between Meghan asking to borrow a very personal item like lip gloss (and the natural response from Kate) and how this somehow put Kate on notice Meghan would be competition. Hmmm.
The book apparently also discusses how Harry lost his virginity to an older woman who treated him like a “young stallion” and slapped his backside (insert cringing emoji here, good golly), and how William reprimanded Meghan for accusing Kate of having “baby brain,” which sounds like just the kind of slur Meghan would unpack on her podcast.
Harry has two interviews coming out this weekend, so there is more drama on our horizon. I hope William is buckling up for a wild five months in the run-up to his father’s coronation, because the Sussexes are on the march.
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