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Prince Harry’s Spare: Did He Say Too Much About British Royals?



Prince Harry isn’t sparing us the cold, hard truth of life as a British royal.

The Duke of Sussex sat down for a candid interview with Anderson Cooper on “60 Minutes,” which aired Sunday on CBS. The interview previewed the “unflinching honesty” of Harry’s upcoming memoir “Spare,” which hits shelves Jan. 10 and details his life before and after he and his wife, Duchess Meghan, stepped back from their roles as senior members of the royal family.


In his conversation with Cooper, Harry opened up about his relationships with members of the royal family, including his father’s wife, Queen Consort Camilla, as well as the yearslong grief of losing his mother, Princess Diana, at age 12.

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Prince Harry never ‘intended to hurt’ family with memoir

Despite the frankness of his upcoming memoir, including his description of his brother, Prince William, Harry told Cooper “Spare” is his way of setting the record straight about the tensions in his family life.

“None of anything that I’ve written, anything I’ve included is ever intended to hurt my family,” Harry said. “But it does give a full picture of the situation as we were growing up, and also squashes this idea that somehow my wife was the one that destroyed the relationship between these two brothers.”


Responding to the criticism of being very “public” since resigning from his royal duties, Harry claimed his attempts at privacy have been thwarted by the royal family’s correspondence with the media.

“Every single time I’ve tried to do it privately there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife,” he said. “The family motto is ‘Never complain, never explain,’ but it’s just a motto.

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“So now, trying to speak a language that perhaps they understand, I will sit here and speak truth to you with the words that come out of my mouth, rather than using someone else, an unnamed source, to feed in lies or a narrative to a tabloid media that literally radicalizes its readers to then potentially cause harm to my family, my wife, my kids.”

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Prince Harry revisits ‘guilt’ he felt after Princess Diana’s death

Harry also spoke about the emotional aftermath of the loss of his mother, who was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997. Recalling meeting mourners outside Kensington Palace in London with William, Harry said he remembers “the guilt that I felt.”

“The fact that the people that we were meeting were showing more emotion than we were showing, maybe more emotion than we even felt,” said Harry, adding that he felt like a “middle person” for people’s grief.


He said he understands his mother more now because he is a parent to two children himself.

“I’m starting to comprehend the position that she was as a mother, a single parent, looking after two boys with this intense media harassment,” he said. “It wasn’t online then. It was very much physical. She was being chased.”


He added that he continues to do everything he can to protect his family “because it certainly doesn’t seem as though the British press have changed their ways.”

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Prince Harry on using psychedelic drugs to cope with trauma of Princess Diana’s death

Harry went into detail with Cooper about the healing process of grieving his mother’s death. Apart from going to therapy, Harry said he has also pursued experimental medicinal treatments, such as using the psychedelics Ayahuasca and psilocybin.

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Ayahuasca is a plant-based psychedelic created from “prolonged heating or boiling of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine with the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub,” according to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Psilocybin, commonly known as magic mushrooms, are “naturally occurring and are consumed for their hallucinogenic effects.”

Prince Philip, left, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service for Princess Diana on Sept. 6, 1997.
Prince Philip, left, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service for Princess Diana on Sept. 6, 1997.

“I would never recommend people to do this recreationally,” Harry said. “But doing it with the right people, if you are suffering from a huge amount of loss, grief or trauma, then these things have a way of working as a medicine.”

Harry said taking the drugs gave him clarity about his own relationship with grief. “They cleared away this idea that I had in my head that I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her. When in fact, all she wanted was for me to be happy,” Harry said.

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Prince Harry, William ‘didn’t think it was necessary’ for King Charles, Camilla to wed

Harry spoke about his relationship with Camilla, who married his father, King Charles III, in 2005.

Harry revealed that he and William asked Charles not to marry Camilla. “We didn’t think it was necessary,” Harry said. “We thought that it was going to cause more harm than good and that if he was now with his person, that surely that’s enough. Why go that far when you don’t necessarily need to?”


He added: “We wanted him to be happy, and we saw how happy he was with her. So, at the time, it was, ‘OK .’ ”

But, Harry said, Camilla’s need to “rehabilitate her image” in the media came at a cost because of “the connections that she was forging within the British press.”

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“If you are led to believe, as a member of the family, that being on the front page, having positive headlines, positive stories written about you, is going to improve your reputation or increase the chances of you being accepted as monarch by the British public, then that’s what you’re going to do.”

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Prince Harry says he was excluded from plans to see Queen Elizabeth II before she died

Harry happened to be in the right place at the right time when it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II was under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Harry was in London in September for a charity event while his grandmother was ill.

“I asked my brother – I said: ‘What are your plans? How are you and Kate getting up there?’ And then, a couple of hours later, you know, all of the family members that live within the Windsor and Ascot area were jumping on a plane together. A plane with 12, 14, maybe 16 seats,” he said, adding that he was “not invited” to travel with them, so he had to make his own arrangements.


Harry was met by his aunt, Princess Anne, who allowed him to spend some time with Elizabeth alone. She had died by the time he arrived.

“I was actually really happy for her. Because she’d finished life. She’d completed life, and her husband was waiting for her,” he recalled. “And the two of them are buried together.


This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Prince Harry on ’60 Minutes’: Prince talks ‘Spare,’ Princess Diana


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