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WATCH: William and Harry, a life in the spotlight

A stream of sensational claims and accusations from Prince Harry’s autobiography, Spare, have been leaked.

The book outlines grievances and bitterness in the Royal Family, such as a claim he and Prince William urged their father not to marry Camilla.

But one of the most striking claims from Harry, first reported by the Guardian newspaper, was how he was physically attacked by his brother.

Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have both said they will not comment.

BBC News has obtained a copy of Spare after some copies went on sale early in Spain and has been translating it.

These are some of the key claims and revelations from the book:

Harry and William urged father not to marry Camilla

Harry writes that he and William begged their father not to marry Camilla, now Queen Consort.

The Sun – which also obtained a Spanish version after it was published there ahead of its official release date – reports that Harry claims he and his brother had separate meetings with Camilla before she officially joined the family.

Harry alleges that he pondered whether she would one day be his “wicked stepmother”, but that he and his brother were willing to forgive her in “their hearts” if she could make King Charles happy, the paper says.

There is no detail given on when the meeting took place or how old Harry was at the time.

The two royal couples seen together at Windsor Castle after the death of Queen Elizabeth IIImage source, PA Media
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The two royal couples seen together at Windsor Castle after the death of Queen Elizabeth II

A woman with powers relaying a message from Diana

Harry describes how his sadness over the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, led to him seeking help from a woman who “claimed to have ‘powers”.

“Your mother says that you are living the life that she couldn’t live,” Harry says the woman told him. “You’re living the life she wanted for you.”

Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 when Harry was 12.

Harry’s account of a conversation he says he had with his late mother is short, according to the Guardian – which obtained a copy of the book and published an extract in the early hours of Thursday.

There is also no detail on where or when the meeting with the woman took place.

Charles ‘did not hug Harry’ when Diana died

In the memoir, Harry describes his father waking him to break the news that Diana had been involved in a car accident.

Harry writes that Charles – who Harry says was not good at expressing his feelings under “normal circumstances” – did not hug him at this point.

Later, Harry writes about replicating the car journey Diana made in Paris in the lead-up to her death, hoping it would give him closure – but says it instead left him questioning the official cause of her death.

William ‘knocked him to the floor’

Harry claims his brother grabbed his collar, ripped his necklace and knocked him to the floor at his London cottage.

The book sets out an argument between the pair, which Harry claims was sparked by comments made by William about Meghan.

Harry writes that his brother was critical of Meghan with William describing her as “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”.

The Duke of Sussex said that his brother was “parrot[ing] the press narrative” as the confrontation escalated, according to the Guardian.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday.Image source, Getty Images
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William is said to often refer to Harry as “Harold” despite this not being his formal name – Henry Charles Albert David

Harry is said to describe what happened next, including an alleged physical altercation.

“He set down [a glass of] 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.”

How Harry lost his virginity

Harry writes that he was 17 when he lost his virginity to an older woman in a field behind a pub.

He says it was a “humiliating” experience, during which the woman treated him “like a young stallion”.

William and Catherine laughed at Harry’s Nazi costume

The memoir also claims William and Catherine laughed when Harry returned home dressed in a Nazi uniform before a fancy dress party in 2005.

Harry says he was debating costumes for the event and called on the pair to ask their opinions – he had a pilot’s uniform and a Nazi outfit to choose from. He details it in his memoir:

“I called Will and Kate and asked them what they thought.”

“Nazi uniform, they said.”

“I rented it, along with a ridiculous moustache, and returned home.”

“Willy and Kate were laughing. It was even worse than Willy’s leotard costume. Much more ridiculous.”

Harry was 20 when the Sun published a front page photo of him dressed in the uniform at a costume party with a “Native and Colonial” theme.

Using cocaine at 17, smoking cannabis at Eton and taking magic mushrooms

Harry says he was offered a line of cocaine at someone’s house when he was 17 and admits taking the drug on several other occasions, although he did not enjoy it.

He writes: “It wasn’t much fun and it did not make me feel especially happy as it seemed to do to everyone else, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main objective.

“I was a 17-year-old boy ready to try anything that altered the pre-established order.”

He also recounts smoking cannabis in a bathroom at Eton College while a pupil, as the Thames Valley Police officers serving as his bodyguards patrolled the exterior of the building.

Harry also describes taking magic mushrooms during a trip to California in 2016, the Telegraph reports.

William did not like having Harry at Eton

“You don’t know me Harold. And I don’t know you,” is what Harry claims William said to him as he was about to start school at Eton College.

Harry says his brother explained to him “that during his first two years there, Eton had been a sanctuary”.

“That was without the burden of a little brother who would bother him with questions or stick his nose in his social circle,” Harry says.

He says he told William “not to worry”. He claims to have said to his brother: “I will forget I know you.”

He says he met late TV presenter Caroline Flack when he went to a restaurant with friends in 2009. Describing her as “sweet” and “funny”, he writes that the press soon found out and photographers tracked them down.

“That set off a frenzy,” he writes. “In a matter of hours a horde of journalists was camped outside Flack’s parents’ house, her friends’ houses and her grandmother’s house.

“We kept seeing each other from time to time but we never felt free again. We kept going because we had a good time together and because we didn’t want to admit defeat at the hands of those imbeciles.

“But the relationship was tainted, irredeemably, and in the end we decided it just wasn’t worth the grief and harassment. Above all for her family. We said goodbye. Goodbye and good luck.”

Killed 25 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan

While serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan in 2012-13, Harry says he participated in six missions, all of which involved deaths, but saw them as justifiable.

“It wasn’t a statistic that filled me with pride but nor did it leave me ashamed,” he writes. “When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat I didn’t think of those 25 as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bad people eliminated before they could kill good people.”

Prince Harry in Afghanistan in 2012Image source, PA Media
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Prince Harry in Afghanistan in 2012

William suggested village chapel for Harry and Meghan’s wedding

Harry claims the royal household dragged its feet over the date and venue for his wedding with Meghan.

He says when he consulted his brother about the possibility of marrying in St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, William said it was not possible because they had been the venues for the weddings of Charles and Diana and William and Catherine, respectively.

William instead suggested a village chapel near their father’s Highgrove House home in the Cotswolds, says Harry.

Harry and Meghan tied the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May 2018.

‘Terrifying’ panic attacks before public appearances

“By the end of the summer of 2013, I was going through a bad moment, alternating between periods of debilitating lethargy and terrifying panic attacks,” Harry writes in his memoir.

Describing his duties at the time, from giving speeches to doing interviews, Harry says he found himself “incapable of performing these basic functions”.

Shortly before speeches, his body would be covered in sweat and putting on his suit was the trigger, when the panic began, he says.

“By the time I put on my blazer and tied my shoes, sweat would be running on my cheeks and back”.

Charles ‘begged William and Harry not to fight’

After the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in 2021, Harry describes a confrontation involving him and his brother.

Harry says that Charles stood between him and William and told them: “Please, boys… don’t make my final years a misery.”

William and Harry ‘were the heir and spare’

The title of the book alludes to a remark supposedly made after Harry’s birth.

Harry writes that he was 20 years old when he was told that Charles had said to Diana: “Wonderful. You have given me an heir and a spare. You have done your job.”

Three details you may have missed:

  • Harry says William and Catherine were fans of Suits, the TV series Meghan starred in, before they met her. They were “open mouthed” when Harry revealed the identity of his then girlfriend, he writes, before adding that his brother warned him: “When all’s said and done, Harold, she’s an American actress, anything could happen.”
  • The duke also claims William ordered him to shave his beard in the run up to his wedding to Meghan, despite the Queen granting him permission to keep his beard for the occasion
  • Meghan offended Catherine by asking to borrow her lip gloss just before an event, writes Harry. When Meghan squeezed a little bit on her finger and applied it to her lips Catherine looked disgusted, he says.
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