Prince Harry ate Nando's and used laughing gas to 'enhance his calm' during Archie's birth

Duke of Sussex says in autobiography Spare that nitrous oxide tank was empty when wife Meghan needed it

Prince Harry and wife Meghan with newborn son Archie after his birth in 2019. Getty
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Prince Harry says he used laughing gas and ate Nando’s to “enhance his calm” during the birth of his son, Archie.

Writing about the scene at the private Portland Hospital in London in 2019, he says his wife Meghan was “so calm”.

He was calm too, he says. But he saw two ways of “enhancing” the state.

“One: Nando’s chicken. (Brought by our bodyguards),” he writes. “Two: A canister of laughing gas beside Meg’s bed.

“I took several slow, penetrating hits. Meg, bouncing on a giant purple ball, a proven way of giving nature a push, laughed and rolled her eyes.

“I took several more hits and now I was bouncing too.”

When Meghan’s contractions began to quicken and deepen, the nurse came and tried to give her some gas.

“There was none left. The nurse looked at the tank, looked at me, and I could see the thought slowly dawning: Gracious, the husband’s had it all.

“'Sorry', I said meekly,” he writes.

“Meg laughed, the nurse had to laugh, and quickly changed the canister.”

He did not use it during the birth of his daughter, he writes.

“This time I didn’t touch the laughing gas (because there was none.) I was fully present,” he writes.

Laughing gas, which is nitrous oxide, does not eliminate pain, but can dull it and reduce anxiety. It is used widely in medical settings, particularly during labour and for dental treatments.

But its use is also growing recreationally, prompting doctors to warn that regular ingestion can lead to nerve damage, including paralysis.

It occurs because the drug causes creates a deficiency in vitamin B12, which disrupts the production of myelin, a fatty sheath which encompasses nerves.

The process can lead to spinal cord damage, which can be irreversible if left untreated.

Prince Harry's book also reveals how he had “taken cocaine” during a shooting weekend in the summer of 2002 when he was 17 and did “a few more lines” on other occasions.

He says it was not “fun and it did not make me feel as happy as it seemed to make others but it did make me feel different and that was my main goal. To feel. To be different”.

He also acknowledges using cannabis and magic mushrooms — which made him hallucinate that a toilet was talking to him.

The book was leaked ahead of its official release on Tuesday. Details to have emerged since include the prince’s 15-minute shopping system in discount store, TK Maxx.

Prince Harry said he received an official clothing allowance from “pa” each year, but it was strictly for formal wear, such as suits, ties and ceremonial outfits.

Prince Harry's book is released — in pictures

For more casual clothes he would shop at the “discount store”, where he could snap up just-out-of-season clothes for bargain prices.

Writing in his autobiography Spare about the experience in some detail, he said he was “particularly fond” of its annual sale, when the shop would be flush with items that had just out of season or were slightly damaged from Gap or J.Crew.

He writes about his system to grab the best bargains, which involved him reaching the shop 15 minutes before closing.

“Grab a red bucket. Hurry to the top floor. Begin systematically working up one rack and down another,” he writes.

“If I found something promising I’d hold it up to my chest or legs, standing in front of a mirror.

“I never dawdled over colour or style and certainly never went near a changing room. If it looked nice, comfortable, into the bucket it went.”

At closing time he said he would run out with giant shopping bags “feeling triumphant”.

Updated: January 10, 2023, 1:05 PM