Prince Harry snubs royal family in foreword to new book Spare

New revelations come to light as the Duke of Sussex's autobiography is released

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Latest: 27 new claims in Prince Harry's book, Spare

The Duke of Sussex has omitted members of the royal family from the acknowledgements section of his new book Spare, which was released on Tuesday.

Revelations in Prince Harry's book Spare have already caused a furore, including how Prince William physically attacked him, how he killed 25 Taliban members during the Afghanistan conflict, and his admitting he took cocaine and magic mushrooms.

The prince does not mention his brother Prince William, his father King Charles or his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth, or other royal family members in the opening acknowledgements section.

But he does thank his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, and children Archie and Lili.

“Above all my deepest and adoringest thanks to Archie and Lili, for letting Papa go off to read and think and reflect, and to my mother-in-law (aka Grandma), and to my incredible wife, for too many millions of gifts and sacrifices, great and small, to ever enumerate," Prince Harry writes.

“Love of my life, thank you, thank you, thank you.

“This book would’ve been impossible [logistically, physically, emotionally, spiritually] without you.

“Most things would be impossible without you.”

Also mentioned are a host of celebrity names, with “thanks and hugs” for Chris Martin, Oprah Winfrey, James Corden, Tyler Perry, and Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina Blaquier, for “their unwavering friendship and support”.

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Prince Harry says his mother’s siblings deserve a “standout thanks” for their “love, support, time and perspective”.

The duke also gives “special thanks” to friends in the UK “who stuck by” him “amongst the fog”, adding: “Next round’s on me.”

Prince Harry says his therapist helped him to “unravel years of unresolved trauma”.

He also mentions publisher Penguin Random House, those who worked on the audiobook, “friends and colleagues”, “professionals, medical experts and coaches”, staff at his charity Archewell and his two colour sergeants from Sandhurst.

The duke starts the section with: “The length of this list alone leaves me deeply humbled.”

I was prepared to risk capture in Afghanistan to carry out first mission

Prince Harry said he was willing to risk being taken prisoner in Afghanistan to carry out his first Apache helicopter mission.

He said he had been prepared to ignore a “land now” warning light in his helicopter cockpit, which meant an operation during his second frontline tour in 2012 had to be abandoned.

The duke said a more experienced flier turned them back to Camp Bastion in Helmand province, leaving him feeling cheated.

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“I wanted to go, go, go. I was willing to risk crashing, being taken prisoner — whatever,” he said.

Prince Harry’s admission in his book that he killed 25 Taliban members during the war in Afghanistan sparked protests in Helmand over the weekend and criticism from former military figures.

He has written in depth about his military experience overseas, describing how he narrowly escaped being hit by a huge explosion during his first stint in the country in 2007-2008.

“I felt it in my brain. I looked around. Everyone was on their stomachs,” he said.

On his second tour, for which he retrained as an Apache helicopter pilot, the duke recalled: “I was the first in my squadron to pull the trigger in anger.”

Prince Harry said he had killed before but it was “my most direct contact with the enemy ever” as he aimed at Taliban fighters riding motorbikes.

In the book he said the trigger in his Apache he fired was “remarkably similar” to the thumbstick for the PlayStation game he played at camp.

“We swooped back to camp, critiqued the video. Perfect kill. We played some more PlayStation," the duke said.

But later in the memoir he said he threw down a newspaper in disgust when he saw the headline “Harry compares killing to video game” after mentioning the similarity in an interview.

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Prince Harry recounts how he realised his secret tour of duty had been exposed in 2008 when he overheard coded messages that suggested “Red Fox” was about to be murdered.

“I blinked at the radio and knew with total certainty that Red Fox was me,” he said.

The duke had his cover blown when an Australian magazine leaked the news that he was serving on the ground in the conflict. He was pulled out of the country.

But he also opens up about the impact the war had on him.

When he returned home in 2012 to meet then-girlfriend Cressida Bonas, he says she and his cousin Princess Eugenie told him he looked in some way like a different person, which he described as frightening and off-putting for Ms Bonas.

Some royals ‘obsessed’ with tally of official engagements

Certain members of the royal family were “obsessed” with having the highest number of official engagements each year, the Duke of Sussex has said.

In his autobiography, Prince Harry said they “feverishly” strived to notch up the most public duties recorded in the official Court Circular.

The duke called the daily list of royal engagements a joke because it was self-reported and “rigged”.

He did not name any people but said that although the Court Circular was not discussed directly by the Windsors, it caused tension under the surface as the end of the year approached and final tallies were compared in the press.

“Certain members had become obsessed, feverishly striving to have the highest number of official engagements in the Circular each year, no matter what,” Prince Harry wrote of his experience at Christmas 2013.

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He said some members included public interactions that were just blips — the kinds of things “Willy and I” would not include.

The duke said the daily list was rigged because the late queen and his father, now the king, had decided how much support and money he and the now-Prince of Wales could allocate to their work.

He said it was “grossly unfair” to be “publicly flogged for how much Pa” allowed them to do.

Anne, the Princess Royal, is often called the hardest working after regularly having the most official duties in the Court Circular each year, followed by King Charles.

‘Numb’ Harry brought to verge of tears by Sir Elton John at Diana’s funeral

The Duke of Sussex said he felt “numb” before his mother’s funeral but was nearly brought to tears while listening to Sir Elton John perform during the service.

The veteran musician, 75, was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales, and famously performed an adapted version of his song Candle In The Wind to reflect her life at her Westminster Abbey funeral.

After Diana’s death in 1997, Sir Elton remained a friend to her sons Prince William, 40, and Prince Harry, 38, over the years and attended both their royal weddings alongside his husband, David Furnish.

Prince Harry wrote about his 12-year-old-self “feeling numb” as he walked with his brother behind his mother’s coffin before reaching the Abbey in London.

“The funeral began with a series of readings and eulogies, and culminated with Elton John," he said.

“He rose slowly, stiffly, as if he was one of the great kings buried for centuries beneath the abbey. Suddenly roused back to life. He walked to the front, seated himself at a grand piano.

“Is there anyone who doesn’t know that he sang Candle in the Wind, a version he’d reworked for Mummy? I can’t be sure the notes in my head are from that moment or from clips I’ve seen since. Possibly they’re vestiges of recurring nightmares.

“But I do have one pure, indisputable memory of the song climaxing and my eyes starting to sting and tears nearly falling. Nearly.”

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Later in the book, the duke remembers hosting the 10th anniversary concert for his mother, with Sir Elton being among the line-up that also included Duran Duran and Sir Rod Stewart.

Prince Harry revealed he asked Sir Elton to play Candle In The Wind once again but the singer refused as he “didn’t want to be morbid”.

Instead, he performed his ballad Your Song, with Prince Harry describing his performance as being done with “a twinkle and a smile, aglow with good memories”.

“Willy and I tried for that same energy, but then photos of Mummy began flashing on the screen. Each one more radiant. We went from being crumpled to being swept away”, he said.

Elsewhere in the book, Prince Harry recalled the Duchess of Sussex and himself admitting to Sir Elton that they were “losing it” in the summer of 2019.

He said the singer offered for the couple and their son Archie to visit his home in France where he and his family were staying.

Prince Harry recounted the “best part of the visit was watching Elton and David and their two boys fall in love with Archie".

“Often I’d catch Elton studying Archie’s face and I knew what he was thinking: Mummy. I knew because it happened so often to me as well," he said.

“Time and again I’d see an expression cross Archie’s face and it would bring me up short.

“I nearly said so to Elton, how much I wished my mother could hold her grandson, how often it happened that, while hugging Archie, I felt her — or wanted to. Every hug tinged with nostalgia; every tuck-in touched with grief.”

Prince Harry also revealed he and Sir Elton had a disagreement on the last night of the holiday over the singer planning to serialise his coming memoir with the Daily Mail.

The duke said he questioned why Sir Elton had chosen the newspaper he claimed had made his life “miserable”.

Sir Elton said he “wanted people to read it” and Prince Harry did not want to “push” the matter, adding: “I loved him. I’ll always love him. And I also didn’t want to spoil the holiday.”

Diana’s former butler ‘made my blood boil’ by releasing tell-all book

The Duke of Sussex has condemned Diana's former butler for releasing a book that made a series of private revelations about his mother.

Prince Harry said Paul Burrell was “milking” Diana’s death for money when he penned A Royal Duty in 2003, adding that it “made my blood boil”.

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Mr Burrell, who the duke does not name in the autobiography, drew criticism from the royal family at the time when he released the book about his former boss Diana.

A statement issued by the brothers from Clarence House accused Mr Burrell of “a cold and overt betrayal”.

In response, he welcomed the suggestion of meeting the princes to justify his book and tell them about parts of their mother’s life they had not witnessed, adding: “I’d love to give them a piece of my mind.”

Prince Harry described how he learnt of the book when he was working as an unpaid farmhand in Australia, aged 19 in 2003 after leaving Eton.

He wrote that he received a package from Buckingham Palace, which was full of memos from the Palace communications team about “a delicate matter”.

“Mummy’s former butler had penned a tell-all which actually told nothing,” he said. “It was merely one man’s self-justifying, self-centring version of events.

“My mother once called this butler a dear friend, trusted him implicitly. We did too. Now this. He was milking her disappearance for money. It made my blood boil.”

Prince Harry wrote that he wanted to fly home to “confront” Mr Burrell but King Charles and Prince William talked him out of it, saying all they could do was “issue a united condemnation”.

The duke also claimed that he had “nothing to do with the drafting” of the Clarence House statement and that he would have “gone much further”.

Prince Harry said he “anxiously” waited for a meeting with Mr Burrell but it never happened.

“I didn’t know why; I presume the Palace quashed it. I told myself: Shame.

“I thought of that man as the one errant steer that got away that summer.”

I told Meghan not to take photo in front of Taj Mahal

The Duke of Sussex told his wife not to take a photo in front of the Taj Mahal because he did not want people to think she was mimicking his mother.

In 1992, Diana was pictured sitting alone at the famous landmark on a tour of India, in an image considered symbolic of the state of her relationship with King Charles.

Prince Harry wrote that he and Meghan laughed about the advice he gave her ahead of a trip she was taking to India.

“Do not take a photo in front of the Taj Mahal. She’d asked why and I’d said: 'My mum',” he wrote.

“I’d explained that my mother had posed for a photo there, and it had become iconic, and I didn’t want anyone thinking Meg was trying to mimic my mother.

“Meg had never heard of this photo, and found the whole thing baffling, and I loved her for being baffled.”

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Meghan went to India with World Vision, working on menstrual health management and education access for young girls, the memoir said.

She then took her mother Doria Ragland on a yoga retreat in Goa to celebrate her 60th birthday.

Elsewhere in the book, Prince Harry reveals it was Meghan who sent the first message at the beginning of their romance.

A mutual friend helped to connect the pair after the duke saw Meghan on the pal’s Instagram account.

The friend, called Violet, asked Prince Harry if it would be OK to give Meghan his Instagram handle, to which he agreed.

He received a message from Meghan complimenting his Instagram page which he said was mostly photos of Africa.

He says they exchanged phone numbers and began texting “late into the night”, adding that this began on July 1, 2016 – which would have been his mother’s 55th birthday.

Later in the book, Prince Harry reveals he would have a marijuana cigarette at night when he and his family were staying at US actor Tyler Perry’s house in Los Angeles in 2020, after they left Canada.

“Late at night, with everyone asleep, I’d walk the house, checking the doors and windows,” he wrote.

“Then I’d sit on the balcony or the edge of the garden and roll a joint.”

Queen quizzed Meghan on Donald Trump during first meeting

The Duchess of Sussex was quizzed by the queen about her opinion of Donald Trump the first time the two women met, Prince Harry wrote.

Meghan and Prince Harry’s momentous encounter with the late monarch was staged at Royal Lodge, the Duke of York’s Berkshire home, but the duchess did not recognise Prince Andrew when he joined them and thought the queen’s son was her assistant.

Queen Consort Camilla, described by the Duke of Sussex in interviews as “dangerous” and criticised for trying to rehabilitate her “image” at his cost, suggested Harry become Governor General of Bermuda to escape the “maelstrom” of press interest, the book claimed.

It also revealed claims about the fractious relationship between the king and his heir, Prince William, with Prince Harry recounting how his brother, while “way too upset”, rang him to say “Pa and Camilla’s people had planted a story or stories about him and Kate and the kids”.

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The book recounts how in 2016 the duke took his then girlfriend Meghan to meet Sarah, Duchess of York, at Royal Lodge, the home she shares with former husband Prince Andrew, as she already knew her daughter Princess Eugenie and her then-boyfriend now-husband Jack Brooksbank.

But as they neared the royal residence Prince Harry was told by a call that the queen was visiting and Sarah came out to show Meghan how to curtsey.

He said both he and Sarah told Meghan: “When you first meet the queen, it’s Your Majesty. Thereafter it’s just Ma’am. Rhymes with ham.”

Reflecting on the meeting, Prince Harry wrote: “It was all very pleasant. Granny even asked Meg what she thought of Donald Trump. [This was before the November 2016 election, so everyone in the world seemed to be thinking and talking about the Republican candidate.[

“Meg thought politics a no-win game, so she changed the subject to Canada.”

Prince Harry said his grandmother “squinted” and said to Meghan: "I thought you were American."

"Meghan replied: ‘I am, but I’ve been living in Canada for seven years for work.’

Prince Harry then writes: “Granny looked pleased. Commonwealth. Good, fine.”

After about 20 minutes, the queen announced she had to leave, Prince Harry wrote.

“My uncle Andrew, seated beside her, holding her handbag, began to escort her out.”

“After a moment, Meg asked me something about the queen’s assistant. I asked who she was talking about."

When she said, “That man who walked her to the door,” he told her, “That was her second son, Andrew.”

Throughout the book much of his anger is directed at the British media, especially the tabloid press, and he saves some of his harshest criticism for Rupert Murdoch — owner of News UK, the organisation that publishes The Sun — describing him as “evil”.

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There is criticism of King Charles’ parenting skills and loving praise for his father from Prince Harry.

He described the king as liking “his routines”, adding: “He wasn’t the kind of father who played endless rounds of tag, or tossed a ball long after dark.”

But when a picture of Prince Harry romping naked in Las Vegas, just weeks before he went to Afghanistan, was splashed across the newspapers, he said King Charles, to his surprise and relief, was gentle.

“He felt for me, he said. He’d been there, though he’d never been naked on a front page,” Prince Harry wrote.

Meeting models while going through puberty was ‘very confusing’

The Duke of Sussex has revealed meeting supermodels including Cindy Crawford when he was going through puberty was “very confusing”.

Prince Harry said his therapist helped him to recall memories with his mother Diana that he had previously forgotten.

Prince Harry, now 38, writes in his book: “All my life I’d told people I couldn’t remember the past, couldn’t remember my mum, but I never gave anyone the full picture. My memory was dead.

“Now, through months of therapy, my memory twitched, kicked, sputtered. It came to life.”

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The duke said he could now remember waking up in his mother’s Kensington Palace and jumping on her waterbed with his brother.

Another of the memories he recounted was when he met a string of models, writing: “I remembered Willy and me joining her for a chat with Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford.

“Very confusing. Especially for two shy boys, at or about the age of puberty”.

Crawford, Turlington and Schiffer were among some of the most popular supermodels of the 1980s and 1990s.

They often featured on magazine covers, runways and in fashion campaigns.

Updated: January 10, 2023, 4:35 PM
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