Verdict on Prince Harry's Spare: 'a brutal hatchet job that leaves exile the only option'

Royal expert gives his views on the explosive memoirs - and predicts his wife will pen a book next

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A royal expert has described Prince Harry's newly published memoirs as “brutal” and says the royal family will be “unable to forgive” his claims.

Richard Fitzwilliam, who has been a commentator on British royalty for decades, told The National he was shocked to discover that Prince William and Harry's relationship is “so toxic” after he read the prince's newly released book Spare.

The memoir was released on Tuesday, allowing the world to see in full detail his decades of anger at his position within his family and how he feels he has been treated by other members.

He writes about how he was injured after he was physically attacked by Prince William during a row and how his brother called his wife Meghan “rude, difficult and abrasive”.

The book reveals he asked his father, King Charles III, not to marry Camilla Parker Bowles — now the queen consort.

Mr Fitzwilliam says the book is “brutal” towards the royal family and Harry has effectively exiled himself.

“It is an absolutely brutal hatchet job to the royal family, who cannot respond to it,” he said.

“The forms of character assassination of some of the various characters, Charles, William and Camilla, there is no doubt that it will not be something that is forgiven. The palace cannot issue an official denial because there are so many accusations against them.

“You write something like this and you just simply cannot picture a reconciliation coming once you have spoken about your family in these terms. It is an absolutely brutal book when it comes to the reputation of the monarchy — his views of it and the way it exists.

“Essentially by speaking out like this they cannot trust him and he doesn't trust them. If you write a book like this about your family you cannot expect a warm reception.

“I had not realised the relationship with his brother was so toxic.

“Essentially if you do this to your family there is no option but to expect a form of exile. That is what they have chosen. It is a thoroughly unhappy situation.”

The book details the trauma sparked by the death of Prince Harry's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, his life in uniform as he embarked on a tour in Afghanistan and his life after meeting Meghan.

Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex through the years - in pictures

“It is very atmospheric and descriptive about the terrain in Afghanistan and about Africa, a place he is so fond of, and the emotion, and deliberately so, about Diana and the way Harry has been unquestionably haunted and damaged by the loss of his mother,” said Mr Fitzwilliam.

“Diana appears a lot, he seems to have taken a long time to acknowledge she was actually dead.

“It takes him years to accept Diana had died and not just vanished. He has been in therapy for seven years and is a very deeply tormented individual.”

The book follows the broadcasting of a six-part Netflix documentary series on the couple.

Surrounding the book release, the prince conducted a number of television interviews in the UK and US in which more details were given.

Speaking to ITV's Tom Bradby, Harry accused his family of “getting into bed with the devil” to rehabilitate their image, among other claims.

Prince Harry described Queen Consort Camilla as a “villain” and said her willingness to forge relationships with the British press made her “dangerous”.

“She was the villain, she was a third person in the marriage, she needed to rehabilitate her image,” he told CBS's Anderson Cooper.

In a separate interview with Good Morning America, Prince Harry said the queen consort “sacrificed me on her personal PR altar”.

When the book was finally release it became an instant bestseller becoming the fastest selling non-fiction book ever in the UK on its release day and is number one in the US book charts.

It has drawn criticism, after he revealed in his book that he had killed 25 Taliban fighters during his deployment to Afghanistan, saying he watched video footage of operations to tally the number.

Former military officers have raised concerns his comments may have created security issues for the prince and his family.

Following the success of the prince's book Mr Fitzwilliam believes Harry's wife may be the next to write her memoirs.

“I do not know what to expect next, they are completely unpredictable,” he said. “But I expect Meghan will probably write next.”

Prince William and Prince Harry through the years - in pictures

Updated: January 12, 2023, 6:41 PM
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