Prince Harry 'can't see' himself ever returning as a full-time royal

Duke of Sussex says his brother Prince William told him to pretend they didn't know each other when they were at school together

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stand behind King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in September. Reuters
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Prince Harry does not envision ever returning to life as a full-time member of the royal family, but holds out hope that relationships can be mended.

Speaking to Anderson Cooper on CBS's 60 Minutes, the Duke of Sussex provided new glimpses into his upbringing and elaborated on excerpts from his tell-all memoir Spare, which will be published on Tuesday.

Asked if he could imagine returning as a full-time member of the royal family, Prince Harry said: “I can't see that happening.”

But when Cooper pressed him on if the “rupture” with his family could ever be healed, Prince Harry said: “Yes, the ball is very much in their court.”

The interview, which was broadcast in the US on Sunday, was the latest in a series of sit-downs Prince Harry did with British and American news networks to discuss his book.

He appeared on Good Morning America on Monday and was due to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert later in the week.

Earlier on Sunday, he spoke to ITV's Tom Bradby and accused his family of “getting into bed with the devil” to rehabilitate their image, among other claims.

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Prince Harry told Cooper that his brother Prince William had told him to pretend “we don't know each other” when they were at school together.

“At the time it hurt,” he said. “I couldn't make sense of it. I was like we went to the same school … I haven't seen you for ages now and we get to hang out together.

“He said 'no, no, when we're at school we don't know each other'.”

The Duke of Sussex says his military service in Afghanistan was a way to turn his “pain into purpose” after the death of his mother.

Prince Harry told Cooper that for him, war had begun “in August 1997", when his mother Diana died, and that he was “fighting himself”.

“I felt healing from that. I felt like I was turning pain into purpose,” he said.

“I didn't have the awareness at the time [to know] that I was living my life through adrenalin and that was the case from age 12.

“The war for me, unknowingly, was when my mum died.”

Prince Harry's autobiography: What to expect

Prince Harry's autobiography: What to expect

Prince Harry has drawn criticism for revealing in his book that he killed 25 Taliban fighters during his deployment to Afghanistan, saying he watched video footage of operations to tally the number.

In addition, the Duke of Sussex said he would “never recommend” people do psilocybin — or “magic” mushrooms — recreationally, but told Cooper during the CBS interview that it had a way of “working as a medicine” for people suffering “from a huge amount of loss, grief and trauma” when doing it with the right people.

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 CNN's Cooper.

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

He attacked what he claimed was Camilla's attempts to “rehabilitate” her image, after being cast as the “third person” in his parents' marriage, but also sympathised with her, saying in the interview that she is not an “evil stepmother”.

Prince Harry said he and his brother are “not texting” and that he has not spoken to his father King Charles III for “quite a while”.

“Do you speak to William now? Do you text?” Cooper asked him.

“Currently, no, but I look forward to us being able to find peace,” Prince Harry replied.

PA contributed to this report

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Updated: January 09, 2023, 4:05 PM