The Most Startling Revelations From Prince Harry's Spare

Prince Harry's revealing memoir, "Spare," was set for worldwide release on January 10, 2023, but booksellers in Spain accidentally put the memoir out five days early, The Independent reported. A number of passages from the book have been shared throughout the media, and it seems that Harry is certainly sharing many details about his life and the lives of the members of the royal family.

The title of the book draws on something Harry was told his father said to Princess Diana after his birth. ""Wonderful," Charles reportedly said (via BBC News). "You have given me an heir and a spare. You have done your job." In other words, he had a son to inherit the throne and a son who was there just in case something happened to his firstborn. This dynamic has shaped Harry's life since birth, and it's one he explores in his book.

Here are a few of the other startling revelations and claims that Harry makes in "Spare." 

Prince Harry claims his brother physically attacked him

The feud between Prince Harry and Prince William has been well documented for years, but many of the personal details about what life is really like behind the scenes for the brothers haven't been shared by members of the royal family. All that has changed with the release of Prince Harry's memoir, "Spare," and the younger brother appears more than willing to peel back the layers on his most intimate relationships.

In one passage, Harry reveals that William physically attacked him following a confrontation at Frogmore Cottage, the home Harry was living in with Meghan Markle (via The Guardian). It was 2019, the same year that Harry and Meghan's oldest child was born. Harry claims that William called Meghan "rude," "abrasive," and "difficult." Furthermore, Harry detailed, "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."

Harry claims he came away from the experience with bruises and cuts that were later noticed by Meghan.

Prince Harry didn't believe Princess Diana had died

Prince Harry discusses the death of his mother extensively in "Spare" and has also spoken about her death at length in promotional interviews for the book. Harry has been open about the fact that he believed his mother might have faked her death until he was into his early 20s, at which point he finally accepted his loss. 

As Harry writes in the book, he was left as a 12-year-old with too much time on his hands and not enough emotional support after losing one of the most important people in his life. He says that he began to suspect that perhaps his mother had been compelled to flee her life in a major way. He writes, "Her life's been miserable, she's been hounded, harassed, lied about, lied to. So she's staged an accident as a diversion and run away" (via USA Today). Harry adds that believing his mother might have faked her death even made him feel better for a while.

Prince Harry retraced his mother's last night

Princess Diana was confirmed to have died following a car crash in Paris, France, in late August 1997. Ten years later, her youngest son found himself in the city for the World Cup semifinal, and Prince Harry had an idea for how he might finally achieve closure in terms of his mother's death (via MSN). He asked his driver if he knew the tunnel where his mother had died, and upon receiving confirmation, asked if they could drive through it at the exact speed that his mother was traveling that night.

They drove through the city, retracing the places Diana visited and her last sights, before approaching and entering the Pont de l'Alma. Whatever Harry anticipated, it wasn't this. He writes, "We zipped ahead, went over the lip at the tunnel's entrance, the bump that supposedly sent Mummy's Mercedes veering off course. But the lip was nothing. We barely felt it."

Harry continues to describe what he felt and saw during the short drive through the tunnel the first and second time he asked the driver to go through. In the end, the choice to drive through the tunnel made things worse. As he puts it, "Deep down, I'd hoped to feel in that tunnel what I'd felt when JLP gave me the police files—disbelief. Doubt. Instead, that was the night all doubt fell away. She's dead, I thought. My God, she's really gone for good."

Prince William and Princess Catherine reportedly encouraged Prince Harry to wear a Nazi costume

Prince Harry came under fire back in 2005 when he donned a Nazi uniform at a party. As shared by TMZ, Harry was attending a "Native and Colonial-themed soiree" and he wasn't sure if the costume was the right choice, debating between that and his pilot uniform. In his memoir, he claims that he called his brother and his then-girlfriend Kate Middleton at the time, who both said the Nazi costume was the right choice. After showing them the costume in person, he wrote, "They both howled. Worse than Willy's leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point."

A photo of Harry wearing the costume was taken and distributed through the papers that night and in the days that followed. In the 2022 Netflix docuseries, "Harry & Meghan," Harry expressed enormous regret for the decision he made when he was 20 years old. The fallout from the decision to wear the costume was relatively impactful, with King Charles III (then Prince Charles) telling his youngest son to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp and watch the movie "Schindler's List." Harry also met with a rabbi in London and a Holocaust survivor in Berlin, Germany. 

Harry explains in the series, "It was probably one of the biggest mistakes in my life. I felt so ashamed afterwards" (via Page Six).

Prince Harry says he killed over two dozen people in Afghanistan

Prince Harry was a member of the British military for 10 years and served on two tours of duty in Afghanistan during that time. Harry was deeply engaged in the conflict in Afghanistan, and shares in "Spare" that this meant he took lives as many soldiers have before and since. "Most soldiers don't know exactly how many kills they have to their credit. Under battle conditions, you often fire indiscriminately," he wrote (via WalesOnline. "However, in the age of Apaches and laptops, everything I did in the course of two tours of duty was recorded and time-stamped." As a result, Harry knows exactly how many "enemy combatants" he killed.

Harry claims that he is not proud of this, but he is also not embarrassed. He goes on to reveal the number of "enemy combatants" he killed, writing, "Among the many things I learned in the Armed Forces, one of the most important was to be accountable for my own actions. So my number: twenty-five" (via Town & Country Magazine).

Harry goes on to assert that, in an ideal world, he'd like a different outcome. As he puts it, 'Naturally, I would have preferred not to have that figure on my military resume, or in my head, but I would also have preferred to live in a world without the Taliban, a world without war."

Prince Harry claims he and Prince William did not want their father to marry Camilla

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, had a relationship before Charles met Princess Diana and resumed that relationship while the pair were still married. The relationship was frequently cited by Diana as one of the causes of the breakdown of their own marriage, and it's likely the public will never forget that Charles and Camilla kept up together. Despite that, Charles and Camilla eventually married in 2005 (via Town & Country).

It has been reported over the years that Camilla gets along well with Prince Harry and Prince William, but the younger Windsor reveals in "Spare" that this wasn't always the case. In fact, he claims that both brothers discouraged their father from marrying Camilla altogether. Harry writes that he and William were happy to have Camilla in the family, but only to a point.

"When the question came, Willy and I promised our father that we would welcome Camilla to the family," Harry writes. "The only thing we asked for in return was that he didn't marry her. 'You don't need to get married again,' we asked him" (via Town & Country).

Prince Harry confirms he dabbled with drugs as a teen

Stories detailing Prince Harry's alleged drug use circulated throughout his teens, and Harry himself confirms some of those rumors in "Spare." During one part of the book, Harry admits to trying cocaine when he was 17 years old. "Of course I had been taking cocaine at the time," he writes. " At someone's house, during a hunting weekend, I was offered a line, and since then I had consumed some more" (via Town & Country).

However, cocaine didn't fully give Harry the experience he was looking for. As he explains, "It wasn't very fun, and it didn't make me feel especially happy as seemed to happen to others, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main objective. To feel." Harry goes on to add that part of what he hoped to achieve by trying the drug was to break out of the expectations set on him by his position, his family, and the world. 

Prince Harry watched Meghan Markle's sex scenes on Suits

Before she married Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was an actor. While the two were dating, she was playing Rachel Zane in the Canadian legal series "Suits." Just like the rest of us, Harry couldn't help but Google his love interest; unlike the rest of us, Harry found several intimate scenes of his partner with her castmates. As he details in his memoir, he decided to watch the sex scenes and later regretted the choice. Harry writes, "I'd witnessed her and a castmate mauling each other in some sort of office or conference room. I didn't need to see such things live" (via Page Six).

It turns out that Harry wasn't the only royal who was interested in "Suits" — although other members of the family had different reasons for watching the show. When he told his brother Prince William and his sister-in-law Princess Catherine (then Duchess of Cambridge) that he and Markle were dating, he found out that the pair were big fans of the show and watched it frequently (via Page Six). He writes, "I was baffled, until Willy and Kate explained that they were regular — nay, religious — viewers of 'Suits.'" Harry continued, writing, "All this time I'd thought Willy and Kate might not welcome Meg into the family, but now I had to worry about them hounding her for an autograph."

Prince Harry claims King Charles made 'sadistic' jokes about Harry's rumored paternity

While Princess Diana was married to King Charles III, she had an affair with military officer James Hewitt. And because James Hewitt has red hair, rumors spread that he was actually Harry's biological father — rumors that have no basis in fact. Harry writes in "Spare" that Diana hadn't even met Hewitt until after he was born, but he nevertheless had to deal with the speculation from the media and tabloids for years, but he also had to contend with jokes from his own father about the rumors.

Harry writes that Charles was fond of incorporating the tale into stories. "Pa liked telling stories, and this was one of the best in his repertoire. He'd always end with a burst of philosophizing. Who knows if I'm really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I'm even your real father?" (via Town & Country). For Harry, the experience wasn't very funny — he termed it "sadistic" in his memoir — and says that his father has never spoken to him directly or seriously about the rumors at all. 

Prince Harry claims he lost his virginity to an older woman

Prince Harry has been internationally known and important since his birth and, as a result, it's not surprising that a number of women have been interested in him. In "Spare," Harry opens up about his first experience with sex, revealing that he was 17 years old when he lost his virginity to an older woman, whom he says treated him not unlike an animal.

Harry writes of the woman, "She liked horses, quite a lot, and treated me not unlike a young stallion. Quick ride, after which she'd smacked my rump and sent me to grace" (via Page Six). It's unclear what Harry thought of the experience at the time, but it's clear in the book that he doesn't look back on it too fondly now. "Among the many things about it that were wrong. It happened in a grassy field behind a busy pub," he reveals. Harry does not, however, confirm the identity of the woman in question.

Meghan was allegedly not invited to say goodbye to the queen

As reported by The New York Times on September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. In a copy of "Spare" obtained by the BBC, Prince Harry recalls learning about his grandmother's passing — from the BBC's website. The news left Harry saddened, as he wrote in a statement published on (via CBS News). As the prince noted in "Spare," the queen died while he was on his way to give her his final goodbye. 

In his memoir, Harry reveals he made that last trip to Balmoral alone after King Charles III allegedly asked him not to bring his wife. "[My father] told me I was welcome at Balmoral, but... without [Meghan]," the Duke of Sussex wrote (via Yahoo! News). "He started to explain his reasons, but they didn't make any sense at all, and it was disrespectful as well. I did not tolerate it from him."

Prince Harry went on to write that King Charles justified this no-Meghan rule by saying that Princess Catherine would also not be welcome at Balmoral. "Nobody's wife was going to go, not even Kate, he told me, so Meg shouldn't either." Indeed, the Princess of Wales did not attend the gathering, as confirmed by the BBC.

Prince Harry says he was Prince William's best man for show

In another section of "Spare," Prince Harry reveals that he and his brother Prince William didn't actually serve as each other's best man at their respective weddings. While Prince Harry was physically in the role during William's wedding ceremony the day his brother married Princess Catherine (then known as Kate Middleton), William's good friends James and Thomas were his real best men.

Harry admits that the beginning of his current problems with his brother might have started then, as the wedding was a "farewell" despite his affection for his sister-in-law and brother. He assumed the role of best man for the sake of the royal family and the expectations of outsiders, and the same is true for William's role in Harry's own wedding to Meghan Markle.

As Harry puts it in the book, "The public expected me to be best man, and thus the Palace saw no choice but to say that I was. In truth, Willy didn't want me giving a best-man speech. He didn't think it safe to hand me a live mic and put me in a position to go off-script. I might say something wildly inappropriate. He wasn't wrong" (via USA Today).

Harry claims his father and stepmother didn't want Prince William and Princess Catherine to get attention

The tough dynamics that exist between Prince Harry and the royal family have been simmering for a long time. Harry writes in "Spare" that he isn't the only one who has experienced difficulties with family members. In fact, Harry insists that King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, have had an on-again, off-again relationship with Prince William and Kate Middleton. 

Harry writes that Charles and Camilla haven't been fond of the press attention William and Kate have received over the years. Much as there have been stories over the years that Charles rankled at the idea of Princess Diana receiving attention that took away from his own standing in the world, it seems that he and his wife aren't fond of other members of the royal family taking their spotlight.

Harry explains, "Pa and Camilla didn't like Willy and Kate drawing attention away from them or their causes. They'd openly scolded Willy about it many times." As a result, Harry writes, "Willy told me that both he and Kate felt trapped, and unfairly persecuted, by the press and by Pa and Camilla" (per USA Today).

Prince William and Princess Catherine reportedly had several problems with Prince Harry and Meghan

"Spare" sheds a lot of light on interactions between Prince William, Princess Catherine, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle. While it's clear now that there has been a major falling out between the four, Harry reveals that William and Catherine seemed to have a number of issues — big and small — with him and Meghan.

One of these issues became evident when Meghan asked Catherine if she could borrow her lip gloss ahead of a big event. Harry describes the experience as an "awkward moment" before the four went out onstage at the Royal Foundation Forum, noting that Meghan had forgotten her lip gloss and asked her soon-to-be sister-in-law if she could use hers. This is something not everyone might be comfortable with, but it seems time was of the essence. He writes, "Kate, taken aback, went into her handbag and reluctantly pulled out a small tube. Meg squeezed some onto her finger and applied it to her lips. Kate grimaced" (via USA Today).

Additionally, William took issue with Harry's facial hair on his and Meghan's wedding day. Harry writes that his beard had become a kind of way to keep himself calm, and he asked his grandmother if he could keep it when he got married. She agreed, much to William's chagrin. Harry writes, "At one point he actually ordered me, as the Heir speaking to the Spare, to shave" (per USA Today).