Spare: 10 Big Claims Harry Made About Prince William

To say that Prince Harry and Prince William have had a falling out would be an understatement. Following Harry's 2020 decision to abandon palace life, in particular, he and his older brother simply do not seem to get along. As royal biographer Christopher Andersen told Express, "Prince William shares his father's sense of dismay and betrayal, and for him, pain turned to anger a long time ago. The chasm between the brothers is deeper and wider than ever."

Sadly, William is not the only brother nursing a sense of woundedness. In his Netflix docu-series tell-all,"Harry & Meghan," Harry claimed that the Prince of Wales shouted at him. Apparently, the exchange left Harry feeling frightened. "It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that simply weren't true and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in," the Duke of Sussex recalled (via Yahoo! News).

The amount of bad blood boiling between the once-inseparable brothers raises questions about how their relationship fell apart to begin with. In his 2023 book, "Spare," which was accidentally released in Spain five days early, Harry offered some explanations as to why he considers William both his "beloved brother and arch-nemesis."

Prince William allegedly attacked Prince Harry

Perhaps the most egregious claim made in Prince Harry's book, "Spare," is that Prince William physically assaulted him after an intense conversation. According to an excerpt from the book obtained by The Guardian, Harry alleges that the incident began in 2019 when his older brother initiated a discussion about "the whole rolling catastrophe" of their messy relationship. Apparently, however, the conversation quickly soured, as William began to speak ill of Meghan Markle. 

Per Harry's account, the brothers' debate grew increasingly heated, culminating in William allegedly tackling Harry. The Duke of Sussex wrote, "He set down the water, called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor." Harry went on to write that the altercation left him mildly injured: "I landed on the dog's bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me."

While Buckingham Palace has offered no comment on the allegations made in Harry's memoir, anonymous palace insiders alleged to Vanity Fair that William is angry at his brother for airing their dirty laundry. As one source told the outlet prior to the book's accidental release, "William worries everything and anything he says will be made public. For now, he isn't going to be commenting or reacting. His plan is to ride this all out."

Prince Harry claims that Prince William encouraged him to wear a Nazi uniform

In 2005, Prince Harry made headlines for all the wrong reasons. The redheaded prince was photographed attending a costume party in a Nazi uniform — choice of attire that left the public reeling (via The Guardian). As Jewish former British Conservative Party leader Michael Howard told CNN at the time, "I think a lot of people will be disappointed to see that photograph and it will cause a lot of offense."

The prince did issue an apology, in which he stated, "I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize" (via People). However, as reported by the Irish Times, the prince's statement was largely ignored.

While Harry clearly took the fall for wearing the Nazi costume, he alleges in "Spare" that he wasn't the only one responsible for the incident. Harry claims that Prince William and his then-girlfriend Kate Middleton actually encouraged him to wear the costume. Per the Duke of Sussex's account, he wasn't sure if he should wear the Nazi costume or the pilot one. In his moment of doubt, Harry consulted William and the future Princess Catherine for their advice. "I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought," Harry wrote (via Page Six). "Nazi uniform, they said."

Prince William ignored his brother at school, Harry claimed

Prince William and Prince Harry's issues with each other might seem like a new development to some. However, Harry's alleges in his memoir, "Spare," that the brothers' rift dates much further back. According to BBC News, both British princes studied at the esteemed preparatory school, Eton College. The way that the rebellious redhead remembers things, however, this idyllic image of loving brothers attending school together couldn't be further from reality.

As per a copy of "Spare" acquired by the BBC, Harry alleges that William didn't want to hang out with him at school. Harry revealed that William told him that "during his first two years there, Eton had been a sanctuary." He continued, writing, "That was without the burden of a little brother who would bother him with questions or stick his nose in his social circle." 

Because of this, William allegedly set things straight with Harry on the first day of school. The Duke of Sussex wrote that his brother told him: "You don't know me. Harold. And I don't know you."  Apparently, Harry accepted his brother's request, saying, "I will forget I know you."

Prince William allegedly reacted poorly to meeting Meghan Markle

In 2023, it's fair to say that Prince William doesn't seem like Meghan Markle's biggest fan. However, the same couldn't be said during her "Suits" days. According to pieces of Prince Harry's tell-all, parts of which were published in Page Six, the future Prince and Princess of Wales were actually major fans of Meghan while she was on TV. As Harry wrote, "Willy and Kate explained that they were regular — nay, religious — viewers of 'Suits.' ... 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."

All of that excitement, however, waned the minute that William and Catherine met Meghan in person, Harry claims. Per his view, William, in particular, was baffled by Meghan's failure to follow royal protocol. In "Spare," Harry related that Meghan hugged William the first time that they met — a greeting from which Harry says his brother "recoiled." The Duke of Sussex said, "[It] completely freaked him out. ... Will had hoped that she would greet him with standard reverence per the protocol." Meghan didn't do so because, as Harry explained, he hadn't informed her of the protocol. 

In the documentary "Harry & Meghan," Meghan shared what it was like to meet her brother- and sister-in-law. "When Will and Kate came over, and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot. I was a hugger. I've always been a hugger, I didn't realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits," she said (via BBC News). "I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside."

Prince Harry claimed his brother used disparaging remarks to describe Meghan

According to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle's overall lack of decorum was upsetting to Prince William. As the Duke of Sussex recalled in his memoir, William called Meghan "difficult," "abrasive," and "rude" (via The Guardian). Per Harry's account, this verbal attack was simply "parrot[ing] the press narrative" about Meghan. Other accounts claim that William didn't trust his future sister-in-law from the beginning. As royal historian Robert Lacey wrote in his book about the princes, "Battle of Brothers," William believed that Meghan Markle had her own "agenda" (via Marie Claire).

There were also little things, according to Harry. In "Spare," Harry detailed an uncomfortable moment in 2018, when the ill-fated "Fab Four" appeared together at the Royal Foundation Forum. Meghan apparently asked the future Princess Catherine for some lipgloss. Harry wrote, "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."

Prince Harry said his brother didn't want him to get married at Westminster Abbey

On April 29, 2011, Prince William and Princess Catherine (then known as Kate Middleton) tied the knot at Westminster Abbey, according to the royal family's official website. The event drew interest from across the world, with 162 million viewers tuning into the ceremony. According to a copy of Prince Harry's memoir obtained by Us Weekly, Harry and Meghan were hoping to get married soon. "But the Palace couldn't seem to pick a date. Or a venue," he wrote. That's when Harry and Meghan began considering Westminster Abbey.

However, that would not do. When Harry brought this up to William, his brother allegedly said, "No good. We did it there." The same was reportedly said of St. Paul's Cathedral, where King Charles III, then Prince Charles, had married Princess Diana in 1981. Instead, the Duke of Sussex claims, William suggested Harry and Meghan tie the knot in a chapel in Cotswolds (via BBC News). Ultimately, Harry ignored his brother's recommendation. He and Meghan walked down the aisle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018.

Prince William allegedly changed the place cards at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding

At casual American weddings, it's often an unwritten rule that couples sit next to each other. At British royal ones, however, couples sit apart. But at both, it is understood that the place cards and seating arrangements should be left alone. According to Prince Harry's memoir, though, Prince William broke the unwritten rule. In an excerpt from the book that appeared in Us Weekly, Harry wrote, "We weren't too pleased when Willy and Kate switched place cards and changed seats at our wedding."

According to Harry's account, William and Princess Catherine didn't like the seating arrangement as it was. As Harry wrote, "We'd followed the American tradition, placing couples next to each other, but Willy and Kate didn't like that tradition, so their table was the only one where spouses were apart." The way that Harry remembers things, William and Catherine went on to lie about what they'd done. "They insisted it wasn't them, it was someone else," he wrote. "And they said we'd done the same thing at Pippa [Middleton]'s wedding. We hadn't. Much as we'd wanted to." As reported by The Telegraph, Harry and Meghan Markle indeed sat separately at Pippa's 2017 nuptials.

Prince William allegedly pointed his finger in Meghan Markle's face

According to Prince Harry, his marriage to Meghan Markle did little to smooth the initial tensions between the "Suits" actor and Prince William. Per "Spare" excerpts that were published in Us Weekly, the so-called "Fab Four" got together shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan's honeymoon. At the gathering, Harry claims that Meghan apologized for a previous comment that she had made about Princess Catherine failing to remember something, citing her forgetfulness as "baby brain." However, per the redheaded rebel's account, William did not accept his sister-in-law's apology.

As revealed in a translation of "Spare" published in The Sun, Prince Harry recalls that his brother "pointed a finger at Meg" and proceeded to chastise her for her ill-received comment. "Well, it's rude, Meg," William allegedly told her. "These things are not done here."

Meghan apparently did not have a positive reaction to William's response. Harry wrote that she responded to him with a request for personal space. "If you don't mind, keep your finger out of my face," she allegedly told her brother-in-law.

Prince Harry claimed that his brother reacted poorly to the Invictus Games idea

The Invictus Games Foundation is, according to the official website, "a multi-national sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women." It was founded by Prince Harry in 2014. While the charity was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from the Dutch government and others, Prince Harry says that not everyone celebrated the foundation's success. 

In an excerpt from "Spare" published by Page Six, Harry wrote that Prince William was bitter about his younger brother's idea. "He appeared supremely irritated," the Duke of Sussex claimed. At the time, Prince Harry says he found his older brother's comments to be "absurd." He went on to add, "I covered my eyes with my hands. ... Were we not a bit too old for that tiring, child-like dynamic?"

From Harry's perspective, William's alleged feelings of competitiveness were ridiculous because of just how far the heir had progressed in his own life. "He was married and had a baby on the way. Meanwhile, I would order food alone and do my dishes in front of the sink. My father's sink! I still lived with my dad. The game is over, man. You win," Prince Harry wrote.

Prince Harry claimed that Prince William often scowls at him

The British royal family often appears smiling in photographs. However, Prince Harry claims that, behind closed doors, his brother, Prince William, is more somber. In excerpts from "Spare" obtained by Page Six, Prince Harry wrote that his brother maintains a "familiar scowl." The prince reportedly added that Prince William's unfriendly expression "had always been the norm" between them.

The Duke of Sussex further opined that his brother no longer looked so much like their mother, the late Princess Diana. "I looked at Willy, really looked at him, perhaps for the first time since we were little," Prince Harry wrote of encountering William at their grandfather's funeral. Apparently, what he saw did not resemble the woman to whom he dedicated his book.

Although much of "Spare" attacks William for his amoral behavior, Harry did not shy away from insulting his brother's looks. Prince Harry wrote that his brother's balding head was "alarming." The Duke of Sussex also compared Prince William's balding patterns to his own (albeit to a greater extent), writing that the heir apparent's hair loss is "more advanced than mine."