Prince Harry Believed Princess Diana Was Still Alive a Decade After Her Death
Prince Harry isn't holding back about all he's been through as a royal in the lead-up to his highly anticipated memoir "Spare." Following the explosive debut of his Netflix documentary "Harry & Meghan," the prince sat down with Anderson Cooper on CBS's "60 Minutes" on Jan. 8 to discuss some of the many revelations he unpacks in his book, arriving on Jan. 10.
The book promises to dive into topics such as Harry's experience coping with the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana; the challenges of growing up in the public eye; and — more recently — the royal institution and the British press's treatment of him and his wife, Meghan Markle, that led them to step down as working royals.
While fans (and critics) will have to wait for "Spare" to read everything Harry recalls about his lifetime of royalty, the prince made quite a few shocking revelations about his life and the growing fracture between him and the royal family in his "60 Minutes" interview. Check out the biggest revelations ahead.
The Rift Between Prince Harry and Prince William Began Long Before Meghan Markle Arrived
Although the UK tabloids would have you believe Harry and Prince William began drifting apart when the younger brother began dating Meghan Markle, Harry said that's not the case. While Harry maintained he loves his older brother "deeply," he also acknowledged "there has been a lot of pain between the two of us, especially the last six years." He went on to say that he didn't write "Spare" to hurt his family, but rather to "give a full picture of the situation as we were growing up" and to squash the "idea that somehow my wife was the one that destroyed the relationship between these two brothers."
Harry said the boys basically lived separate lives after Princess Diana died and had a sibling rivalry, recounting the time when William told Harry to pretend they didn't know each other when they began attending the same school. "At the time, it hurt. I couldn't make sense of it. I was like, 'What do you mean? We're now at the same school. Like, I haven't seen you for ages, now we get to hang out together.' He's like, 'No, no, no, when we're at school, we don't know each other.' And I took that personally."
Prince Harry Believed Princess Diana Might Still Be Alive Into Early Adulthood
Harry recounted how, as a child, he believed that Princess Diana's death was all an elaborate plot to escape the media and that she was still alive. "I just refused to accept that she was — she was gone. Part of, you know, she would never do this to us, but also part of, maybe this is all part of a plan," he said. He added that he thought she had just disappeared for a time and "would call us and . . . we would go and join her." He mentioned that William had similar thoughts. "I had huge amounts of hope," Harry said.
It wasn't until Harry was 23 years old and given the opportunity to see the police files about the investigation into Diana's death while visiting Paris that he began to accept his mother was truly gone. He said he wanted "proof that she was in the car, proof that she was injured, and proof that the very paparazzi that chased her into the tunnel were the ones that were taking photographs — photographs of her lying half dead on the back seat of the car."
Prince Harry Turned to Drugs While Trying to Process His Grief
Harry detailed how he turned to alcohol and drugs to help process his "huge amount of frustration and blame towards the British press for their part in" Diana's death. "I resorted to drinking heavily because I wanted to numb the feeling, or I wanted to distract myself from how . . . whatever I was thinking. And I would, you know, resort to drugs as well."
Harry admitted to smoking pot and doing cocaine but said it never made him happy. He said he felt "hopeless" and "lost" in his late 20s.
Prince Harry Felt Guilty For Not Crying Over Princess Diana's Death For a Long Time
"There was this weight on my chest that I felt for so many years that I was never able to cry," Harry shared. "So I was constantly trying to find a way to cry, but — in even sitting on my sofa and going over as many memories as I could muster up about my mum. And sometimes I watched videos online [hoping to cry]."
Instead of crying, Harry ended up turning to psychedelics like ayahuasca and psilocybin. "I would never recommend people to do this recreationally. But doing it with the right people if you are suffering from a huge amount of loss, grief, or trauma, then these things have a way of working as a medicine . . . for me, they cleared the wind-screen, the windshield, the misery of loss. They cleared away this idea that I had in my head . . . that I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her. When in fact all she wanted was for me to be happy."
Prince Harry and Prince William Didn't Want King Charles III to Marry Camilla Parker Bowles
Harry admitted that he and his brother asked the future King Charles III not to marry the future Duchess of Cornwall. "We didn't think it was necessary. We thought that it was gonna cause more harm than good and that if he was now with his person, that — surely that's enough," he said. "Why go that far when you don't necessarily need to? We wanted him to be happy. And we saw how happy he was with her. So at the time, it was, 'OK.'"
Camilla Parker Bowles Sacrificed Prince Harry, Prince William to the Press to Improve Her Reputation
In "Spare," Harry writes that Camilla campaigned to marry Charles and he was OK with it, but maybe not for the reason one would expect. "I even wanted Camilla to be happy," he writes. "Maybe she'd be less dangerous if she was happy."
Harry explained on "60 Minutes" that Camilla's need to "rehabilitate her image" made her "dangerous" because of "the connections that she was forging within the British press."
He added, "There was open willingness on both sides to trade of information. And with a family built on hierarchy, and with her on the way to being queen consort, there was gonna be people or bodies left in the street because of that."
Harry claimed he was one of those bodies, and that his father was party to information sharing with the media. "If you are led to believe, as a member of the family, that being on the front page, having positive headlines, positive stories written about you is going to improve your reputation or increase the chances of you being accepted as monarch by the British public, then that's what you're gonna do," he said.
The Royal Family Read the UK Tabloids Religiously
Harry recounted how the royal family actually put more stock in how they're portrayed in the tabloid media than one would expect, which is why many in Harry's family began to believe the negative media narrative about Markle. "[Tabloids are] laid out at breakfast when everyone comes together. So whether you walk around saying you believe it or not, it's still leaving an imprint in your mind. So if you have that judgment based on a stereotype right at the beginning, it's very, very hard to get over that."
If the royal family and the British media got the sense that Harry changed, it's because he did, and for the better. "A large part of it for the family, but also the British press and numerous other people, is, like, 'He's changed. She must be a witch. He's changed,'" he said. "As opposed to yeah, I did change, and I'm really glad I changed. Because rather than getting drunk, falling out of clubs, taking drugs, I had now found the love of my life, and I now had the opportunity to start a family with her."
Prince Harry Wrote "Spare" Because Buckingham Palace Wouldn't Stop Leaking Stories About Him
When asked why he's being so public about his gripes with the royal family, Harry took aim at Buckingham Palace's "Never complain; never explain" motto, insisting that the institution's refusal to protect him and his wife while also leaking private details about them to the press is akin to "betrayal."
"Every time I've tried to do it privately, there have been briefings and leaking and planting of stories against me and my wife," he said. "The family motto is 'Never complain; never explain,' but it's just a motto, and it doesn't really hold."
Harry also claimed "endless" complaining and explaining is coming from the palace. "Through leaks. They will feed — or have a conversation with — the correspondent," he added. "That correspondent will literally be spoon-fed information and then write the story, and at the bottom of it, they'll say they've reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment. But the whole story is Buckingham Palace commenting. So when we're being told for the last six years, 'We can't put a statement out to protect you,' but you do it for other members of the family, there becomes a point where silence is betrayal."
Harry said he will never leak anonymously about his family. Instead, he'll tell the truth from his own mouth. "[I'm] trying to speak a language that perhaps they understand. I will sit here and speak truth to you with the words that come out of my mouth rather than using someone else, an unnamed source, to feed in lies or a narrative to a tabloid media that literally radicalizes its readers to then potentially cause harm to my family, my wife, my kids."
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Not Return to Life as Working Royals
When Cooper asked Harry, "Can you see a day when you would return as a full-time member of the royal family?" Harry responded, "No," without hesitation.
He does, however, believe the rift can be resolved. "The ball is very much in their court, but, you know, Meghan and I have continued to say that we will openly apologize for anything that we did wrong, but every time we ask that question, no one's telling us the specifics or anything. There needs to be a constructive conversation, one that can happen in private that doesn't get leaked."
Cooper pointed out one might argue that Harry's the one who can't be trusted since he's writing a memoir revealing some of his family's most intimate stories, but Harry pushed back, saying, "This all started with them briefing, daily, against my wife with lies to the point of where my wife and I had to run away from my country."