8 Major Revelations From Prince Harry's ITV "Spare" Interview
Prince Harry is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to relaying the intimate details of his life. After a week of extraordinary revelations released in leaked excerpts of his autobiography "Spare", which will officially go on sale on Jan. 10, the Duke of Sussex sat down with journalist Tom Bradby for a 90-minute discussion in "Harry: The Interview."
ITV had been teasing the world with clips in the run-up to the TV event, with Harry explaining moments relayed in the book, including the alleged altercation with his brother, driving through the tunnel in which his mother suffered that fatal accident, and whether there is any hope of a reconciliation with his family. One clip also addresses King Charles's coronation, due to take place on May 6, but Harry doesn't commit to attending. "There's a lot that can happen between now and then. But, the door is always open. The ball is in their court," he says.
The interview opened with Bradby, who has known Harry for over 20 years, stating he needed a "long lie down after reading" the memoir, which is an "unsparing account of an extraordinary life." While key moments of the book were mentioned to Harry, giving him the opportunity to expand on the memories in his own words, there were a number of times Harry returned to the crux of much of his anger and disappointment: the press.
Harry explains that Princess Diana's untimely death has meant many of his early memories have been lost, alluding to it as a "defense mechanism." Since that moment, Harry's life in the public eye shifted with much of his resentment at the institution's relationship with the British media. This all came to a head following his marriage with Meghan Markle and ultimately the couple stepping back as senior royals and moving to California.
While there's been shocking details of Harry's experiences already outlined in the six-part Netflix docuseries, "Harry & Meghan", the retelling of his tumultuous life through the interview and his book prove there's more to tell. As well as the ITV interview, Harry has also filmed a sit-down chat with Anderson Cooper on CBS's "60 Minutes", also airing on Jan. 8.
Despite all of the unraveling, Harry maintains, "I love my mother country, I love my family and I always will. I just wish the second darkest moment of my life, they'd both have been there for me." After taking two years to write "Spare," Harry explains, "38 years of having my story told by so many different people with an intentional spin and distortion, it felt like a good time to own my story." Read about some of the top moments from "Harry: The Interview" below.
Harry Doesn't Think His Brother or Father Will Read His Book
"I don't think my father or brother will read the book, I really hope they do, but I don't think they will," he tells Bradby. When it comes to watching the ITV interview, he adds, "I don't know whether they'll be watching this or not, but what they have to say to me and what I have to say to them will be in private."
The last time they were all together was at the Queen's funeral in September 2022. "I think globally people felt the same, that that was a really good opportunity to bring the family together," he explains. "But the day that she died was just a really really horrible reaction from my family members and then, by all accounts and certainly from what I saw and from what other people experienced, was that they were on the back foot and there was the leaking and the planting [of stories to the press] and I was like, 'We're here to celebrate the life of Granny and to mourn the loss, can we come together as a family?'"
There was one morbid moment shared at the funeral between him and Prince William. As the two brothers prepared to walk the same route they walked at their mother's funeral, they joked "at least we know the way."
Harry Maintains He Does Not Think the Royal Family Are Racist
Bradby quizzed Harry on the Oprah interview that he did with Markle in 2021, during which Markle recounted conversations with members of the royal family surrounding Archie's skin colour. Harry maintains that the couple did not call his family racist, and that was a label attributed by the British press.
"The difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different," he says. "But once it's been acknowledged or pointed out to you as an individual, or as an institution, that you have unconscious bias you therefore have an opportunity to learn and grow from that in order that you are part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Otherwise unconscious bias then moves into a category of racism."
Harry admits he has confronted his past unconscious bias and will never talk about which royal family member made the comments Markle mentioned.
In addition, Harry also references the recent resignation of Lady Susan Hussey, who stepped away from her royal role following a conversation including racist undertones with charity worker Ngozi Fulani at a royal reception. "Meghan and I love Susan Hussey, we think she's great," he says. "And I also know that she never meant any harm at all, but the response from the British press and online was horrendous."
William and Kate Didn't Welcome Markle Into the Family at the Beginning
When discussing the relationship between William and Kate, Markle and himself, he details that there was a lot of stereotyping to begin with, meaning the four of them did not get off to the best start, despite William and Kate being fans of "Suits," the show Markle acted in. "I don't think they were ever expecting me to get into a relationship with someone like Meghan who had a very successful career," he says. "There was a lot of stereotyping that was happening, that I was guilty of as well at the beginning."
Harry speaks of how this stereotyping, in regards to Markle being an American, divorced, biracial actress, was being played out in the media, with his brother and sister-in-law believing it. He noticed "the way that they were acting or behaving definitely felt to me as though, unfortunately, that stereotyping was causing a bit of a barrier to them really introducing or welcoming her in."
William Ordered Harry to Shave His Beard Off For His Wedding
Bradby referenced an odd brotherly disagreement detailed in "Spare" surrounding Harry's facial hair on his wedding day. While initially this might seem superficial, there was an underlying power struggle between them playing out behind closed doors.
"This beard felt to me at the time felt like the new Harry. As almost like a shield to my anxiety," he says. William had been told to shave his beard off for his own wedding, and so reportedly felt annoyed that the Queen allowed Harry to keep his facial hair.
Harry Addresses the "Horrific" Comments by Jeremy Clarkson
A December column by Jeremy Clarkson, printed in The Sun, included misogynistic comments about Meghan including how he dreams of a day she parades naked on the streets and people throw excrement on her.
"Not only was what he said horrific and hurtful and cruel towards my wife, but it also encourages other people around the UK and around the world — men particularly — to go and think that it's acceptable to treat women that way," he says. "And to use my stepmother's words as well, there is a violent pandemic of violence against women. It's no longer a case of me asking for accountability, but the world is asking for accountability. And the world is asking for some kind of comment from the monarchy, but the silence is deafening, to put it mildly. So I think we've gone from just my personal whatever you want to call it, to way way way bigger than us."
Harry Thinks a Family Reconciliation Is "100 Percent a Possibility"
Despite Harry opening up about intimate details and conversations had with his family, he believes reconciliation is still an option. "Forgiveness is 100 percent a possibility," he says. "At the moment I don't recognize them and they probably don't recognize me."
He says his family has "shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile up until this point," although in the book, he does write about a moment at Prince Philips's funeral when William tells him he loves him and all he wants is for him to be happy "on mummy's life," a code the brothers had since children to use only when they were serious, but Harry didn't believe it. "It is heartbreaking; this whole thing is completely, not only unnecessary but incredibly sad. But there is a way out of it, and that's what I'm focused on now," he says.
"I love my father, I love my brother, I love my family. I always do," he adds. "I want reconciliation. But, first, there needs to be some accountability . . . the truth, supposedly, at the moment, has been there's only one side of the story, right? But, there's two sides to every story."
Harry Sees Holding the Press Accountable as His "Life’s Work"
The common thread throughout the whole interview is Harry's bid to hold the British press accountable for what they publish. "If they want to police society, who is policing them?" he says, although King Charles called it a "suicide mission" to try to change the press.
"I'm happy with them talking crap about me everyday because I know it's not true," he continues. "What I draw the line at is them inciting hatred towards me or my wife and my children."
Earlier in the TV chat, he passionately says, "I think what's a matter of public interest is the relationship between the institution and the tabloid media."
Harry Says He's "Happier Than I've Ever Been"
With a beautiful wife, and children Archie and Lilibet, Harry admits he's happier than he's ever been. "I think that probably angers some people, infuriates others just by the very nature of me leaving," he says. "They always thought Meghan would leave, but they wouldn't think I would leave as well. And that's embarrassing for some people."
Harry maintains that the safety of his family is paramount, something he does not feel in the UK due to security issues, and so living in California is better for his family. "I'm happy, my family feels happy. It's difficult going back, but I'm in such a good headspace now. Whatever conversations need to happen, whatever the future holds."