Prince Harry says Princess Diana would be ‘sad’ about William rift
The monarch is keeping a dignified silence despite the upsetting release of private discussions by his youngest son in his autobiography. Despite his anguish, The King is determined to try to mend the rift with Harry – and is willing to take his call. Insiders say Charles is still keen to build bridges in the hope Harry can attend his Coronation in May.
A Palace source said: “This is clearly very upsetting but there is time between now and May.
“Charles is King, but first and foremost, he is a devoted albeit worried father, and naturally, wants this resolved.”
Charles, who is staying at Sandringham, is said to be exhibiting a “perfectly understandable” response to breathtaking claims in Harry’s ghost-written book, but Buckingham Palace has refused to be dragged deeper into the row.
In one emotional outburst shown in a trailer of Sunday’s ITV interview with Tom Bradby Harry says: “I would like to have my father back. I would like to have my brother back.”
And Charles feels that, if Harry can contact him, the reconciliation can begin.
Dickie Arbiter, 82, the Queen’s spokesman for 12 years, told The Express: “Charles is a dad and this is a family rift, it’s not an institutional or constitutional rift.
“Harry has gone ballistic, that’s his right. But we’re only hearing one side. We will not hear anything else because if the Royal Family are wise they will remain silent.
Charles to attempt to reconcile with Harry
“Charles will be angry and upset because he loves his son. He is a dad, a parent, and no matter what, siblings fight and do not necessarily get on with each other.
“But for a parent to lose his son in this way is very sad.”
Leaked copies of the memoir, due to be published on Tuesday, have detailed the seismic falling out with his brother over his future wife, Meghan Markle, which, it is claimed, led to grappling.
Harry says that William labelled the former actress “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive” triggering a brawl during which he was knocked over and injured after landing on a dog bowl.
Harry, 38, said he saw a “red mist” descend on his brother during a heated argument in 2019, claiming William “wanted me to hit him back, but I chose not to”.
The new claim is made in an interview with friend and broadcaster Tom Bradby which will be aired in full tomorrow.
In a trailer for the 90-minute ITV interview released yesterday, the Duke of Sussex said: “What was different here was the level of frustration, and I talk about the red mist that I had for so many years, and I saw this red mist in him. He wanted me to hit him back, but I chose not to.”
In Spare, Harry reveals the words he spoke to the Queen at Balmoral hours after he died. He wrote: He writes: “I advanced with uncertainty and saw her. I stayed still, watching her carefully for a good while.
“I whispered that I hoped she was happy and that she was with Grandfather now. I said that I admired her for having carried out her duties until the end. The [Platinum] Jubilee, the welcoming of the new Prime Minister.”
And he said Meghan had kneeled next to Diana’s grave to ask for her guidance when the couple visited it before their marriage.
And in another swipe at brother William, who he has labelled his “arch-nemesis”, he claims the heir to the throne was jealous of Harry’s plan for the Invictus Games.
The Prince alleges his older sibling feared the tournament for wounded and sick veterans would drain cash from their joint foundation.
And the digs continue when he claimed that William had got wasted on rum the night before his own wedding and still smelled boozy in the Bentley on the way to marry Kate at Westminster Abbey in 2011.
William and Kate share a wedding kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony
He even jeers at William’s “alarming” baldness which he describes as more “advanced than mine” while noting the Prince of Wales’s resemblance to Diana has faded.
He begged his father not to marry Camilla and make her a “wicked stepmother” and called Charles an emotionally backward and ineffectual “old man”.
He also opens up about his recreational drug use.
Mr Bradby asks him: “There’s a fair amount of drugs. Marijuana, magic mushrooms, cocaine. I mean, that’s going to surprise people.”
Harry says that he believes it is “important to acknowledge”, before reiterating his desire to make amends with William and his father, the King, but not before they accept wrongdoing.
He says: “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 are two sides to every story.”
Harry disapproved of Charles’s wedding to Camilla
In a teaser of the ITV interview, Harry refuses to say whether he will attend his father’s Coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6 – his son Archie’s birthday – leading some to believe there is time – and hope – he can be brought to heel.
Harry has also said he longs for a “family, not an institution”, how he and his wife have been scapegoated as “villains” but, in an apparent act of appeasement, emotionally says: “I would like to have my father back. I would like to have my brother back.”
Harry is set to do four major interviews before the official release of his book, with the Palace bracing itself for further revelations.
The Duke quit royal life in 2020 after a fraught family summit at Sandringham and has claimed William, 40, is defined by the institution.
During a meeting where the future of the Sussexes was mapped out, he claims his brother raged at him, saying: “It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren’t true. And my grandmother [the Queen], you know, quietly sits there and takes it all in.”
Harry first moved to Canada and then settled in California where he now lives with Meghan, 41, and their children Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, one.
He admitted his late mother would be mortified at the deterioration of his relationship with William.
Asked on Good Morning America what Diana would make of their rift, he said: “I think she would be sad. I think she would be looking at it long term, to know that there are certain things that we need to go through, to heal the relationship.
“I have felt the presence of my mum, more so in the last two years than I have in the last 30.”
In jaw-dropping revelations so far Harry has admitted to using cocaine, claims to have killed 25 people in Afghanistan during two tours of duty with the British Army, says his father said Meghan should not go to Balmoral after the death of the Queen, lost his virginity to an “older woman” and said he found out his mother had been in a car accident when his father woke him.
According to the book, Charles said: “My dear son, mum has had a car accident. There have been complications. Mum has been seriously injured and has been taken to hospital, my dear son.”
Harry also claims he and William were dissuaded from jointly calling for an investigation into her death.
In another excerpt, Harry describes visiting the Post de l’Alma tunnel in Paris in 2007, asking a driver to go at the same speed the car carrying his mother was travelling when it crashed in August 1997.
Harry’s interview with his friend Tom Bradby
He said: “I told myself I was only doing it to close that chapter, but it was not true.”
Mr Arbiter said: “A lot can happen between now and the Coronation and it remains to be seen [whether Harry attends], but it would be churlish if he wasn’t there.
“But at the same time The King will take an oath to uphold laws and the government of which he is head of state and nobody wants distractions, just like they didn’t want distractions during the Platinum Jubilee or when The Queen died.
“It raises the issue that if Harry did come he would have to swear an oath of royal allegiance and current polls show the great British public is hostile.”
Spare was supposed to be published on Tuesday amid a huge secrecy operation by its publisher, Penguin Random House.
But in a highly embarrassing blunder copies were put on sale in bookshops across Spain yesterday despite signs on the boxes reading “not to be opened until January 10”.
Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have both so far declined to comment on any of Spare’s revelations.
Harry gave an interview to publicise his book out next week
It’s obvious that King Charles and Prince William will maintain a dignified silence until Harry and Meghan have run out of ammunition.
The plan is to find out the full contents of Spare and then decide whether to answer back.
My instinct is the King will follow his mother’s example and say very little, if anything, and so far the tactic of “never complain, never explain” seems to be paying off.
While the popularity of the Sussexes has plummeted, the rest of the royals are still held in high esteem by the public here and in other Commonwealth countries.
People can see that Harry and Meghan have gone too far with their personal criticisms and want to support the monarchy.
By the end of this month, Charles and William will hope to be in calmer waters and attention will turn to the Coronation in May.
The big question is whether Harry and Meghan will be invited and if they will come.
When asked in a clip of tomorrow’s interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby if they will attend, Harry gave a waffling answer saying lots of things can happen before then and the ball was back in the court of his father and brother.
But ultimately of course it won’t be up to him.
The Prince of Wales is bound to be deeply upset by Harry’s revelations and I can’t see a reconciliation between them any time soon.
It wouldn’t surprise me if he tells the King he would prefer Harry and Meghan not to be invited.
But I still think Charles will want to leave the door open and involve his son and daughter-in-law, not least because he wants to see more of his grandchildren Archie and Lilibet.
The Coronation is an opportunity for the UK to put on a show, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Just over 2,000 guests will be in Westminster Abbey instead of the 8,000 at the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, and the ceremony will last an hour instead of three.
But the fear will be that Harry and Meghan’s presence could turn the day into a media circus.
There will also be worries that Harry’s admission he killed 25 Taliban will add to a security nightmare, with so many world leaders in the congregation.
Polls indicate most people hope they don’t turn up.
But despite everything Charles still loves his son and will hope the Coronation is a turning point in their relationship
- Phil Dampier is a Royal Author,