Prince Harry accused William of acting like an heir who could not understand the Duke’s unhappiness at being the “spare”, his new book claims. During a row in 2019 in which the Prince of Wales reportedly called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”, Harry shot back at his brother that he was influenced by his superior role within the family.
In Harry’s upcoming book, titled “Spare” after an old saying in royal circles about the role of the second son in the royal family, he describes a fiery exchange between he and William, according to a preview seen by the Guardian.
The saying goes that the first son is an heir to various titles, power and fortune – while the second-born is merely a “spare” in case anything happens to the first. This dynamic came to the fore during a fierce argument, Prince Harry claims, during which, according to the Guardian, he accused his brother of acting like an heir, and was unable to understand why his younger brother was not content to be a spare.
The outlet claimed that being the “spare” makes up the primary theme of Harry’s upcoming book.
It said that the book explores this theme through chapters covering the Duke’s childhood, schooling, career as a royal and in the British army, his relationship with his parents and brother, as well his life with Meghan through courtship, wedding and marriage through to their own experience of parenthood.
In an early part of the book, Harry claims that when he was born, then-Prince Charles said to his wife, Princess Diana, on the day of Harry’s birth: “Wonderful! Now you’ve given me an heir and a spare – my work is done.”
A royal source had previously told the Sunday Times of the upcoming book that they “personally can’t see how Harry and William will be able to reconcile after this.”
Harry alleged that when William arrived at Nottingham Cottage to discuss the “whole rolling catastrophe” of his and Meghan’s relationship and struggle with the press, he was already “piping hot”.
The Duke of Sussex said that William was not rational during the discussion, which soon turned into a shouting match. The exchange allegedly escalated further when Harry questioned whether William was really trying to help him – which, he wrote, infuriated the Prince of Wales.
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Harry added that he gave his brother a glass of water and said: “Willy, I can’t speak to you when you’re like this.”
He then claimed the brothers’ battle escalated to a physical assault, writing: “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. 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.”
He added that William urged him to hit back, citing fights they had as children – but Harry refused, and his brother left. The Duke said that William later returned “looking regretful, and apologised”.
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Despite the claims about their fractured relationship, clips released ahead of two interviews with prince Harry going live this weekend suggest the royal would still like to reconcile with his family.
In a clip with ITV’s Tom Bradby, Harry said: “I would like to get my father back, I would like to have my brother back.”
He added: “They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile,” although it is not clear from the edited clip who he is referring to.
The prince also said he was “betrayed” during the trailer for an interview US broadcaster CBS.
Express.co.uk has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.