In his upcoming autobiography, Spare, Prince Harry details what he claims was a physical attack by his older brother Prince William during a confrontation over Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle, according to The Guardian, which obtained a copy of the highly anticipated book.
During an argument at Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, his London home in 2019, the younger prince writes that his brother was visiting to discuss “the whole rolling catastrophe” surrounding their struggles with the press. (The British tabloid press was notably described by historian David Olusoga as fostering a “toxic” mentality ahead of the bombshell Netflix documentary.)
When William arrived, Harry says his brother was already “piping hot” and that he called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive” — terms, Harry writes, that “parrot the press narrative” about his wife.
As the two men traded insults, Harry says, William claimed he was trying to help, and he shot back, “Are you serious? Help me? Sorry – is that what you call this? Helping me?”
The comment angered William, Harry writes, and the argument moved into the kitchen. After he says he gave his brother a glass of water, he writes that William set down the water, called him another name, then “came at me.”
“It all happened so fast. So very fast,” Harry says. “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.”
Harry continues to claim that while his brother attempted to taunt him into fighting back, he refused to so so. After William left, he returned “looking regretful, and apologised,” according to Harry, who adds that before leaving again, his brother “turned and called back: ‘You don’t need to tell Meg about this.’”
The assault, Harry claims, left him with “scrapes and bruises” that Markle later noticed. While he didn’t immediately tell his wife, Harry says he did call his therapist.
In a recent clip from his forthcoming interview on 60 Minutes, Harry says he’s been forced to make his concerns about the royal family public. He explains that he and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, have spoken out to combat the tabloids.
“Every single time I’ve tried to do it privately there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife,” he says to host Anderson Cooper in the clip. “You know, the family motto is never complain, never explain, but it’s just a motto.
Spare will arrive during a turbulent time for the U.K. following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the ascension of King Charles III, and economic erosion in Britain that caused Prime Minister Liz Truss to resign after 44 days on the job.