The publishers promised us a heartfelt and intimate memoir.
While the jury is out on that one, what we do know is that Prince Harry’s memoir, Sparecertainly contains a series of eye-popping and toe-curling revelations.
Two warnings: do not read on if you find accounts of frost-bitten royal penises offensive, and please note, all quotes are taken from British newspapers, and websites’ translations of the Spanish version of the book, which went on sale six days earlier , so the precise wording may differ from the original English language version due to be published next week.
Harry says that he killed 25 Taliban fighters
Harry says that in the “din and confusion of combat” he thought only to ensure that “baddies” were eliminated before they could kill “goodies” and he thought of enemy combatants as chess pieces.
Harry’s decision to publicize his kill count has been widely criticized, amid fears that it could make him an even bigger target for terrorists. Hashtags saying Harry is a war criminal have been trending on Twitter. Colonel Richard Kemp, commander of British forces in Afghanistan in 2006, told BBC News: “Talking about ‘chess pieces’ and not human beings… feeds very much into the narrative that the British Army went into Afghanistan and other places as callous, cold- hearted killers… which of course is far from the truth,” adding that Harry’s words could “potentially be used to incite and encourage others to carry out attacks, including British people in this country.”
Harry had a frost-bitten penis at Kate and William’s wedding
The Victorian constitutional historian Walter Bagehot once said that the greatest risk the monarchy could take was to allow sunlight in on the magic. He probably wouldn’t have approved, therefore, of a member of the royal family pulling down their pants in the way that Harry does in Spare.
Harry writes that his penis became “frost nipped” after an expedition to the North Pole in March 2011 and was still “an issue” at the time of his brother’s wedding. He says that among the remedies he tried, with little success, were Elizabeth Arden cream. He also says that he was circumcised as a child, adding, “the chance of getting penile frostbite is much greater if you’re not circumcised… I was snipped as a baby.”
While we are down there, Harry also says, per the BBC, that he wet his pants hours before meeting Meghan for their first date while out at sea for a racing competition on a boat that didn’t have a toilet. He says: “All I cared about was jumping into the water, washing off the pee from my trousers and getting back to London as fast as possible where I was about to start my real race.”
He learned about the queen’s death from the BBC
There was a great deal of controversy around the time of the queen’s death about how and when Harry was told the news. In his book Harry reveals, The London Times says, contrary to what the palace has insisted, that he did not get the information from his father first, but learned of her death in the first instance from the BBC website as the private plane he had chartered to whisk him towards Balmoral was descending into Scotland.
William and Harry: the fight, and smashed dog bowl
This was the first revelation to break from the book, and a scoop for The Guardian. On Thursday morning it was dynamite. It seems rather tame now. Amazingly, Harry says that immediately after the fight the first person he called was his therapist. This has left some people scratching their heads, as Meghan claimed on her Oprah Winfrey interview that she was unable to get access to a therapist. A friend of William’s exclusively told The Daily Beast, “It hardly sounds like a violent assault.”
Harry accused Camilla of planting stories
Camilla, who had an affair with Charles throughout much of his marriage to Diana, comes off pretty badly in the book, with Harry at one stage pondering whether she will be “an evil stepmother.” He also accuses her of placing stories about him in the media, and seems to imply that she plotted to be queen. He also says that William referred to Camilla as the, “other woman.”
He writes: “Willy did everything he did [King Charles] wanted, and sometimes he didn’t want him to do much, because dad and Camilla didn’t like Willy and Kate getting too much publicity.”
Charles told him about Diana’s death
Harry describes being woken at Balmoral the morning after his mother’s death in a Paris underpass by his father. According to the Sky News translation, Harry writes that he was woken up by his father, who “sat on the edge of the bed and put his hand on my knee.” He then recalled Charles saying: “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 adds: “He would always call me ‘dear son,’ but he was repeating it a lot. He spoke quietly. It gave me the impression he was in shock.”
Harry went to the Paris tunnel where Diana died
Harry writes, “The bump that supposedly sent mummy’s Mercedes veering off course” was “nothing” and he “barely felt it.” He hoped the drive would aid closure, but it didn’t, and he concludes it was “a very bad idea.”
Harry, William wanted Diana death investigation reopened
Harry alleges that he and William were persuaded not to go forward with a plan to issue a statement asking for the investigation to be reopened by senior courtiers. According to some translations of the Spanish text, Harry calls the conclusion that the crash was caused solely due to a drunk driver “simplistic and absurd,” and asks “Why did those paparazzi get off lightly? Why weren’t they in prison? Who had sent them? And why weren’t those people in jail either? What other reason could there be apart from corruption and cover-ups being the order of the day?”
Meghan told Kate she had baby brain
Harry claims that Meghan upset Kate Middleton shortly after she gave birth by telling her that she might have “baby brain” before their 2018 wedding. Harry alleges that Meghan apologized but William “pointed a finger” at her. Per the Telegraph, William then reportedly went on to say: “Well, it’s rude, Meghan. These things are not done here.” Meghan is alleged to have responded: “If you don’t mind, keep your finger out of my face.”
He called a graveside meeting with Charles and William
At a meeting in a royal cemetery after Prince Philip’s death, Charles pleaded with his sons not to make his “final years a misery.” Call us naïve, but isn’t the point of calling a secret meeting not to tell anyone about it? Especially one in a graveyard.
Charles gave him the title for his book
On the day Harry was born, Charles allegedly told Diana, “Wonderful, now you’ve given me an heir and a spare. My work is done.”
Harry took lots of drugs
Harry describes smoking marijuana in his garden at his home in Kensington Palace and making sure the smell didn’t waft through to his neighbor, Prince Michael of Kent. He also says he took cocaine, cannabis and magic mushrooms. Under the influence of the latter, he became convinced that a toilet had grown a head and was talking to him. “Psychedelic drugs also helped me. I had experimented with them throughout the years, for simple pleasure, but now I had started to take them for therapy, like medicine [to see] another world beyond my very limited sensory perception.”
Lost virginity in the field to a woman who compared him to a stallion
According to a translation posted on the Sky News website, Harry described his partner as “an older lady, who loved horses very much and treated me like a young stallion… I mounted her quickly, after which she spanked my ass and held me back… one of my mistakes was letting it happen in a field, just behind a busy pub. No doubt someone had seen us.”
The Daily Beast understands from friends of Harry’s set that the pub in question is a now-shuttered, formerly legendary hostelry in the Cotswolds where the “glossy posse” used to go after hunting, named The Tunnel House Inn—and known locally as the Tunnel .
He tried to contact Diana via a woman with “powers”
According to The Guardian, the woman told him: “You’re living the life she couldn’t. You’re living the life she wanted for you.”
Harry writes that on being told his mother was “with him,” his neck “grew warm” and his eyes watered, The Guardian reported. Harry said that before the visit to the psychic, Archie had smashed a Christmas tree ornament in the shape of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
This bizarre detail resurfaces when Harry visits the psychic, who says: “Your mother says… something about a Christmas ornament? Of a mother? Or a grandmother? It fell? Broke?… Your mother says she had a bit of a giggle about that.”
Harry part-blames William and Kate for Nazi costume
Harry writes that he was trying to choose between a pilot uniform or a Nazi uniform and called his brother for advice. “I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said.” Harry adds that he later tried the outfit on in front of them: “They both howled. Worse than Willy’s leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point.”
He likes a nice room, with a nice view
Per Sky News, he considered it disrespectful “that one of the queen’s private secretaries parked next to his window and blocked out his bedroom light.” Later he complains that at Christmas at Sandringham in 2013, he was “given a mini room in a narrow back corridor.”
In another section, Harry and Meghan visit William and Kate in their apartment. He writes: “The wallpaper, the ceiling trim, the walnut bookshelves filled with volumes of peaceful colors, priceless works of art. Magnificent. Like a museum. We congratulated them on the renovation without holding back the compliments while feeling embarrassed of our IKEA lamps and the second-hand sofa we’d recently bought on sale with Meg’s credit card on sofa.com.” Such is the agony of being the spare!
And the glaring omission… Who was the royal racist?
In their interviews with Oprah Winfrey, the couple alleged that a member of the royal family asked them what color skin their then-unborn babies would be likely to have. They refused to identify the person beyond saying it wasn’t the queen or Prince Philip.
It seems odd the issue isn’t addressed in Spare, alongside Meghan’s experiences of racism within the family and at the hands of the British tabloids. Maybe he is saving this for the sequel, or one of the TV interviews to come.