A fraught father-and-son dynamic. Prince Harry didn’t hold back when discussing his relationship with his dad, King Charles III, in his new memoir, Spare, which hits shelves on Tuesday, January 10.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, refers to his father, 74, as “Pa” throughout the book while recounting some of their tenser moments over the years. At one point, the Invictus Games founder recounts a joke his dad made about not being Harry’s real father, which came amid rumors that the prince’s biological dad was Princess Diana‘s former lover Major James Hewitt.
“‘Who knows if I’m even your real father? Maybe your real father is in Broadmoor, darling boy!'” Harry recalled his father saying in an excerpt from Spare obtained by Us Weekly. “He’d laugh and laugh, though it was a remarkably unfunny joke.”
Elsewhere in the memoir, the BetterUp CIO accused his dad of cooperating with the media on news items about him and his brother, Prince William. The Prince of Wales, 40, was particularly “upset” in 2019 when he called Harry to discuss how someone on Charles and Queen Camilla‘s communications team was planting stories about William, Princess Kate and their children Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
“He was seething actually,” Harry wrote of his brother, noting that Charles and Camilla, 75, weren’t “technically” responsible for the leaks. “It was the most gung-ho member of Pa’s comms teams, a true believer who’d devised and launched a new campaign of getting good press for Pa and Camilla at the expense of bad press for us.”
Last month, the former military pilot accused his father of similar behavior in his Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst graduate hinted that someone on Charles’ team leaked news of his and Meghan Markle‘s plans to leave the U.K. before the couple’s plans were made public.
“It became clear that the institution leaked the fact that we were going to be moving back to Canada,” Harry said, referring to the period in late 2019 when he and Meghan, 41, were figuring out their next steps. “And the key piece of that story that made me aware that the contents of the letter between me and my father had been leaked was that we were willing to relinquish our Sussex titles. That was the giveaway.”
The couple ultimately announced their decision to step down as senior working royals in January 2020, making their final official appearance two months later. The following year, they opened up about their issues with the royal family for the first time in a tell-all interview with CBS that aired in March 2021.
At the time, Harry claimed that his father had stopped taking his calls. “It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something, for my own mental health and my wife’s,” he said.
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