King jealous of ‘resplendent’ Meghan and overshadowed by Kate, Harry claims

Harry alleges his father feared having his limelight stolen ‘again’ – in an apparent allusion to his late mother, Diana.

07 January 2023

The Duke of Sussex has claimed his father was jealous of both his wife, Meghan, and his sister-in-law, the Princess of Wales, in his memoir.

Harry reportedly said the reason his father supposedly said he did not “have money to spare” to financially support him and his wife Meghan was because the King feared the “novel and resplendent” American actress would steal his limelight.

Writing in his highly-anticipated memoir, Spare, which was accidentally released early in Spain, Harry says his father had “experienced that before and he had no interest in letting it happen to him again” – in an apparent allusion to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales
The Duke of Sussex said his father feared his wife Meghan would steal the limelight from himself and Camilla (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

According to The Daily Telegraph, one of the many media outlets to obtain a copy of the Spanish version and translate it, Harry said, prior to his engagement to Meghan, his father had raised the subject of the actress’s livelihood and asked if she planned to continue working after their marriage.

When the duke told the now-King he did not believe so, Harry claims his father replied: “Well, my dear son, you already know that we don’t have money to spare.”

Following Harry and Meghan’s wedding, however, the couple was financially supported by Charles while they were working royals. It was discontinued when they moved to the US.

The book reportedly then alleges the then-Prince of Wales admitted to difficulties in supporting the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Princess of Wales smiles towards the crowd as she arrives for the second annual Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony at the MGM Music Hall at Fenway, in Boston
Harry alleges his father was unhappy with the amount of attention Kate and William received (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Harry said he questioned his father’s money complaints, but it is not clear if this was done at the time of the conversation or in retrospect.

The paper’s report says the duke queried the then-Prince of Wales about struggling to support his elder brother and his family when he was earning “millions from the tremendously lucrative” Duchy of Cornwall.

Harry says he believed his father actually feared Meghan had the potential to “dominate the monarchy” and become another Diana for the public and the press – which would consequently steal the limelight from Charles and Camilla.

The US publication Page Six, which had also obtained a copy of the Spanish version of the book, reports Harry wrote: “Pa might have dreaded the rising cost of maintaining us, but what he really couldn’t stomach was someone new dominating the monarchy, grabbing the limelight, someone shiny and new coming in and overshadowing him.”

According to the Telegraph, Harry goes on to say his father was also jealous of the amount of public attention William and Kate received.

In one translated excerpt in the newspaper, where the duke again refers to his brother by his pet name, Harry says: “Willy did everything he (Charles) wanted, and sometimes he didn’t want him to do much, because my dad and Camilla didn’t like Willy and Kate getting too much publicity.”

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their sons Prince William (right) and Prince Harry on William’s first day at Eton
The Prince and Princess of Wales and their sons William and Harry on William’s first day at Eton (PA Archive/PA Images)

One example he provides as apparent evidence involved the King’s staff making sure the then-Duchess of Cambridge was not photographed holding a tennis racket at a public engagement as “that kind of photo would have pushed Dad and Camilla off every front page”.

“And that couldn’t be tolerated under any circumstances,” Harry adds.

The claim is one of many to make headlines about the royal family and the Sussexes in recent days as journalists obtained copies of his memoir in Spanish.

However, the most startling of revelations from the book continues to be the first one to be leaked – which was the allegation William had physically assaulted his younger brother in 2019.

Speaking about the confrontation in a new teaser for his ITV interview which was released on Friday, Harry had described how a “red mist” came over the Prince of Wales during the incident.

The interview which is due to be aired on Sunday will also see the duke insisting he still wants reconciliation with the royal family, but warned there needed to be some accountability first.

“I talk about the red mist that I had for so many years, and I saw this red mist in him,” Harry tells ITV’s Tom Bradby in the short clip.

“He wanted me to hit him back, but I chose not to.”

In a clip from an interview with US show Good Morning America, Harry says his late mother would have been “sad” over her sons’ fractured relationship.

Meanwhile, he also told CBS he was “probably bigoted” before he started dating his now-wife the Duchess of Sussex, and he was “incredibly naive” about how the British press would treat his relationship with the American mixed race actress.

In the controversial tell-all book Spare, Harry also recounts his final words to his grandmother, the Queen, when he visited her body after she died at Balmoral.

“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 Jubilee, the welcoming of the new Prime Minister,” Harry revealed.

Other claims in the book include:

– William was “tormented” over their father’s affair with Camilla and felt “tremendous guilt” for not speaking up sooner, despite having “long harboured suspicions about the ‘Other Woman’”.

– Both princes had “begged” their father not to marry Camilla, now the Queen Consort, and Harry alleges Camilla “sacrificed” him to improve her public image and leaked details of a conversation with William.

Queen Elizabeth II death
The royal family in 2015 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

– The King refused to allow Meghan to join him at Balmoral as Queen Elizabeth II was dying, prompting Harry to say: “Don’t ever speak about my wife that way.”

– William told Harry he had to shave his beard in the run up to his wedding to Meghan, despite the Queen granting him permission to keep it for the occasion.

– Harry killed 25 people as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan but saw them as “chess pieces” taken off the board.

– The duke took cocaine at 17, and lost his virginity at the same age in a field behind a “very busy pub” to an unnamed older woman who treated him like a “young stallion” and “spanked my ass”.

– He also took magic mushrooms in California in January 2016 when he was 31.

Undated composite file photos of Diana, Princess of Wales (left) and the Princess of Wales
Harry’s late mother Diana, the Princess of Wales, and the now Princess of Wales (PA Wire/PA Images)

– Harry asked a driver to replicate the journey though a Paris tunnel that his mother Diana took in the lead-up to her death, mirroring its speed of twice the limit.

– Charles pleaded with William and Harry, “please, boys. Don’t make my final years a misery”, during a tense meeting at Windsor just after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

– Charles did not hug Harry when telling him about the death of his mother.

– Meghan upset Kate by saying she must have “baby brain” in the run-up to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s 2018 wedding, and William pointed a finger at Meghan and called her “rude”.

– Harry called a former army colleague a racist term in 2009, but did not know it was an insult as he was isolated from the real world and “wrapped in privilege”.

– He was circumcised as a child and his penis suffered frostbite on a trip to Antarctica before William’s marriage.

Royalty – 50th Anniversary of V.E Day – Hyde Park, London
Diana with Harry (Martin Keene/PA)

– Kate reluctantly lent Meghan her lip gloss, was “taken aback” by the request to borrow it and “grimaced” when Meghan squeezed some onto her finger and applied it to her lips.

– Harry claims William and Kate encouraged him to wear the Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party in 2005.

– William and Harry call each other “Willy” and “Harold”.

– Harry claims before his brother and sister-in-law met Meghan, they had been fans of the television series she starred in, Suits. When he revealed the identity of his new girlfriend, both were “open mouthed”.

– The Prince of Wales allegedly said of Meghan: “When all’s said and done, Harold, she’s an American actress, anything could happen.”

Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have declined to comment, but the inflammatory claims and intimately personal book are being seen as damaging Harry’s fragile relationship with his brother – a future king – beyond repair.

The duke, however, told Bradby: “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’s two sides to every story.”

Duke of Sussex autobiography – Spare
The Duke of Sussex, the then Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex, following the bearer party carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II (Jacob King/PA)

Harry alleges the heated confrontation with William took place at his then-home in London, Nottingham Cottage, during a row about Meghan, and that it left him with “scrapes and bruises” to his back.

Harry writes: “(William) 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.”

The book, due out on January 10 and ghost written by JR Moehringer, comes just weeks after Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary, in which the duke said he was terrified when William screamed and shouted at him during a tense Sandringham summit in 2020.

The memoir is being published only four months after the death of Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and the start of his father’s reign as King, and follows years of turmoil for the royal family amid the Megxit crisis, Philip’s death, accusations of racism in the Sussexes’ Oprah interview and the brothers’ long-running feud.

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