Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ grenade: 5 biggest mistakes from Duke of Sussex’s explosive new interviews
Prince Harry appeared on Britain’s ITV and CBS’ “60 Minutes." He also spoke out on “Good Morning America” and is scheduled to appear on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Prince Harry is promoting his highly anticipated memoir "Spare" by granting several interviews, which have prompted royal experts to question his credibility.
On Sunday, the Duke of Sussex spoke to Britain’s ITV and CBS’ "60 Minutes" to plug his ghostwritten memoir. The book, out on Tuesday, has already generated incendiary headlines with its details of private emotional turmoil and bitter family resentments. On Monday, the 38-year-old spoke out on "Good Morning America" with another appearance already scheduled for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
"Spare" is the latest in a string of public pronouncements by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since they quit royal life and moved to California in 2020. At the time, the couple cited the media’s racist treatment of the duchess and a lack of support from the palace. After their departure, the couple spoke to Oprah Winfrey in an interview that was viewed by nearly 50 million people globally. Last month, the couple participated in a six-part Netflix docuseries.
The father of two defended his decision to publish his latest tell-all, insisting it’s an attempt to "own my story" after 38 years of "spin and distortion" by others. However, royal experts insisted that his recent interviews have left more questions than answers — ones that they suspect won’t be addressed in "Spare."
Here are the five biggest mistakes royal experts feel Harry has made in his latest sit-downs:
In his sit-down with CBS, Harry accused his stepmother Camilla, the queen consort of leaking private conversations to the media to burnish her reputation. He singled out the 75-year-old's efforts to rehabilitate her image with the British people after her longtime affair with his father, now King Charles III.
"That made her dangerous because of the connections that she was forging within the British press," Harry explained. "There was open willingness on both sides to trade information. And with a family built on hierarchy, and with her on the way to being queen consort, there was gonna be people or bodies left in the street."
Royal author Christopher Andersen, who recently wrote a book about the king, told Fox News Digital that this declaration will make it even more difficult for Harry to reconcile with his family.
"For years, I have reported that despite what was being written in the British press, William and Harry resented Camilla," Andersen claimed. "They did not approve of their father marrying her, and they did not want Camilla ever to become queen consort — the title that once would rightfully have belonged to their mother, Princess Diana. Now we know both William and Harry pleaded with their father not to marry Camilla… When the queen finally announced last year that she was backing Camilla as queen, William and Harry were completely blindsided. They believed their father would keep the promise he made long ago to the British people that Camilla would never be queen."
"From the outset, as I've written many times over the years, Charles never intended to keep that promise," Andersen alleged. "Harry's unsparing view of Camilla could not come at a worse time for Charles and the monarchy. The king needs to sell his subjects on their new queen consort, and despite all his efforts over the years, she remains unpopular. It is one thing to be told Camilla will be queen, it's another to watch her being crowned alongside King Charles in Westminster Abbey."
On ITV, Harry was asked about the couple’s sit-down with Winfrey, 68. At the time, his wife claimed there were "concerns and conversations about how dark [our son Archie's] skin might be when he's born." Following the interview, Harry's brother Prince William was asked by a reporter to comment on the claims. The Prince of Wales replied, "We are very much not a racist family."
But this time, Harry denied that he and the 41-year-old accused the royal family of racism.
"The British press said that, right? Did Meghan ever mention 'they're racists?’" Harry shot back.
Harry said he wouldn't describe the incident as racist, "not having lived within that family."
"The difference between racism and unconscious bias... the two things are different," Harry explained. "Once it's been acknowledged or pointed out to you as an individual, otherwise an institution, that you have unconscious bias, you, therefore, have an opportunity to learn and grow from that... otherwise, unconscious bias then moves into the category of racism."
Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital that Harry should have been pressed further to clarify his statements.
"He told ITV that he ‘never’ said that the royal family was racist in the Oprah interview, that it was the spin of the British press that made it sound that way," she said. "[But] he told Anderson Cooper that the family was stereotyping, and race was in part responsible for driving [them] out of the family. They accepted an award last month for standing up to racism in the British monarchy. So, it’s very hard to understand now. And it’s an extremely important issue to understand. No one has questioned that Meghan experienced racism from society and the press. It’s clear as day in many instances. It’s what happened behind palace walls that is essential for British people to understand."
Harry admitted to ITV that he still has questions about the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana. The Princess of Wales passed away from injuries she sustained in a 1997 Paris car crash. She was 36.
"There’s a lot of things that are unexplained," said Harry, quickly clarifying that he didn’t "really see the point" of opening up another inquiry after years of reviewing the case.
"I couldn’t comprehend [her death]," he reflected.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said there’s no doubt that Diana’s tragic passing had a profound impact on Harry, who was only 12 at the time. However, such statements could reignite painful scrutiny on social media.
"We know he is haunted by the tragic death of Diana," he said. "Yet he has indicated that he feels there are unanswered questions about her death, which might give credence to conspiracy theorists, which is surely undesirable."
"I was dumbfounded at Harry's admission that for a full 10 years — until he was 23 years old — he and to some extent, William, believed their mother was still alive and would somehow reappear," chimed Andersen. "This sort of magical thinking goes far beyond any normal kind of denial, and really underscores how deeply scarred they were — and still are — by grief over Diana's death."
Harry admitted on "60 Minutes" that he used psychedelics, including ayahuasca and psilocybin, to help him address the mental health struggles he endured in losing his mother.
"I would never recommend people to do this recreationally," said Harry. "But doing it with the right people, if you are suffering from a huge amount of loss, grief or trauma, then these things have a way of working as a medicine."
In "Spare," Harry described how he used cocaine several times, starting at age 17 in order "to feel." He also acknowledged using cannabis and magic mushrooms — which made him hallucinate that a toilet was talking to him.
"For me, it was possibly most surprising that Prince Harry revealed his extensive drug use," Jonathan Sacerdoti told Fox News Digital. "He admitted in the book to using cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, and even using… laughing gas in the maternity suite intended for his wife during Archie’s birth."
"… Other celebrities have been refused visas after revealing their drug use in public, for example, Nigella Lawson and Kate Moss," he shared. "We don’t know the details of Harry’s visa situation, but if he is reliant on some form of work visa, that could be negatively impacted."
On ITV, Harry detailed how William and his wife Kate Middleton reacted to his relationship with the Duchess of Sussex, an American actress who is biracial.
"Some of the things that my brother and sister-in-law — some of the way that they were acting or behaving definitely felt to me as though, unfortunately, that stereotyping was causing a bit of a barrier to them really sort of, you know, introducing or welcoming her in," Harry claimed.
Harry noted that William "never tried to dissuade me from marrying Megan, but he aired some concerns."
Andersen noted that bringing up the royal wives will only deepen the rift between the brothers. William, in particular, is said to be fiercely protective of his spouse, 41.
"Harry and Meghan keep lobbing grenades over palace walls, and it's all Charles, Camilla, William and Kate can do just to scramble for cover," he explained. "But now I think Harry's blistering rebuke of Camilla will infuriate his father the king. William is also seething over Harry's less-than-flattering portrait of Kate. If either his brother or father fires back, there will be counterattacks in the form of more revelations from the Sussex camp. It's impossible to imagine that the Royal Family will simply remain silent. And if they do, that will be a mistake, because it's clear Harry is determined to keep telling his side of the story until he gets a rise out of them."
"The bottom line is that this all constitutes a huge public relations disaster for the King at a time when he can least afford it," Andersen added.