In the first of a number of interviews promoting new memoir Spare, Prince Harry has said he’s “spent the last six years trying to get through to my family privately” before reaching the point of “fleeing my home country fearing for our lives.”
Sitting down for the highly-anticipated interview with friend and ITV Correspondent Tom Bradby, Harry criticized “some members of the Royal Family who have got in bed with the devil” – the devil being the British tabloid media.
While he said he “understands” why they did this, he is after “reconciliation” and is therefore telling his story via documentaries and a book. Harry didn’t elaborate on who he was referring to with his “devil” remarks but they will no doubt have the British commentariat playing guessing games.
The Duke of Sussex, who is now based in LA with wife Meghan Markle, said he had spent almost the whole period of his relationship with wife the former Suits actor “writing letters, having conversations and writing emails” to other Royal Family members about their troubles but was always told “this is not what’s happening, you’re imagining it.”
“There was a lot of stereotyping”
Although they were Suits fans, he said brother Prince William and wife Kate Middleton didn’t like Markle almost immediately and “there was a lot of stereotyping” in terms of Markle being an “American actress, divorced and biracial.”
“That stereotyping caused a barrier to them letting her in,” he added. “They were living in the tabloid bubble rather than reality.”
“I have spent the last six years trying top get through to my family privately,” he added, in response to a question over his somewhat-critcized decision to go public with first Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan and now the book plus a set of interviews including three in the U.S. in the next 24 hours.
“If it had stopped before the point that I fled my country with my wife and son fearing for our lives then maybe things would have turned out differently.”
Later Touching on his father, now-King Charles III’s marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles, Harry produced another book extract in which he said he had urged the pair not to marry.
Harry went on to discuss the heart-wrenching death of mother Princess Diana 25 years ago, having read out an extract from the book when his father first told him his mother had died.
“This is relatable for anyone who has experienced loss,” he added, before talking about feeling the “wet hands” of well-wishers having dried away their tears.
He said people who watched Harry & Meghan will question “why would you want your family back” but he “does want them back,” adding: “Though I would like reconciliation I would like to make peace in this time for a lot of things that have happened.”
The interview came after a week replete with dramatic extracts from the book the being dripfed by the UK media, after the book was accidentally published in Spain several days early, while at the same time, ITV and CBS have regularly released trails for their upcoming interviews.
The most dramatic was The Guardian’s unveiling of an extraordinary physical attack Harry claims took place at the hands of his brother William in the book, in which William is said to have pushed Harry on to a dogbowl after claiming Markle was “difficult,” “rude” and “abrasive.”
Other extracts to have emerged concerned Harry’s drug use, losing his virginity and killing 25 Taliban while he was serving in Afghanistan. On his drug use, Harry said in the ITV interview it was “important to be acknowledged.”
He will be interviewed at 7 p.m. EST on CBS’ 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper later today, before appearing on The Late Show and Good Morning America tomorrow.