The Duke of Sussex has given an explosive interview with ITV ahead of his book launch on Tuesday. Prince Harry's memoir Spare details a behind-the-scenes look at his life, his family, and the moments that led to him moving to the United States with wife Meghan and his family.
In the first of four tell-all interviews, the prince sat down with ITV journalist and long-term friend Tom Bradby. The 55-year-old attended Harry and Meghan's wedding.
Topics discussed included Harry and Prince William's alleged fight, Harry's battle with mental health, and the aftermath of his mother's death. Here's every word said during the interview, including voiceovers from the prince's book:
Archived voice of reporter: Your Royal Highness – may we see your son?
Bradby voiceover: He’s the most talked about man on the planet, who has now written an autobiography…
Bradby: Very good to see you.
Harry: Tom, nice to see you.
Bradby voiceover: …that is so staggeringly frank, it is less a spotlight on royal life than a lightning strike.
Harry reading excerpt: My God. Sibling rivalry. Had we not got past this yet? The whole heir versus spare thing?
He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace and he knocked me to the floor.
Bradby: Wouldn’t your brother say to you, “Harry, how could you do this to me after everything, after everything we went through?” Wouldn’t that be what he would say?
Harry: He’d probably say all sorts of different things.
Bradby voiceover: Harry and I have known each other for more than 20 years now, through good times – and bad. So, he’s invited me out to California, to talk about a book that I needed a long lie down after reading.
Harry reading excerpt: She began to play the long game. A campaign aimed marriage, and eventually the crown.
Bradby: Do you still believe in the monarchy?
Bradby: Do you believe you’ll play a part in its future?
Harry: I don’t know. I really don’t know.
Harry reading excerpt: I love my mother country and I love my family and I always will. I just wish, in the second-darkest moment of my life, they’d both been there for me.
Bradby: You haven’t so much burnt your bridges as taken a flame-thrower to them.
Harry: Well, they’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile.
Bradby voiceover: It is, if you will forgive the pun on the title, an unsparing account of an extraordinary life.
Bradby: There’s a fair amount of drugs, marijuana, magic mushrooms, cocaine. I mean, that’s gonna surprise people.
Harry: But important to acknowledge.
Bradby voiceover: He calls it, the simple truth.
Harry: I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back.
Bradby: If so, much of it is just jaw-dropping.
Clapper loader: Harry the interview.
Harry: Harry the interview? What an original name!
Bradby: By any account, this is an extraordinary tale and from your perspective, it’s a holistic account of your life and I’d say to anyone who’s sitting down to watch this tonight, whatever you think, whatever’s gone before, this book is, takes things to a whole new level because it’s a complete account for your, of your life. However, I think I do have to start with a simple question, which is why, why have you written it?
Harry: 38 years, 38 years of having my story told by so many different people, um, with intentional spin and distortion felt like a good time to own my story and be able to tell it for myself. You know, I don’t, I don’t think that if I was still part of the Institution that I would have been given this chance to. So, I’m actually really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to tell my story because it’s my story to tell.
Bradby: Now, pretty much everyone watching this will be from a family and the idea that someone in the family is going to tell the world, all the family arguments and secrets would be very difficult for people and of course the accusation will be, you’ve done it to fund your new lifestyle, effectively you’ve traded family secrets. So, how do you justify the level of disclosure that is in this book?
Harry: Well, there’s been a, which I, I suppose lots of people know now, there was a motto, a family motto of ‘never complain, never explain’. And what people have realised now, through the Netflix doc, documentary and numerous stories coming out over the years, is that, that was just a motto. There was a lot of complaining and there was a lot of explaining and it continues now.
Um, but for me, I sit here now, speaking to you, answering the questions that you put to me, um, and the words and the truth will come from my lips rather than using other people, especially through the tabloid media. Um, and we’re six years into it now, um, and I have spent every single year of those six, doing everything I can privately, to get through to my family.
And the thing that is the saddest about this, Tom, is it never needed to be this way. It never needed to get to this point. I’ve had conversations, I’ve written letters, I’ve written emails, and everything is just, “no, you, this is not what’s happening. You, you are, you are imagining it”. And that’s really, that’s really hard to take. And if it had stopped, by the point that I fled my home country with my wife and my son fearing for our lives, then maybe this would’ve turned out differently. It’s hard.
Bradby: There’s a lot to pick up on there and we will. But, let’s start at the beginning. We are going to use chunks of your audiobook, which you read yourself, to help give people, and just to be clear, there are times when, let the narrative run, because it is an extraordinary narrative, and times when, you know, I may challenge you on things that you are saying later. And it begins with the utterly shattering night that your father comes to sit on your bed in Balmoral.
Harry reading excerpt: He sat down on the edge of the bed, he put a hand on my knee: “Darling boy, mummy’s been in a car crash.” I remember thinking, “Crash OK? But she’s alright, yes?” I vividly remember that thought flashing through my mind and I remember waiting patiently for Pa to confirm that indeed, Mummy was alright, and I remember him not doing that.
There was then a shift internally. I began silently pleading with Pa, or God, or both, “No, no, no”. Pa looked down into the folds of the old quilts and blankets and sheets. “There were complications. Mummy was quite badly injured and taken to hospital, darling boy.” He always called me darling boy, but he was saying it quite a lot now.
His voice was soft. He was in shock, it seemed. “Oh, hospital?” “Yes, with a head injury.” Did he mention paparazzi? Did he say she’d been chased? I don’t think so. I can’t swear to it but probably not. The paps were such a problem for Mummy, for everyone, it didn’t need to be said. I thought again, ‘injured but she’s OK, she’s been taken to hospital, they’ll fix her head, and we’ll go and see her. Today, tonight at the latest’. “They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it.”
Bradby: Talk me through that appalling, horrific evening.
Harry: Um, you know, thinking back to when I was 12 years old, sitting in that sunken bed, um, at Balmoral Castle, I went, I took myself back to that moment and tried to remember as much as possible. You know, my father coming in, in his dressing gown and sharing that news with me, only now as part of writing the book, that I really think about how many hours he’d been awake. And the compassion that I have for him, as a parent having to sit with that for many, many hours, ringing up friends of his, trying to work out, how the hell do I break this to my two sons?
And I never want to be in that position, part of the reason why we are here now, I never ever want to be in that position. I don’t want history to repeat itself. I do not want to be a single dad. And I certainly don’t want my children to have a life without a mother or a father.
Bradby: One of the things I found saddest in the book is the way, as I understand it, kind of begins with your mother’s death because you have a problem with the memories before then. Is that right? You sort of…
Harry: Yeah. It’s almost…
Bradby: …you’ve lost them and that just seems so sad.
Harry: Yeah, I know. I lost a lot of memories, on the other side of this mental wall. Um, which again, I think is so relatable for so many people who’ve experienced loss, especially as a youngster, um, that inability to be able to like drag the memories back over. Um, but I think a lot of it was a defence mechanism.
Bradby: But just on that, one of the things that really surprised me in the book is the way you talk about genuinely appearing to have half-convinced yourself that your mother was in fact still alive and in hiding.
Bradby: I mean, like, you talk about seeing her in your dreams and saying, “Mummy, Mummy, is that you?”
Bradby: I mean, it, it’s a haunting description of really, post-traumatic stress disorder really, isn’t it? I mean, that’s what, that’s what the whole early part of this book is?
Harry: Yeah, but I would, I, I refer to it as post-traumatic stress injury because I don’t, I’m not a person with a disorder. I know I’m not.
Bradby: But you bottle it up for years, don’t you? I mean, you don’t talk about it like sometimes you say your brother, you, you know, really wanted to talk about it, but you couldn’t.
Harry: Um, I cried once, um, at the burial. Um, and, you know, I go into detail about talking how, you know, how strange it was and how actually there was some guilt that I, that I felt, and I think William felt as well, by walking around the outside of Kensington Palace and the 50,000 bouquets of flowers to our mother. And there we were shaking people’s hands, smiling. I’ve seen the videos, right?
I’ve looked back, I look back over it all. And the wet hands that we were shaking, we couldn’t understand why their hands were wet. But it was all the tears that they were wiping away. So that was very strange for us, as, you know, youngsters, you know, 12 and 14 at the time and seeing this outpouring of emotion from millions, hundreds of millions of people, and everyone thought and felt like they knew our mum. And the two closest people to her, the two most-loved people by her, were unable to show any emotion in that moment.
Bradby: You write about it incredibly movingly in the book, you write about the funeral and the surreal nature of it. And at one point it’s discussed that maybe William should walk behind the, the coffin alone, and you say, “No, Willy,” as you call him, “if the situation is reverse, he would never let me do it alone.” And that’s why you decide to do it. But it’s a completely surreal moment for both of you. Right?
Harry: Yeah, I mean, I also, like, there was a lot of conversations that happened around times like that, of which I wasn’t part of, and William wasn’t part of, he was probably more part of it than I was. But, you know, the decision was made for both of us to walk behind, uh, our mother’s coffin. And there’s absolutely no way that I would let him do that by himself. And there’s absolutely no way that he would let me do that by, by myself. It was, if it was role reversal.
So, you know, it happened, um, the memories of the bridles chinking, you know, going down the mall, the hooves going down the, the concrete and the occasional, you know, gravel underneath the foot and the wails from the crowd. But otherwise complete silence is something that will stick with me forever.
Just recently I was, we, my brother and I were walking the same route, and we sort of joked to each other and said, ‘at least we know the way’. Um, but otherwise it was very similar. The only difference was the levels of emotion because our grandmother had finished life – there was more, I think, of a celebration and respect and recognition to what she had accomplished. Whereas our mother was taken away far too young.
Bradby: Another thing that seems to have stayed with you and I think will stay with anyone who reads the book, is you get to the moment where you demand of Jamie, your private secretary, that you want to see the secret government file. And your description of that is searing.
Harry reading excerpt: At last, I came to the photos of Mummy. There were lights around her, auras, almost halos. How strange. The colour of the lights was the same colour as her hair. Golden. I didn’t know what the lights were. I couldn’t imagine. I came up with all sorts of supernatural explanations. As I realise their true origin, my stomach clenched. Flashes. They were flashes, and within some of the flashes were ghostly visage and half-visages.
Paps, and reflected paps and refracted paps on all the smooth metal services and glass windscreens. Those men who’d chased her. They’d never stopped shooting her while she lay between the seats. Unconscious or semi-conscious. And in their frenzy, they’d sometimes accidentally photographed each other. Not one of them was checking on her, offering her help, not even comforting her. They were just shooting, shooting, shooting.
Harry: The idea that she’d been taken away and that William and I were now motherless, was something that I just couldn’t comprehend. Like, I’d heard people talking about there being photographs. By this point, I was starting to understand the involvement of the paparazzi chasing her.
And to this day, I will remain eternally grateful for Jamie for showing me, what he believed I needed to see, but removing the stuff that he knew I didn’t need to see. Um, I don’t know where I’d be now if I saw the stuff that I wanted to see, that I demanded to see. But I was a young…
Bradby: What did he take out?
Harry: He took out the more, the more, uh, I guess descriptive photo, photographs. Um, I saw the photographs of the reflection of all the paparazzi in the window at the same time…
Bradby: Taking pictures of your mother as she’s dying, rather than helping her.
Harry: Exactly. And that, you know, that still hurts, but you know, you can see that I saw the back of her blonde hair, you know, slumped on the back of the seat. There were other photographs, um, that would probably show my mother’s face and blood. Um, and those, I assume were the ones that Jamie removed, and I’m grateful to him for that.
But I was, I think at that point I was looking for, I was looking for, I was looking for evidence that it was, that it actually happened, that it was true. But I was also looking for something to hurt, because at that point I was still pretty numb to the whole thing. That was, again, my body, my sort of nervous system just kind of shut down and said like, let’s not go there.
Bradby: You insist on being driven through the tunnel.
Bradby: At the same speed as your mother was travelling. And then you discover your brother has insisted on the same thing totally separately, you didn’t, and that’s gonna strike people as I think that’s gonna again…
Bradby: …it’s a searing passage to read.
Harry reading excerpt: Then we came to the mouth of the tunnel. We zipped ahead, went over the lip of the tunnel’s entrance, the bump that supposedly sent mummy’s Mercedes veering off course. But the lip was nothing, we barely felt it. As the car entered the tunnel I leaned forward, watched the light change to a kind of watery orange, watched the concrete pillars flicker past. Fphfff, Fphfff Fphfff. I counted them, counted my heartbeats and in a few seconds, we emerged from the other side.
I sat back. Quietly I said, “Is that all of it? It’s nothing, just a straight tunnel.” I’d always imagined the tunnel was some treacherous passageway, inherently dangerous but it was just a short, simple, no-frills tunnel. No reason anyone should ever die inside it.
Harry: Um, I don’t think I would’ve been able to cope with that as a, as a teenager. You know, once I was in my 20s and happened to be there for Rugby World Cup, I was like, you know, “let’s, let’s, let’s do this”. But also, again, there were still so many question marks that were unanswered, especially from the inquest. You know, William and I were sat in a room, and we were told that the event was like a bicycle chain.
And if you remove just one of those links from the chain, the end result doesn’t happen. And he, ’cause that was our specific question was like, “where did the paparazzi fit in that?” And his response was, “you remove one of those links, ie the paparazzi? And the result wouldn’t have been the same.” Um, so yeah…
Bradby: You wanted an inquiry. Do you still have questions about that night? I mean, do you, is there anything about that night that you worry is still unexplained? Or do you think you…
Harry: There’s a lot of things that are unexplained. Um, but I’ve been asked before whether I want to open up a, you know, another inquiry. I don’t really see the point at this stage. Um, but I think anyone who knows – again, this is the most amazing thing that, of over the last, what, five years, especially the last two years, the amount of people that I’ve met here in America, everyone knows where they were and what they were doing the night my mother died. And I never thought about that at all.
It’s, yeah, it was, it wasn’t a crazy thing to do at the time, to drive through the tunnel. Um, but as you can imagine, at this point, I was old enough to drive myself. So, to sit in the back of a car and have this wonderful Irishman, uh, drive me through the tunnel at the same speed, there was no danger of anybody losing control even after a drink or a couple of drinks, however.
Harry: Almost physically impossible to lose control of a vehicle unless you are completely blinded at the wheel. So, once I started driving myself and the occasions – which were there were multiple of driving back into London from being in the country for the weekend, um, I would have paparazzi literally jump on the bonnet of the car – and I physically couldn’t see anything.
When you’ve actually experienced the same thing, which you assume your mother’s driver was experiencing at the time, then it’s really hard to, I guess, understand how some people have come away with the conclusions of that night. And that the people that were predominantly responsible for it, all got away with it.
And, not, on top of that, um, you know, so many, so much of the British press, who were part of it, who fuelled it, um, said that things would change, but they haven’t changed.
Bradby: Let’s lighten the tone for a moment because we then go on to talk about your teenage years – somewhat chaotic in parts, I think you might, uh, you might acknowledge. Um, but there’s some funny, funny moments in the book, um, like you trying to teach your Great-Grandmother, the Queen Mother, how to do Ali G? Go on then, do it.
Harry: That was it.
Bradby: That was it, right.
Harry: That was it. I can’t do it again because it probably wouldn’t work. No, she, she had this amazing, uh, flick of the wrist. Um, and yeah, I will never forget that, that barbecue night in, it was, it was wonderful.
I felt, I felt like I was part of the family. I felt like, I felt very different to what I’d felt before that. I felt slightly isolated, I felt slightly different. I don’t know what was going on and maybe that was again, the sort of the, the suppression of the trauma and the grief. But I had a proper laugh with my, with my, uh, my Gan-gan then. And, you know, she was so close to my father as well. And that relationship and something that at the time I recognised but never really thought about in detail.
But then two years of sitting there and writing this book, all of these memories come flooding back and I start to be able to piece it all together, like a puzzle.
Bradby: I won’t, uh, spoil it, ‘cause there’s a lot, there’s an awful lot of, um, material in there. You know, there’s you losing your virginity. I think, you know…
Bradby: Sensitive viewers turn away now. Um…
Harry: It’s four lines or something.
Harry: If that.
Bradby: …Ok. Oh, I’m just scrubbing it from my memory still. But it’s OK.
Harry: We can talk about you losing your virginity, if you want?
Bradby: No, that’s, that’s, let’s not do that um, er, let’s not go there.
There’s a fair amount of drugs, um, marijuana, magic mushrooms, cocaine. I mean, that’s gonna surprise people.
Harry: But important to acknowledge.
Bradby voiceover: “Of course I had being doing cocaine around this time”, Harry admits in the book. “In a country house,” he says, adding that it did not make him in the slightest bit happy. Feeling different, he writes, was the goal. He was a deeply unhappy 17-year-old boy willing to try almost anything to alter the status quo.
Bradby: I mean, I, I think it’s an example of the scale of honesty. You don’t seem to hold anything back. You tell the story about cocaine through this tabloid editor, you said, came to you and said, I’ve got a picture of you taking cocaine. I’m gonna…
Harry: Didn’t come to me, he came to someone else.
Bradby: Yeah. OK. But we’re gonna release it unless you give us a tell-all interview, whatever it was they wanted. And you say, “I called their bluff,” and you’re quite pleased with it. But I just wanna be clear, are you really saying that, third in line to the throne or whatever you were, you taking a class A drug is not a matter of public interest? Cause I think that’s a question people will have. Do you accept that is a matter of public interest for the press?
Harry: I think what’s a matter of public interest is, is the relationship between the, the institution with the tabloid media. That to me is more public interest in, anything else.
Harry: But my…
Bradby: …we’re gonna…
Harry: …but my life, my life in itself has been put through, you know, um, uh, a blender as such. So I think the lines have been blurred so much, that public interest is more about the wellbeing of society, yet what interests the public, which is what the media have now turned it into, um, to the point of where they actually generally believe that. So, I, I would be concerned.
Bradby: I wanted to sort of pick up in your childhood, because one of the things that came across very clearly to me is your deep love for your dad and your dad’s deep love for you.
Bradby: I mean, he calls you my darling boy, you reference it pretty frequently. “I loved him. I needed him”. You know, you talk about being buoyed by his praise. Right? Now, I, maybe this isn’t surprising to people. Why should the fact you loved your dad be surprising, but it is very, very clear. Fair…?
Harry: Of course, he’s my father. I will always love him…
Bradby: Well, not everyone loves their dad. I mean, you know, some people do, some people don’t.
Harry: No, that’s true.
Bradby: But it’s just very clear. I’m just pointing out that it’s a very clear message you seem to want to get across about how much you, you do love him?
Harry: I – I, I exactly. I love my father. I love my brother. I love my family. I all… will always do. Nothing of what I’ve done in this book or otherwise has ever been to, uh, any intention to harm them or hurt them. Um, you know, the, the truth is something that I need to rely on. Um, and after many, many years of lies being told about me and my, my family, um, there comes a point where, you know, again, going back to the relationship between, um, certain members of the family and the tabloid press, those certain members have decided to get in the bed with the devil, right?
Harry: Uh, to rehabilitate the, to rehabilitate their image.
Harry: If you need to do that, or you want to do that, you choose to do that. Well that is a choice. That’s up to you. But the moment that that rehabilitation comes at the detriment of others, me, other members of my family, then that’s where I draw the line. So if that’s what you want to do, then you can do that, but do not…
Bradby: And that is your cri… your two criticisms of your dad, really, I would say, summarising, kind of, intimacy and communication problems; he’s not there for you, you as frequently or in quite the way you want.
Harry reading excerpt: He’d always given an air of not being quite ready for parenthood: the responsibilities, the patience, the time. Even he, though a proud man, would have admitted as much. But single-parenthood? Pa was never made for that. To be fair, he tried.
Bradby: And at some point, you, you, you say he sort of acknowledges that when you really have got mental health problems.
Harry reading excerpt: Over dinner one night at Highgrove, Pa and I spoke at some length about what I’d been suffering. I gave him the particulars, told him story after story. Towards the end of the meal he looked down at his plate and said softly: “I suppose it’s my fault. I should have got you the help you needed years ago”. I assured him that it wasn’t his fault, but I appreciated the apology.
Bradby: And your other criticism is that too often your interests are sacrificed to his interests, certainly when it comes to the press.
Harry: I have a lot of compassion and I, and I, even understanding as to why certain members of my family need to have that relationship with the tabloid press. I do, I understand it. I don’t agree with it, but I do understand it. And there have been decisions that have happened on the other side that have been incredibly hurtful. And they, and it continues. It hasn’t stopped. It’s continuing the whole, the whole way through.
Um, I wish that it would stop. I want reconciliation, but first there needs to be some accountability. You can’t just continue to say to me that I’m delusional and paranoid when all the evidence is stacked up, because I was genuinely terrified about what’s gonna happen to me. And then we have a 12-month transition period, and everyone doubles down. My wife shares her experience. And instead of backing off, both the institution and the tabloid media in the UK both doubled-down.
Bradby: I, I want to sort of just briefly talk about your stepmother and the press ‘cause you, you are pretty consistently scathing and suggest that you are…
Harry: What, scathing towards…?
Bradby: Well as in you say that, “your interests were sacrificed on her PR alter,” to quote, and you seem to be specifically referencing that. Now her people might say, well, it’s not a crime to go to lunch with journalists.
Harry: Well, I think in the book is very clear what happened.
Harry reading excerpt: “We support you,” we said, “We endorse Camilla,” we said. “Just please don’t marry her, just be together, Pa.” He didn’t answer. But she answered. Straight away. Shortly after our private summits with her, she began to play the long game. A campaign aimed marriage, and eventually the Crown, with Pa’s blessing we presumed.
Stories began to appear everywhere in all the papers about her private conversation with Willie, stories that contained pinpoint accurate details, none of which had come from Willie, of course. They could only have been leaked by the other one other person present.
Harry: There’s no part of any of the things that I’ve said are scathing towards any member of my family, especially not my stepmother. There are things that have happened that have been incredibly hurtful, um, some in the past, some current.
No institution is immune to accountability or taking responsibility. So you can’t be immune to criticisms either. And you talk about, you know, scrutiny and, you know, my wife and I were scrutinised more than, probably, anybody else. I, I see a lack of scrutiny to my family towards a lot of the things that have happened in the last year.
Bradby: You say that you, you, you and your brother didn’t want her to and your dad to marry, but you say on their wedding day, you were really happy for them. I mean, I, is that a, is that really true that you were?
Harry: 100%? Um, you know, William and I wanted our father to be happy and he seemed to be very, very happy with her. We asked him not to get married. He chose to. Um, and that’s, that’s his decision. But the two of them were and remain very happy together. But unfortunately with that came some extra…
Bradby: And are you genuinely at peace with that? Because you…
Harry: That, that the two of them got married?
Bradby: Well, the, and that they’re happy and that you, because I mean, not peace with them being happy, but lots of people who might be in your circumstances ha-, whose childhood had played out in the way you have, might not be happy about it and you, I’m just saying the, the message of the book seems to be that you are genuinely happy about it?
Harry: Yeah. I think there’s probably a lot of people who, after watching the documentary and reading the book, will go, how could you ever forgive your family for what they’ve done? People have already said that to me. And I said, forgiveness is 100% a possibility because I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back. At the moment, I don’t recognise them, as much as they probably don’t recognise me.
Um, but that is, uh, a symptom of one of the problems where we’re not just talking about family relationships, we’re talking about an antagonist, which is the British press, specifically the tabloids who want to create as much conflict as possible. The saddest part of that is certain members of my family and the people that work for them are complicit in that conflict.
So, though I would like to have reconciliation, I would like accountability, I’ve managed to make peace over this time with a lot of things that have happened. But that doesn’t mean that I’m just gonna let it go. You know, I’ve made peace with it, but I still would like reconciliation. And not only would that be wonderful for us, but it would be fantastic for them as well.
Harry reading excerpt: My God. Sibling rivalry. I put a hand over my eyes. Had we not got past this yet? The whole heir versus spare thing. Wasn’t it a bit late in the day for that tired, childhood dynamic? But even if it wasn’t, even if Willie insisted on being competitive on turning our brotherhood into some kind of private Olympiad, hadn’t he built up an insurmountable lead?
He was married with a baby on the way, while I was eating takeaway alone over the sink. Pa’s sink. I still lived with Pa. Game over man, you win.
Bradby: The, the account of your brother, so I just wanna be clear, because I think it is important for what subsequently transpires, the account of your brother begins with deep, deep love which you constantly, or frequently reference, right?
Harry: Love but also separation. Which I think will really surprise people, the fact that we grew up – I mean our mother was dressing us in the same clothes to start with, um William didn’t like that, I think I seem to remember I found it quite funny, um, but the older, younger sort of sibling rivalry as such um, now is only really becoming err, I guess real to me. Like, sorry, OK, for instance I talk about the relationship between William and myself at Eton. And the fact that he didn’t really want to know me, and you know, as the younger brother that sucks.
It’s like ‘Come on, like you left me at Ludgrove and now I’m here at Eton, like hey let’s – now we’re at the same school, let’s go’. Um, and he didn’t want anything to do with me. And that hurt at the time. But now, well the gap between me and William is very similar to Archie and Lili, and to see Lili obsessed with Archie and Archie like ‘No, no Lili, I need my space, I need my space’, now I get it. I get the f… I get how irritating the younger sibling can be to the older sibling. But in the moment, at the time, I didn’t – I didn’t really grasp that, I didn’t really realise it, but yes, I’ve always loved my brother.
And I think what will be quite shocking or surprising to people is that after our mother died, we were on different paths. Right? Two individuals who experienced a very similar traumatic experience, but dealt with it in two very different ways.
Bradby: You, you have this sibling rivalry with your brother and you – you say that, you know, he – he didn’t want you on his turf, at one point there’s an argument, right, about Africa and charity work, and you say he said ‘Oh Africa’s my thing, you can’t have it’ I mean – and you – you get through to – and Kate comes along, but you say you really did – you do love her and you saw her as the sister you never had. And then you get to this point where you meet the love of your life, and you introduce them and…
Harry: They’re Suits fans. Who would’ve thought?
Bradby: Who would’ve thought? Who would’ve thought?
Harry: I never knew that.
Bradby: But the impression is that – that they just – there’s almost from the get-go it’s just they don’t get on. Fair?
Harry: Yeah, fair. Um, and…
Bradby: Why? I mean what d’you think that was all about?
Harry: Lots of – lots of different reasons but I – look, as I again detail a lot, I had put a lot of hope in the idea that, you know, it’d be William and Kate and me and whoever. I thought the – you know, the four of us would, you know, bring me and William closer together, we could go out and do work together, um, which I did a lot as the third wheel to them, um, which was fun at times but also, I guess slightly awkward at times as well.
But um yeah, I think – I don’t think they were ever expecting me to get – or to become – to get into a relationship with – with someone like Meghan who had, you know, a very successful career. There was a lot of stereotyping that was happening, that I was guilty of as well, at the beginning. Erm …
Bradby: What d’you mean by that?
Harry: American actress, right, um and that was playing out in the British press in the media at the time as well. So you know, the fact that I had that in the back of my mind, and 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.
Bradby: What d’you mean specifically?
Harry: Well, American actress, divorced, biracial, there’s – there’s all different parts to that and what that can mean but if you are, like a lot of my family do, if you are reading the press, the British tabloids, at the same time as living the life, then there is a tendency where you could actually end up living in the tabloid bubble rather than the actual reality.
Bradby: Well let’s talk about one of those, the bridesmaids, the wretched bridesmaid story, you know, story was your wife had made Kate cry…
Harry: There’s been over 25 versions of that story now.
Bradby: OK, but your version of it in this book is it was the other way round, Meghan was the one left in tears, Kate came round the next day with flowers to apologise and you’re careful to say there’s a witness… and what – what was that all about? How are you saying – and that got out – and what – what’s your reflection on all of that?
Harry: Um, what I still to this day don’t know is at what point was it twisted or flipped?
Bradby: But why wasn’t it corrected? It wouldn’t have been a hard thing to do.
Harry: It’s a question for them. They were more than happy to put out statements for less volatile things. My understanding is the reason they didn’t want to come out and say it wasn’t true would therefore lead to ‘Well if it wasn’t that, was it the other way round?’ When in fact you didn’t need to confess that it was the other way round. Right, tensions were high. But it wasn’t a case of ‘she did this to …’, that’s not what this was about, but the palace still could’ve come out and said, ‘this never happened’.
Bradby: But I read – one stage, you know, your – you have to ask permission of the Queen to have a beard for your…
Harry: I did, to keep the beard, yeah. Or have the beard, to keep the beard.
Bradby: To keep the beard.
Bradby voiceover: The argument about the beard is one of the most puzzling in the book. Harry claims he went to see his granny, the Queen, to ask, as required, for permission to keep his beard for his own wedding. She was amenable, William was not. There was then an argument, Harry says, between the two brothers that went on for a week and ended he claims with his brother ordering him, as the heir to the spare, to shave it off.
Bradby: But what – I mean I just read that and thought ‘What – what is that really about?’ because that is not about to beard or not to beard.
Harry: I think – yeah, well as again, side detail, I think it’s – a lot of it is to do with – I mean I refer to it as heir/spare but also older brother/younger brother, right, there’s a – there’s a – a level of competition there. And again, writing this, I remembered that William had a beard himself and that granny and other people, the ones to tell – told him that he had to shave it off.
Um, the difference for me, if there was a difference, but the difference for me was, as I explained to my grandmother, that this beard I’m still – that I’m still wearing, felt to me at the time like the new Harry. Right?
As almost like a shield to my anxiety. That was – that was the time of my life when – when I – you know, when I – when I grew my beard. Um, and I think William found it hard that other people told him to shave it off, and yet here I was on my wedding day wearing military uniform, no longer in the military, um, but thinking as though I – believing as though I should shave it off before my wedding day. And I said ‘Well I don’t believe that Meghan’s gonna recognise me if she comes up the aisle and sees me beardless’.
Um, and I would feel very, very different without my beard, and that’s hard for people to understand who’ve never grown a beard, um, but hopefully those beard people out there will go ‘Yeah, no, I fully get that, I can understand’.
Bradby: Look, after the wedding there’s a kind of attempt at a make-up session which you describe in – in great detail.
Bradby voiceover: At one stage, Harry recounts a clear-the-air meeting involving him, William, Kate, and Meghan. It seems to have gone so badly wrong that he describes Kate as gripping the edges of the leather chair so tightly that her fingers were white.
Kate says she’s owed an apology from Meghan who previously put a moment of Kate’s forgetfulness down to so-called baby brain. According to Harry, Kate tells Meghan they’re not close enough to talk that way and William says, ‘That’s not what’s done here in Britain’. The meeting ends awkwardly, with a hug of sorts.
Bradby: I think this is the point where a lot of people are gonna go ‘OK, I get that there never was such a thing as the Fab Four’. You know, things went…
Harry: It was something – it was something the – it was something that the British press created, which they could then dissect or – again it builds – it creates competition as well. Right?
Harry: The idea of the four of us being together was always a hope for me. Before it was Meghan. Whoever it was gonna be. I always hoped that the four of us would get on. But, very quickly it became Meghan versus Kate. And that, when it plays out so publicly, you can’t hide from that. Right? Especially when within my family you have the newspapers laid out pretty much in every single palace/house that is around.
Um, so, yes, it does – it creates this competition, and if you’re the new kids on the block and you come in and you’re stealing the limelight, not a limelight that you’ve asked to be put in or have, a limelight that the press, the British press, have decided for you, presumably because of clickbait and it sells newspapers, whatever it is, but just as much as William and Kate suffered from my father and stepmother, or their office, because the moment William married Kate they went through a large portion of the same things that Meg and I went through.
But then I always believed that – well I’m the spare, I’m no competition to my father, no competition to my brother, I think this will be absolutely fine. How wrong I was. The very thing that William and Kate had experienced from pa and Camilla happened to us, and happened from William and Kate’s office as well. But somehow in that, apparently the same experience that they had had, William and Kate, wasn’t happening to us.
Bradby: Did your brother su… try to persuade you not to marry Meghan? He never did that?
Harry: Wasn’t that he – it wasn’t that he – no he never tried to dissuade me from marrying Meghan, but he aired some concerns, err very early, and said you know, ‘This is gonna be really hard for you’ and I still to this day don’t truly understand which part of what he was talking about. Um, but maybe, you know, maybe he predicted what the British press’s reaction was gonna be.
Harry reading excerpt: ‘Meg’s difficult’ he said. ‘Oh really?’ ‘She’s rude, she’s abrasive, she’s alienated half the staff.’ Not the first time he parroted the press narrative. Duchess difficult, all that bullshit.
Bradby: I think the big shock, you know, there are lots of shocks in the book, but the big shock I suppose is, you know, you say that at one point your brother comes round and you have an argument that ends – I mean I would say with a fight but it’s actually, in your telling, not a fight because you don’t fight back.
Harry reading excerpt: 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. ‘Come on, hit me, you’ll feel better if you hit me’. ‘Do what?’ ‘Come on, we always used to fight, you’ll feel better if you hit me’. ‘No, only you’ll feel better if I hit you. Please, just leave’.
He left the kitchen, but he didn’t leave Nott Cott. He was in the sitting room, I could tell. I stayed in the kitchen. Two minutes passed, two long minutes, he came back looking regretful and apologised. He walked to the front door, this time I followed, before leaving he turned and called back ‘You don’t need to tell Meg about this’. ‘You mean that you attacked me?’ ‘I didn’t attack you Harold’. ‘Fine, I won’t tell her’.
Bradby: Now that’s a – that’s an extraordinary allegation to make, I mean what would – what on earth was that all about?
Harry: Me and William, like I guess a lot of siblings, or maybe not, William and I used to fight all the time. Now the difference to that was we were kids, we used to shoot each other with BB guns, we used to have firework fights, all of this stuff that I talk about in the book.
Um, what was different here was this level of frustration and, you know, I talk about the red mist that I had for so many years, and I saw this red mist in him. Um, and I can pretty much guarantee today that if I wasn’t doing therapy sessions like I was and being able to process that anger and frustration that I would’ve fought back, 100%.
Um, but I didn’t, because I was in a more comfortable place with my own anger. Um, but he was very – he was – he wanted me to – to hit him back, but I chose not to. Um, but again, so much of the relationship between me and William and the way it played out was because of the narrative, or the – the distorted narrative that was being pushed through the British press. And some people within his office that were feeding him utter nonsense.
Bradby: The – the description over many, many pages, and chapters of your relationship with your brother ends in this extraordinary and heart-breaking scene on the day of your grandfather’s funeral.
Harry reading excerpt: I pulled away, refused to meet his gaze. He forced me to look into his eyes, ‘Listen to me Harold, listen, I love you Harold, I want you to be happy’, the words flew out of my mouth, ‘I love you too, but your stubbornness is extraordinary’, ‘And yours isn’t?’ I pulled away again. He grabbed me again, twisting me to maintain eye contact.
‘Harold you must listen to me, I just want you to be happy, Harold, I swear, I swear on mummy’s life’. He stopped. I stopped. Pa stopped. He’d gone there, he’d used the secret code, the universal password, ever since we were boys those three words were to be used only in times of extreme crisis, ‘on mummy’s life’.
For nearly 25 years we’d reserved that soul-crushing vow for times when one of us needed to be heard, to be believed quickly, for times when nothing else would do. It stopped me cold, as it was meant to. Not because he’d used it, but because it didn’t work. I simply didn’t believe him.
Bradby: Just reading it, like everyone’s gonna think, I think, who reads that, whatever the, you know, attitude they come to this story with and just find that heart-breaking.
Harry: It is…
Bradby: It’s heartbreaking.
Harry: It is heartbreaking. This whole thing is completely, not just unnecessary, it’s incredibly sad. But there’s a – there’s a way through it, there’s a way out of it. And that’s what I’m focused on now. Um, but yes, it’s heartbreaking.
Bradby: What would you say to William if he’s watching this?
Harry: What would I say to him if I’m watching this?
Bradby: Well what do you think he’s thinking?
Harry: I’m not gonna share – I’m not gonna share what I say…
Bradby: OK, no, no, not a personal thing, let me ask you a different question. What do you think William will be thinking if he watches this, or if he reads your book?
Harry: I don’t think – I don’t think my father or brother will read the book. I really hope they do. But I don’t think they will. And with regard to this interview I – I don’t know whether they’ll be, you know, watching this or not, but, what they have to say to me and what I have to say to them will be in private, and I hope it can stay that way.
Because the last moment that we were together was during, you know, our – or the Queen’s funeral. And that, in my mind – and I think globally people felt the same, was a really good opportunity to bring the family together.
Um, but the day that she died was – was – was just a really, really horrible reaction from my family members and then by all accounts, well certainly from what I saw and what other people probably experienced was they were on the back foot and then the briefings and the leaking and the planting, I was like ‘We’re here to celebrate the life of granny and to mourn her loss, can we come together as a family?’ but I don’t know – I don’t know how we collectively – how we change that.
Bradby: You – you say you hoped discussions would be private, you’ve just put enormous amounts of private conversations in the public domain, and wouldn’t your brother say to you ‘Harry how could you do this to me, after everything we went through?’ Wouldn’t that be what he would say?
Harry: He’d probably say all sorts of different things. But you know, for the last however many years, let’s just focus on the last six years, the level of planting and leaking from other members of the family means that in my mind they have written countless books, certainly millions of words have been dedicated to trying to trash my wife and myself to the point of where I had to leave my country. The distorted narrative is that we wanted to leave to go and, you know, make money.
We were dedicated to a life of service, as is proven by everything that we’re doing now with the work that we do. And the proposal was very much on the table, publicly, which is we can’t cope in this situation and we’re gonna put our mental health first, we’ve asked for help and support.
At that time I didn’t fully understand how much – or how complicit the family were in that pain and suffering that was happening to my wife, and the one group of people that could’ve helped or stopped this from happening were the very people that were – that were encouraging it to happen.
And I sit here now in front of you asking for a family. Not an institution. I want a family. And I understand how that might be hard for them to be able to separate the two, but to me everything that I’ve witnessed and experienced over the years, there has to be a separation.
Bradby: They’re gonna be sitting there reeling at this level of personal disclosure aren’t they, and that – and that will make some people angry. We have to be honest about that.
Harry: Of course.
Bradby: And some people will say you have railed against invasions of your privacy all your life, the – the accusation will be here are you invading the privacy of your most nearest and dearest without permission, that’ll be the accusation, right?
Harry: That’ll be the accusation from the people that don’t understand, or haven’t – or don’t want to believe that my family have been briefing the press solidly for well over a decade. So, I’m sorry that me owning my story and being able to tell my own story is upsetting to some people.
But I have to rely on the truth, and I have done everything humanly possible in private for it not to get to this stage, but now I get to tell my story and as I said, Tom, none of this is intentionally to harm anyone in my family. But I certainly feel as though we sh… we – that we never needed to be here.
Bradby: But the portrait of your brother is harmful to him, I mean people may choose not to accept it or whatever, but it is harmful to him. Now if he was sitting in the room I think he would say ‘Look, you know, the reason that we had that argument in the cottage was about kind of issues with staffing’ and I’m not gonna go in to that, ‘cause you know, you talk about it in the book, Um, and people can make their own judgements, but the, you know, he felt that there was an issue, you know, he – I think he would say he found you emotional, defensive, he couldn’t get through to you, he found it extraordinarily frustrating, and you know, it kinda – things…
Harry: It’s quite a list – list of things, assumptions your making but…
Bradby: Well I’m just – no, no, I’m just saying I think that would be the counter-narrative on the other side, that this isn’t the truth, that the truth is more nuanced and all the rest of it. Right? That would be the defence.
Harry: Well the truth, supposedly at the moment, has been there’s only one side to this story. Right? But there’s two sides to every story. And you know, I have put in a lot of work and effort in to resolving my own trauma from many, many years ago, and I will continue to work on that, and – and I think other people within my family could do with that support as well. Because certainly from my perspective, um, you know, I’ve – I’ve learnt a hell of a lot. Again in the book I talk about unconscious bias, and being called a racist by the British press.
Look how different that is now. But I got called a racist when I was, you know, in my 20s by mistakes that I made. They were never intentional to harm anybody, but I recognise from that a level of unconscious bias within me that probably came from a combination of my upbringing, things I was exposed to and things that I saw in the media. And I made a choice to right that wrong.
I wanted to be part of the solution rather than part of the – part of the problem. And that has taken a lot of hard work, because I couldn’t understand ‘why am I being called a racist?’ of course clearly by what I did it looked that way.
But I knew that I wasn’t a racist. But I made an active choice to ensure that the British press and the public knew that I wasn’t because that was a horrible place to be, a horrible thing to be called. But there was a level of unconscious bias that existed within me that needed to be confronted.
Bradby: Do you still think there is any realistic chance of a reconciliation that you have so clearly articulated that you want?
Harry: 100%. I genuinely believe that, and I hope that when it gets to that stage, when there can be a constructive conversation, that again I have tried, I have spent a lot of money through legal trying to find some form of reconciliation, and it almost feels as though this status quo internally they feel as though it’s better to keep us somehow as the villains as opposed to, I genuinely believe, and I hope, that reconciliation between my family and us will have a ripple effect across the entire world. Maybe that’s lofty, maybe that’s naïve, whatever. But I genuinely feel that.
And knowing the monarchy as I know it from something that I was brought up in, for me it’s always been about uniting people. And it breaks my heart that the British tabloid press have so successfully – hang on – have so successfully managed to create this divide and this conflict at the same time as a culture war in the UK. So you talk about peace. Peace can happen when there’s truth. And between my family and myself it is up to us to reconcile, but the only way that can happen is by keeping that – the antagonist out of it.
Bradby: Just finally on the question – this is a sort of Shakespearean tale, it is…
Harry: You’ve probably read more Shakespeare than I have.
Bradby: Well, possibly but you know, it’s a very well-written book…
Harry: Not as much as my dad, but…
Bradby: OK, OK, OK, OK.
Harry: You’re probably – you’re up there.
Bradby: Yeah, yeah. It is, and I guess listening to you now, the danger is that maybe wh… you know, one might say ‘Look you haven’t so much burnt your bridges, you’ve taken a flame-thrower to them by being this honest in the book’ they might say to you ‘Look you’ve just destroyed any chance of a reconciliation’.
Harry: Well they’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile up until this point. And I’m not sure how honesty is burning bridges. You know, silence only allows the abuser to abuse. Right? So I don’t know how staying silent is ever gonna make things better. That’s genuinely what I believe.
Harry reading excerpt: How lost we are, I thought, how far we’ve strayed. How much damage has been done to our love, our bond, and why? All because a dreadful mob of dweebs and crones and cut-rate criminals and clinically diagnosable sadists along Fleet Street feel the need to get their jollies and plump their profits and work out their personal issues by tormenting one very large, very ancient, very dysfunctional family.
Bradby: Let’s tackle the press, I just wanna concede a couple of things so we don’t have to talk about them because it’s very clear in the book, paparazzi horrific around your mother, still very horrible today, totally get that, I think everyone watching this will get that, press doesn’t always tell the truth about you, putting that mildly, and you’re quite funny about that in the book, this relationship to you, there’s your relationship with Cameron Diaz who you never met and, yeah, there’s some lighter moments in the – in the discussion of the press, so totally get that, and were there negative stories written up um, about you and your wife during that period? Obviously, there were, they’re there, you can see them, so let’s just concede all that and all the rest of it. But…
Harry: That’s good of you to con… concede.
Bradby: Well no I’m just saying those are kind of unarguable sort of, you know, starting points, right.
Harry: But they, but, but some people still argue against that.
Bradby: Right, OK, that kind of seems obvious. I wanted to talk to you about – it’s quite a – often in therapy people start with a baseline, um, which is the serenity prayer which I know you know well, I’m not gonna turn this in to a therapy session, don’t worry, but um – but the serenity prayer is – we can – you know, ‘Oh God, give me serenity to accept what I can’t change, the courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference’, so one thing I might say to you is that there is a big, big, big difference between you and your family that I get, they’re on option one, can’t change the press, just accept it, you’re on option two, the must do something about the press, if I don’t stand up to what I consider these abuses, no one else will.
But their approach, which is to sort of say; in a free country, you’ve gotta have a free press, people in power, you, your family have gotta be scrutinised, someone’s gotta do it, we’ve just gotta rub along with them. That’s not wrong, is it? That’s not a crime, that attitude?
Harry: No, the scrutiny, 100% the press…
Bradby: But the accepting of, you know, just – you can’t control it, that’s what I mean.
Harry: Well my family have tried to control it for years, and they still try to control it, because of their relationship with the British press.
Bradby: But isn’t that built in a basic…
Harry: It’s – it’s something they didn’t wanna change because it benefits them. Right?
Bradby: Doesn’t always benefit them.
Harry: No it doesn’t always – of course…
Bradby: As you’ve said.
Harry: Of course it doesn’t, yeah.
Bradby: But your dad’s attitude for example is – you know, he says in the book, ‘Darling boy, you can’t deal with it, you know, don’t read it if you don’t…’, and it passes. It does pass, and I understand…
Harry: But does – does it pass?
Harry: Has it passed?
Bradby: You – you – OK, well let me ask you…
Harry: I – I left the country and for 12 – for 12 months it was relentless. So again, one of the reasons why I am moving the – the mission of changing the media landscape within the UK from being personal to my life’s work, a large part of that is down to the ongoing legal battles. Right?
Specifically with phone hacking. That, I put in my claims over three years ago and I’m still waiting. So one might assume that a lot of this, from their perspective, is retaliation, and trying to intimidate me to settle, rather than take it to court and potentially may have to shut down.
Bradby: But you…
Harry: But that is a large part of that.
Bradby: OK but can you explain that? Because lots of people watching this programme won’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about, phone hacking happened a decade ago, gone, forgotten and who have you got court cases against and why is…
Harry: But you probably know more than I do, don’t you?
Bradby: Well we – it’s a news story, we follow it.
Harry: Go on, go on fi… as – you go first, as a…
Bradby: Well you’ve got three…
Harry: As a jour… as a journalist, go on.
Bradby: OK you’ve got three cases, which are very rarely referred to against News Group which you know, may or may not come to court, you’ve got a case against the Mirror which may or may not come to court and you’ve – with others including Doreen Lawrence, Stephen Lawrence’s mum, but you’ve – you’ve taken a case against The Mail.
I have to say, in all three cases the accusations are very grave and the stakes I would say are very high, I mean I would say certainly, like The Mail, you’re suggesting you know, they hired private investigators to break into people’s houses to plant a listening device, I mean this is off the scale, they deny it absolutely.
Let’s be clear, you would owe them a pretty abject apology if you’re not right, if it’s not proven ’cause…
Harry: Well if it wasn’t – if I wasn’t wrong, they would presumably sue us.
Bradby: Well look but these are grave allegations, and this is raising the stakes…
Harry: Putting – putting – yeah.
Bradby: …extremely high.
Harry: Yes, no, 100%, yeah putting those – putting those claims in was – was an acceptance of the repercussions, but what is more worrying is that those repercussions are so obvious, I guess, across the British press that there’s no one else – if they wanna hold us and the rich and powerful to account, and they wanna police society, then who’s policing them? That’s something that William and I have talked about for many, many years. Who is policing them?
And I think, again, what’s happened to my wife and what’s happened to us happens to so many people on a daily basis, because of the British press. Because of the racism, because of – because of the cronyism, because of the lies, so you know, my father said to me that it was probably a suicide mission to try and change – to try and change the press.
But you know, having spent 10 years in the Army I learnt a specific set of values, and if I see wrongdoing, I will be lured towards trying to resolve it. Especially when I’ve had the unique perspective that I have had, I’ve seen behind the curtain and you know, if I can’t continue to serve my country while based in the UK, for numerous different reasons, one because of lack of security, then I will continue to serve my country from abroad.
Um, and changing the media, who I believe is at the epicentre of so many of the problems across the UK where people are suffering, then I’m going to try and make a difference. And it may be incredibly hard, and I don’t know how long it’s gonna take, but it is 100% worth it because again it goes back to what I’ve said before which is I’m happy with them talking crap about me every single day because I know it’s not true, what I draw a line at is when you’re inciting hatred towards myself and/or my wife and my children.
Bradby: But the trouble is, you’re probably the most famous person on the planet right now. Like if it’s not a horrible article in a newspaper it’s gonna be out there on Twitter, so what your family might say to you is ‘Look, you just can’t – you’ve – you’ve gotta let it go, you can’t – you can’t fight it all’ and now I understand your narrative is ‘if I don’t stand up to what I don’t believe …’ but isn’t there a danger that given your background and trauma, you’re maybe not taking the most logical view of this, as in you’re permanently at war and seeing the media as kind of one entity.
Harry: No I’m not permanently at war at all. I – I made peace with it; I was willing to let a lot of it go back in 2020 when we left the country. And if living in a new country, minding our own business during lockdown, not saying anything, not doing anything that would affect the British media at all, that every single day there’s a, you know, attack, well then, the assumption of it going away or moving on isn’t the case. So, you know, I feel as though there is a responsibility to see this through, um because I think the benefits to a lot of people will be felt. Um, you know, I talk about Caroline Flack in the book as well.
Um, but, you know, when we’re talking about accountability, you know, just recently, which I know you know about, um you know, the Jeremy Clarkson article, so not only did, what he said was horrific and is hurtful and cruel towards my wife, but it also encourages other people around the UK and around the world, men particularly, to go and think that it’s acceptable to treat women that way. Um, and you know, to use my stepmother’s words recently as well, there is a global pandemic of violent – violence against women.
It’s no longer a case of me asking for accountability, but at this point the world is asking for accountability. And the world is asking for some form of comment from the monarchy. But the silence is – is – is deafening. To put it mildly. So, I think we’ve gone from this being like, you know, just my personal whatever you wanna call it to way, way, way bigger than us.
And from what I have learnt and believe of the monarchy, if someone in this country, if someone, you know, especially in the US, no names mentioned, tweets or says certain things that are just categorically harmful and dangerous, you have the president and the vice president speak out against it. But, everything to do with my wife, after six years, they haven’t said a single thing. But they’re willing to defend themselves regularly.
And, you know, all we’ve ever asked for in the last – certainly the last few – few years is some accountability. And I’m very happy for Ngozi Fulani to be invited into the Palace to sit down with Lady Susan Hussey um, and to reconcile, because Meghan and I love Susan Hussey. She thinks she’s great. And I also know that what she meant – she never meant any harm at all but the response from the British press, and from people online because of the stories that they wrote was horrendous. Was absolutely horrendous the response.
Bradby: One final question on the press quickly. You – you say they’re complicit, counter-argument; it’s more complicated than that. Journalists, you know, it’s like covering politics, journalists cover politics, they hang out with ministers, they gossip, sometimes people gossip too much, sometimes it’s a leak, sometimes it’s not a leak, are you in danger of viewing it in a very one dimensional way?
Harry: No. No, no, no. I think it encapsulates all of it. Some of its leaking, some of its planting, but I think again what people are starting to understand now is that a royal source is not an unknown person, it is the palace specifically briefing the press, but covering their tracks by being unnamed. And I think that’s pretty shocking to people.
Especially when you realise how many palace sources, palace insiders, palace – senior palace officials, how many quotes are being attributed to those people, some of the most heinous, horrible things have been said about me and my wife, um, completely condoned by the palace ‘cause it’s coming from the palace, and those journalists have literally been spoon-fed that narrative without ever coming to us, without ever seeing or questioning the other side. I strongly believe that the way that the British press is showing itself at the moment is incredibly damaging to the UK.
Bradby: A couple of things, you talk about accountability, in the Oprah interview you accused members of your family of racism, you don’t even…
Harry: No I didn’t.
Bradby: Well, of…
Harry: The British press said that.
Bradby: Right. I…
Harry: Did – did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist?
Bradby: She said there were troubling comments about Archie’s skin colour.
Harry: There was – there was concern about his skin colour.
Bradby: Right. Wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racist?
Harry: I wouldn’t, not having lived within that family.
Bradby: Right. But you don’t…
Harry: So again going – going back to the difference between what my understanding is because of my own experience, the difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different. But once it’s been acknowledged, or pointed out to you as an individual, or as an institution, that you have unconscious bias, you therefore have an opportunity to learn and grow from that in order so that you are part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Otherwise unconscious bias then moves into the category of racism.
Bradby: But I suppose I mean isn’t there a danger that people are gonna think bad – you know, you haven’t identified which members of the family…
Harry: And I will never talk – and I will never talk about that. I mean what happened to Ngozi Fulani is a very good example of the environment within the institution, and why after our Oprah interview, they said that they were gonna bring in a diversity tsar. That hasn’t happened. Everything they said was gonna happen hasn’t happened. I’ve always been open to wanting to help them understand their part in it, and especially when you are the monarchy, at the – you have a responsibility and quite rightly people hold you to a higher standard than others.
Certainly the media should. Right? So, the way that I’ve learnt it through my own experience and for what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard, yes, you’re right the key word is concern, which was troubling. But you speak to any other couple, mixed race couple around the world, and you will probably find that the white side of the family have either openly discussed it, or secretly discussed, you know, ‘What are the kids gonna look like?’ And that is part of a, you know, bigger conversation that needs to be had.
But, to say that that doesn’t happen around the rest of the world, but it just happened there, is – that’s not true, but again for me the difference is unconscious bias and racism, but if that – if you are called out for unconscious bias you need to make that right. And you have the opportunity and the choice to. But if you choose not to, then that rapidly becomes something much more serious.
Harry reading excerpt: My problem has never been with the monarchy, nor the concept of monarchy. It’s been with the press and the sick relationship that’s evolved between it and the palace. I love my mother country, and I love my family, and I always will. I just wish in the second darkest moment of my life, they’d both been there for me. And I believe they’ll look back one day and wish they had too.
Bradby: Do you still believe in the monarchy?
Harry: Yes. I talk about it in the book.
Bradby: Do you believe you will play a part in its future?
Harry: I don’t know. I really don’t know.
Bradby: Do you hope so?
Harry: Not – it’s not about hoping so, you know, going back to the initial proposal was we always wanted to continue to serve, we just didn’t want to be based and living in the UK all the time. One of the main reasons for that was to remove ourselves from this competition that was happening for the front pages.
So, you know, if my father asks us for support across the Commonwealth then that is certainly an open discussion, but I’m here now Tom, and my family’s now here. You know, we’re doing the same thing, the same job over there, no taxpayer funding, right, it’s – it’s not the way that I wanted it to happen, but I have now created a life for my family where I feel safer. Right? So, who knows what’s gonna happen?
Bradby: If you’re invited to the Coronation, will you come?
Harry: There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But, you know, the door is always open. The – the ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they can – that they are willing to sit down and talk about it, because there’s a lot that’s happened in six years. And prior to that as well.
Bradby: There are a lot of people in Britain who support you, there are a lot of people in Britain who are annoyed with you and wish you’d shut up and stop talking about it and leave it…
Harry: Stop talking about what?
Bradby: The issues that you’ve raised during the course of this interview, you know, not talk about your family, not talk about the press, not talk about all these things and I think there are some people in the middle who are listening but kind of think ‘He does seem to spend a lot of time looking back, not looking forward’, you’re like, fine, you wanted to leave the family, start a new life, that’s great, good for you, but is there a danger that you’re looking back too much do you think? Do you worry about that for yourself?
Harry: We always knew that these two projects, both the Netflix documentary and the book, you know, one being our story and one very much being my story, they were look-back projects. Right? They were necessary, they were essential, [Mm] um, for historical fact and significance. I don’t want my kids or other people of that age growing up thinking ‘Oh wow, this is what happens’, like no that’s not what happened. This is what happened.
Harry: Right, there are two sides to every story, so you know, it’s been – it’s been a painful process, um, cathartic at times, but going back over old ground to be able to get these projects right um, has taken a lot of energy. And there’s a lot of relief now that both these projects have been complete, and now we can focus on looking forward um, and I’m excited about that. So, no I’m not stuck in the past and I will never be stuck in the past.
I am – I’ve made peace with a lot of what’s happened, but I am still I guess patiently waiting for accountability. Not necessarily just for us, but because of the significance that I know that that will have to so many other people.
Bradby: If there is account, if there a process, I mean do you acknowledge you got things wrong?
Harry: I’m sure, I’m sure I got things wrong, but I’ve continued over the last three, four years, to ask to tell me, what we got wrong, so that we can address it and apologise for those things. But every single time I’ve asked, I’ve received nothing in response.
Bradby: But where are you now? I think that’s one question people have at the end of all this, are you … are you happy? Are you…
Harry: Yes, I’m very, very happy, I’m very at peace. I am in a better place than I’ve ever been, and I think that probably angers some people, infuriates others, because just by the nature of me leaving, I’m sure they, they, some people always thought that Meghan would leave right, but I don’t think they ever thought that I would leave as well, but just by leaving that has, it’s, it’s embarrassing for some people.
Um, as I said it wasn’t something that I would have necessarily chosen at the time, but you know, I own my story, um, and I own the, the, the results. But, I’ve got two beautiful kids and an amazing wife, like the happiness in my family now I have never felt anywhere else before.
Bradby: One final thing then, just picking up on that…
Bradby: Is happiness and peace your nuclear family, is it being out of it, is it being far away physically from the things that aggravate you like the press. What is, what…
Harry: The safety, the safety of my family is my priority. Right.
Harry: And that is the main reason that we left. Unfortunately the circumstances back there hasn’t changed, in fact it’s only got worse. Um, I feel safe here, my family feel safe here, um, I’m happy, my family’s happy, it’s difficult going back.
Um, but, I’m in such a good head space now that whatever conversations need to happen, or whatever the future holds to the point of where, can there be reconciliation and is there some, whatever comes from that, that I’m in a really good place to be able to have those conversations and come back and not linger on it, or not let it pull me back in, you know what I mean.
So, yeah, it’s been, it’s been, it’s been hard, I’m not gonna lie, it’s been really hard at times, but I guess there’s also a lot of people who refuse to accept that I could be happy out here, because of what I’ve left behind. But the reality is I’ve never been happier.
Bradby: Well listen, we’ve known each other a long time, we’ve done many interviews and so much has happened, your life has been eventful to say the least. What I would say about is, you know, whatever people say, I don’t think anyone’s gonna read it and not fly through it, so thank you for sparing the time. Pleasure to see you as always.
Harry: Thanks for coming all this way.