The Duke of Sussex has said his brother, the Prince of Wales, ordered him to shave his beard off before his own wedding in 2018. Harry said he had asked permission from the Queen to keep his facial hair prior to the event and that she had allowed him to do so, but that William had been unhappy about the decision.
During his first televised interview to promote his new memoir, Spare, he described his beard as “a shield to my anxiety” and that it made him feel like “the new Harry”.
Speaking to ITV’s Tom Bradby, he said: “I think…there’s a level of competition there. 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.”
“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. As almost like a shield to my anxiety.”
He said that he had told his brother, who had confronted him about not shaving the beard, that his wife-to-be would not recognise him if he was clean shaven.
“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, 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’.”
Harry added that he would feel “very different without my beard”, something that would be hard for people “who have never grown a beard” to understand.
The ITV interview is one of four that the duke is scheduled to participate in, ahead of the release of his memoir on Tuesday.
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