Prince Harry has given the world access to his own life like no royal ever has before – and not just through his new memoir Spare.
The Duke of Sussex has gone on a bombshell-filled media tour to promote his autobiography, from an intense 90 minutes with ITV to a tequila-fuelled more light-hearted appearance on “The Late Show.”
Here’s a round-up of some of the most insightful things the royal said.
1. Harry accused some royals of ‘getting into bed with the devil’
“After many, many years of lies being told about me and my family, there comes a point where again, going back to the relationship between certain members of the family and the tabloid press, those certain members have decided to get into bed with the devil,” the Duke claimed.
“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 rehabilitation comes at the detriment of others – me, other members of my family – then that’s where I draw the line.”
2. Harry denies that he ever suggested the Royal Family was racist
Harry denied that he and Meghan had ever meant to imply the royals were racist for supposedly enquiring about the skin colour of their firstborn, a revelation they made in 2021 during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
When Bradby noted that the Duke of Sussex had “accused members of your family of racism” in the Winfrey interview, Harry pushed back.
“No, I didn’t. The British press said that,” Harry said. “Did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist?”
Bradby mentioned Meghan’s revelation that “there were troubling comments about Archie’s skin colour”.
“There was concern about his skin colour,” Harry replied.
“Right. Wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racist?” Bradby followed up.
“I wouldn’t,” Harry said. “Not having lived within that family.”
“The difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different,” he continued. “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.”
3. Harry wants Charles and William ‘back’
Harry says he wants “a family, not an institution”, and says “they’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile”.
He also talks about King Charles and Prince William. “I would like to get my father back,” he says. “I would like to have my brother back.”
But, Harry added, “At the moment, I don’t recognise them,” he said of his father and brother, noting: “As much as they probably don’t recognise me.”
4. William ordered Harry to shave his beard off for his wedding
The Duke revealed that his older sibling had ordered him to go clean shaven for his 2018 wedding.
He explained: “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 him – told him that he had to shave it off.”
He said the difference was that the beard was “a shield to my anxiety” – but that he thought William still “found it hard that other people told him to shave it off”.
5. Harry and Meghan ‘love’ Lady Susan Hussey
Hussey, a former royal aide, was criticised last year for making racist comments towards charity boss Ngozi Fulani at the Palace, and subsequently stepped down.
Harry touched on the incident in his interview and said he was “very happy” that the Palace had organised a reconciliatory meeting between the two parties, as he and Meghan “love Susan Hussey”.
He added: “And I also know that what she meant – she never meant any hard at all. But the response from the British press, and from people online because of the stories that they wrote was horrendous.”
He said he and Meghan had only ever wanted the same kind of “accountability” from the royals – but pointed out the Palace had not even introduced the diversity tsar they had promised to back in 2021.
“I’ve always been open to wanting to help them understand their part in it, and especially when you are the monarchy – you have a responsibility, and quite rightly people hold you to a higher standard than others.”
6. Harry’s fury over Jeremy Clarkson’s column – and the Palace’s inaction
Clarkson faced a widespread backlash in December when he wrote in an opinion column for The Sun that he “hates” the Duchess of Sussex on a “cellular level”.
Speaking to ITV, the Duke of Sussex brought up the piece of his own accord while discussing “accountability”.
Harry said: “Not only was what he said 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 think that it’s acceptable to treat women that way.
“To use my stepmother’s words recently as well, there is a global pandemic of violence against women.”
He also said he was frustrated by the royals’ silence, while his wife continues to receive criticism from the press. He said: “The world is asking for some form of comment from the monarchy but the silence is deafening. To put it mildly.
“Everything to do with my wife, after six years, they haven’t said a single thing.”
7. Harry defends writing about his family
On why now felt like the right time to write his memoir, Harry told Bradby: “38 years of having my story told by so many different people 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.”
Asked what his brother would have to say after reading Spare, Harry continued: “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.”
8. Harry rejects claims he has burnt his bridges
Bradby put to Harry that he’d not so much “burned bridges” with his family as “taken a flamethrower to them”, although that’s now how the Duke saw it.
“Silence only allows the abuser to abuse. I’m not sure how honesty is burning bridges,” he replied.
9. Harry is still hopeful of a family reconciliation
“I genuinely believe, and I hope, that reconciliation between my family and us will have a ripple effect across the entire world,” he said. “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.”
However, he added: “They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile up until this point.”
10. Harry said the royals ‘stereotyped’ Meghan
Harry said William and Kate never got on with Meghan “from the get-go”, and that there was “a lot” of stereotyping her as a “divorced biracial American actress”.
Anderson Cooper: 60 Minutes, TBEN
11. Harry says he was ‘probably bigoted’ before meeting Meghan
The Duke was touching on the struggles many newcomers to the royal family face when he said: “What Meghan had to go through, in some part, was similar to what Kate and Camilla went through.”
However, he added that the women faced “very different circumstances”.
“But then you add in the race element, which was what the press – the British press – jumped on straightaway. I went into this incredibly naive.
“I had no idea the British press were so bigoted. How I was probably bigoted before the relationship with Meghan.”
“You think you were bigoted before the relationship with Meghan?” Cooper pressed.
“I don’t know,” Harry answered. “Put it this way – I didn’t see what I now see.”
12. Harry didn’t believe Diana was actually dead ‘for a long time’
He said for “many many years” he did not believe she had actually died, adding: “I refused to accept she was gone.”
13. Harry claimed again that Palace leak royal stories
Harry spoke about leaks to the press and the royal family’s motto of “never complain, never explain”, while claiming that some royal correspondents are “spoon-fed information” to write stories.
“At the bottom of it, they will say that they’ve reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment. But the whole story is Buckingham Palace commenting,” he told Cooper. “So when we’re being told for the last six years, ‘We can’t put a statement out to protect you’ – but you do it for other members of the family. There becomes a point when silence is betrayal.”
14. He has no plans to return as a full-time member of the royal family
The Duke of Sussex also gave a firm “no” when Cooper asked in a separate clip if he would ever return as a full-time member of the royal family.
15. Harry admits he has not spoken to Camilla, Charles or William recently
Harry said that he and Camilla “haven’t spoken for a long time”.
Asked if he was texting William, Harry replied: “Currently, no. But I look forward to – I look forward to us being able to find peace.”
“How long has it been since you spoke?” Cooper said.
“A while,” the Duke of Sussex answered.
He gave a similar answer when asked about communication with his father. “We aren’t – we haven’t spoken for quite a while. Um, no, not recently.”
16. He gave a confusing depiction of his relationship with Camilla
Talking about her supposed closeness with the media, he said: “She was the villain. She was the third person in their marriage. She needed to rehabilitate her image.
“That made her dangerous because of the connections she was forging within the British press. And there was open willingness on both sides to trade information.”
However, he also said: “I love every member of my family, despite the differences. So, when I see her, we’re perfectly pleasant with each other,” he said with a smile. “She’s my stepmother. I don’t look at her as an evil stepmother.”
“I see someone who has married into this institution and done everything that she can to improve her reputation and her own image, for her own sake,” he continued.
17. Harry says he and Meghan will apologise for any wrongdoing
When Cooper asked if the “rupture” between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the royal family could be healed, the Duke answered “absolutely”.
“The ball is very much in their court,” he explained. “Meghan and I have continued to say that we will openly apologise for anything that we did wrong, but every time we ask that question, no one’s telling us the specifics or anything. There needs to be a constructive conversation, one that can happen in private that doesn’t get leaked.”
18. The Duke dismissed the idea of giving up royal titles
“Why not renounce your titles as Duke and Duchess?” Cooper also asked Harry directly.
“And what difference would that make?” Harry retorted.
19. Harry was not invited to share the plane which took royals to see Queen before her death
Harry arrived several hours after his relatives in Scotland, where the Queen died, despite also being in the south of England when his family left to see the dying matriarch.
He claimed: “I asked my brother – I said, ‘What are your plans? How are you and Kate getting up there?’ And then, a couple of hours later, you know, all of the family members that live within the Windsor and Ascot area were jumping on a plane together, a plane with 12, 14, maybe 16 seats.
Prince Harry: In His Own Words with Michael Strahan, TBEN
20. Queen was not angry about him leaving royal life
The Queen never told Harry she was angry about him changing role, according to the royal.
He said he thought she was “sad” about it, but “it was never a surprise to anybody, least of all to her”.
“She knew what was going on. She knew how hard it was. She never said to me that she was angry. I think she was sad that it got to that point.”
21. Diana would be ‘heartbroken’ if she knew about the brothers’ rift
“I think she would be heartbroken about the fact that William, his office were part of these [negative] stories,” he said. “I think she’d be looking at it long-term to know that there are certain things that we need to go through to be able to heal the relationship.”
22. Harry admitted partial responsibility to relationship breakdown with William
Strahan asked if Harry had any responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship with his brother. The Duke of Sussex replied: “Without question, I’m sure.”
“But what people don’t know is the efforts I’ve gone to to resolve this privately,” he continued. “Both with my brother and with my father.”
23. Harry refutes the idea that the book would make rift worse
“I thought about it long and hard, and as far as I see it the divide couldn’t be greater before this book.”
23. Harry’s not ‘angry any more’
The royal said: “I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” But he admitted that not reconciling with his family would be “very sad”.
If that were the case, Harry said, he would focus on his life and family in California.
24. Sussexes would support the Commonwealth
Harry ruled out the possibility of returning to the UK as a working royal, explaining: “Even if there was an agreement or an arrangement between me and my family, there is that third party that is going to do everything they can to make sure that that isn’t possible.”
That was presumably an allusion to the UK press.
He added: “If there was something in the future where we can continue to support the Commonwealth, then that’s of course on the table.”
He also revealed that he made a “hybrid” proposal for Sussexes to split time between Canada and UK but there was no compromise. He said this was “really sad because I still to this day believe that this was entirely possible”.
25. Harry said he was speaking out to help protect other royal children
He said his role in the line of succession was “used against me for a long part of my life”, and that he worries about other “young kids” still in the institution.
“There are some people, especially in the UK, who have been led to believe that because you are a member of the royal family, somehow everyone owns you or has a stake in you,” he said.
“And that’s a message that has been purely pushed out by the British tabloids, and it creates real problems within that family and that relationship.”
Harry added: “Of course, there has to be some sort of relationship, but where it’s got too now is incredibly unhealthy.”
He said he hoped he could help future generations. “I also worry about other young kids within that family if this continues,” he said.
26. Harry refuted claims he sees Camilla as ‘evil stepmother’
He said: “I love every member of my family… so when I see her we’re perfectly pleasant with each other.
“She’s my stepmother. I don’t see her as an evil stepmother, I think she’s someone who married into this institution and done everything she can to improve her own reputation, her own image, for her own sake.”
27. Harry rejected hypocrisy claims
Strahan pointed out: “There are going to be people who say ‘Why don’t they either be in or get out, because if you get out there’s no hypocrisy’.”
Harry said: “I can’t ever get out and I’m incredibly aware of my position.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the life that I’ve had and continue to live.
“But there’s no version of me being ever able to get out of this. I was stunned that my family would allow security to be taken away, especially at the most vulnerable point for us.”
He added that writing the book was his only way to protect his family by correcting mistruths: “I fully accept that writing a book is feeding the beast anyway.”
28. Harry ‘genuinely’ believes in the monarchy still
But, he called for it to be reformed and modernised, saying: “I think the same process that I went through regarding my own unconscious bias would be hugely beneficial to them.
“It’s not racism, but unconscious bias if not confronted, if not acknowledged, if not learned and grown from, that can then move into racism.”
People magazine cover
29. Diana is his ‘guardian angel’
“I struggled for years to accept or even speak about my mother’s death. I was unable to process that she was gone. I’m not sure anyone can ever truly have closure when they lose a parent, or anyone for that matter, especially when that grief may be the only thing left of them,” he told People.
“The healing process has allowed me to get to a place where I now feel the presence of my mum more than ever before. She’s with me all the time – my guardian angel.”
30. He wants his kids to have a relationship with the royals
“I’ve said before that I’ve wanted a family, not an institution – so of course, I would love nothing more than for our children to have relationships with members of my family, and they do with some, which brings me great joy,” he said.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, TBEN
31. Prince Harry blasts ‘dangerous lie’ he ‘boasted’ about Taliban killings
Harry slammed reports that he “somehow boasted about the number of people that I killed in Afghanistan” and called it “the most dangerous lie”.
“If I heard anyone boasting about that kind of thing, I would be angry. But it’s a lie. And hopefully now that the book is out, people will be able to see the context. It’s really troubling and very disturbing that they can get away with it. They had the context. It wasn’t like, ‘Here’s just one line.’”
Harry told Colbert that “the reason why I decided to share this in my book” was to “reduce the number of suicides” in the soldier and veteran communities.
Harry claimed this was a dangerous lie because it makes you “an increased target”, alleging this was a “choice” the media made.
32. Harry ‘fact-checks’ The Crown
The royal confirmed that he watched both “the older stuff and the more recent stuff” aired on the dramatised Netflix series.
Asked if he did any fact-checking, he said: “Yes, I do, actually. Which, by the way, is another reason why it’s so important that history has it right.”
33. Harry believes royals are trying to ‘undermine’ his book
Colbert asked Harry if he believed there was an “active campaign by the rest of your family, by the royal house…to undermine this book”.
The royal replied: “Of course, mainly by the British press.”
Colbert pushed the question again, this time adding if the UK media was “aided and abetted by the Palace”.
He said: “Yes, again, of course. This is the other side of the story, right?
“After 38 years, they have told their side of the story. This is the other side of the story, and there’s a lot in there that, perhaps, makes people feel uncomfortable and scared.”
34. If Diana were still alive, he and William would be in a different place
Harry claimed that if his mother were still alive, his relationship with his brother would be different.
He said: “It’s impossible to say where we would be now, where those relationships would be now, but there is no way that the distance between my brother and I would be the same.”