In the Netflix docuseries Harry and MeghanPrince Harry shared that the royals sometimes have their separate press offices to plot negative tabloid stories about other members to make themselves look better.
Us Weekly reports it Harry has gone further and shares details about this his forthcoming memoir Spare parts. The Duke of Sussex wrote about his and Prince William’s confrontation in 2019 with their father, King Charles III, when William suspected that Charles was “planting” stories about Kate Middleton and his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to improve his image at William’s expense.
Harry wrote that William called him “sizzling”, “crazy” and “talked too fast” about what happened. Harry was able to piece it together, per U.S“a ‘gung-ho’ member of his father’s communications team had ‘conceived and launched a new campaign to get good press [for Charles and his wife Queen Consort Camilla, which came] at the expense of bad press’” for Harry and William.
Harry claimed that was the final straw for William, who said during the call: “They’ve done this to me for the last time,” and he “wasn’t going to take it anymore.”
William and Harry both visited Charles about the issue. “Dad was instantly upset,” Harry wrote in the paper. “He started yelling that Willy was paranoid. We both were. Just because we got bad press and he got good, didn’t mean his staff was behind it.”
The two brought “proof” from reporters that Charles’ team was behind the cover-up. Yet his father “rejected” them, U.S wrote and Harry was surprised to find that William then turned his anger on Harry.
“In an instant he shifted all his rage onto me,” Harry said, adding that William then began to mention his problems with his brother and his brother’s wife Meghan. “He went on and on and I lost the thread. I couldn’t understand and I stopped trying. I went silent and waited for him to slow down.”
It was the same year that Harry claimed in his memoirs that William physically assaulted him because of Meghan. The two had traded insults after William called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive” and Harry accused him of parroting tabloid talking points about her. It escalated and William attacked Harry. “[He] come on me,” Harry wrote. “It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, tore off my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, and the pieces cut into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then I got up and asked him to come out.” William later came back and apologized.
In excerpts of his memoirs, which he has published, Harry made it clear that William was never fully behind Harry’s relationship with Meghan. “He had actually been quite put off by me dating Meg myself,” Harry wrote in the memoirtrans U.S. “One day, sitting together in his garden, he had predicted a host of difficulties I might expect if I ended up with an ‘American actress,’ a phrase which he always managed to make sound like a ‘ convicted felon’.”
Harry spoke in his and Meghan’s docuseries Harry and Meghan about how William’s own press office planted negative stories about him and Meghan, something Harry felt was a betrayal. “Watching my brother’s office copy the very thing we both promised we would never ever do was heartbreaking,” Harry said.
Senior news and strategy editor
Alyssa Bailey is senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees celebrity and royal coverage (especially Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She has previously held positions at With style and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, getting people to take #ootd pictures of her, and exploring New York City.