Prince Harry, younger brother of the heir to the British throne, Prince William, has accused the British royal family of “unconscious bias” about skin colour, but stopped short of calling them racists.
His remark came in a potentially damaging 90-minute interview to Britain’s Independent Television (ITV) on January 8 night. Harry’s heatedly-debated, in some circles disparaged, book “Spare” will officially release on January 10. The Spanish edition of the book is already on sale.
There was no comment from the British royal family to either the interview or the impending book. No opinion poll appears to have been carried out as yet on the crucial question of whether Harry’s diatribe has affected their popularity, which at times has been as high as 80 per cent with their people. A biographer of the UK royals, Tom Bower, reacted on BBC by calling Harry “hypocritical” and accusing him of “dishonesty”.
The book is said to be an extraordinary washing of family dirty linen in public. An editorial in the top-selling broadsheet ‘The Sunday Times’ headlined: “(King) Charles will need all his kingly qualities to help heal this rift”.
The British monarch is in fact under attack by his son, not to mention more direct allegations against his wife, Harry’s stepmother Queen Consort Camilla, William and his wife Princess Catherine, better known as Kate.
However, Harry, in reply to questions, indicated to ITV, he wanted “reconciliation”, but demanded “accountability” from his family. He also maintained “the ball was on their court” for a patch-up. In his own words, he has “fled” Britain and now lives in California in the US with his wife Meghan, who is half black, and two children.
The publication of his book follows a video documentary on the streaming service Netflix wherein he and Meghan were equally scathing about Charles, Camilla, William and Kate and the staff around them. The main thrust of Harry’s grievance is such members of the royal family and their offices plotted with the British tabloid press to run him and Meghan down in the eyes of the public.
Explaining why he wrote his book, he stated to ITV that after decades of his story being “told by so many different people with an intentional spin and distortion, it felt like a good time to own my story”. He claimed he has been reaching out to his family for a resolution, but without a response.
He told ITV his family were “complicit” in inflicting “pain and suffering” on him and Meghan. Asked if the impression that William and Kate did not get on with Meghan was a fair observation, he answered: “Yeah fair”. He said he had always hoped the foursome would hit it off, adding: “But very quickly it became Meghan versus Kate”. He felt stereotypes of Meghan being an “American actress, divorced, bi-racial” were heightened by a hostile press.
Harry constantly maintained: “I love my father. I love my brother. I love my family”. But his charge against them and their spouses was they “have decided to get into bed with the devil, to rehabilitate their image”.
In another interview to CBS television in the US, he said Camilla needed to “rehabilitate her image” and that her “willingness” to forge relationships with the British press made her dangerous.
It is now his mission, Harry said, to change the “media landscape” in Britain. He described the UK’s news media as being the “epicentre of so many problems”. Earlier, Meghan successfully sued the Mail of Sunday newspaper for publishing correspondence between her and her father. Presently, Harry has served legal notices on three UK papers for phone hacking.
On the one hand Harry proclaimed he was “very happy”, but at the same time described his current circumstances as the second worst moment of his life – the worst being when his mother Princess Diana, divorced from Charles, died in a car accident in an underpass in Paris in 1996. He was then 12 and recalled his father in a dressing gown came and sat on his bed at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the family were holidaying, calling him “darling boy”, and broke the news.
He sounded paranoid about history repeating itself in respect of Meghan. He believes the role of the paparazzi who were chasing Diana causing the accident has not been fully acknowledged. He said a lot of matters were “unexplained” in the inquest into her death.
“If you remove the paparazzi the result would not have been the same.”