Britain’s Prince Harry says in an upcoming book that his older brother and heir to the throne, Prince William, knocked him to the floor during a 2019 argument over Harry’s wife Meghan, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.
The Guardian said it had obtained a copy of the memoir, “Spare,” which is due to be published on Jan 10. Harry is due to appear in two television interviews to promote the book but The Guardian report reveals actual passages.
Describing a confrontation at his London home in 2019, Harry says William called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”, which Harry calls a “parrot[ing of] the press narrative” about his American wife.
The confrontation escalated, Harry writes, until William “grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and … knocked me to the floor”.
The extraordinary scene, which Harry says resulted in visible injury to his back, is one of many in Spare, which will be published worldwide next week and is likely to spark a severe furore to the British royal family.
“He (Prince William) grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor,” Harry writes, according to The Guardian.
“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.”
William then challenged his younger brother to hit back but Harry refused. William later returned to the scene, “looking regretful and apologised,” Harry writes, according to The Guardian.
Spokespeople for the palaces of King Charles and Prince William declined to comment on the report.
Amid stringent pre-launch security around the book, the Guardian obtained a copy.
The book’s title comes from an old saying in royal and aristocratic circles: that a first son is an heir to titles, power and fortune, and a second is therefore a spare, should anything happen to the first-born.
Spare is a remarkable volume, in which the altercation between the two princes forms a startling passage.
Harry writes that William wanted to talk about “the whole rolling catastrophe” of their relationship and struggles with the press. But when William arrived at Nottingham Cottage – where Harry was then living, in the grounds of Kensington Palace and known as “Nott Cott” – he was, Harry says, already “piping hot”.
After William complained about Meghan, Harry writes, Harry told him he was repeating the press narrative and that he expected better. But William, Harry says, was not being rational, leading to the two men shouting over each other.
Harry then accused his brother of acting like an heir, unable to understand why his younger brother was not content to be a spare.
But they have fallen out in recent years. Since Harry and Meghan stepped down from royal duties two years ago and moved to California, they have delivered stinging criticism of the British monarchy and accusations of racism, allegations that the family has dismissed.
According to The Guardian, he wrote that the dispute with William arose over the royal family’s displeasure with Meghan.
Harry says William called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”, which he said sounded like “the press narrative” about Meghan.
The title of the book “Spare” comes from an oft-cited quote in British aristocratic circles about the need for an heir, and a spare.
According to The Guardian, Harry attributes his father, King Charles, as saying on the day he was born to his mother, Princess Diana: “Wonderful! Now you’ve given me an heir and a spare; my work is done.”
The book also recounts “intensely private scenes and conversations”, The Guardian reported, such as describing his memories and love of his late mother, who was killed in a 1997 car crash, and grandmother Queen Elizabeth, who died last year at 96.