A former royal biographer has said he is “perplexed” by the Duke of Sussex’s memoirs and says it contains the kind of revelations you would expect from a “B-list celebrity”.
Jonathan Dimbleby said Prince Harry had “constructed a narrative of his life which goes right back to the death of his mother”, as his highly anticipated book, Spare, is due to be released on Tuesday.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dimbleby, who interviewed Charles when, as Prince of Wales, he revealed his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, said: “I am perplexed. I am at a loss. He is clearly a very troubled man.
“I’m concerned incidentally that everyone uses the word revelations. Yes, there are obviously revelations about how he lost his virginity, taking drugs, and how many people he feels he might have shot down from his Apache. But those are the kind of revelations, in part, that you would expect, I suppose, from a B-list celebrity.”
He added: “I think he has constructed a narrative of his life which goes right back to his sense of terrible loss … back to the death of his mother and the loss of his mother … which very easily becomes everything that happens to you since. “
Asked how King Charles must feel about the book, Dimbleby said: “I can only imagine he is extremely pained, very frustrated and would be very anxious to bring it to an end.”
But he said he would be surprised if Harry was not invited to the coronation because “that would simply fuel the flames”.
In his memoir, Prince Harry claims that he was not the real best man at the wedding of his brother, the Prince of Wales.
According to reports in the Mirror, Harry said the pretense was carried out on behalf of two of William’s close friends, James Meade and Thomas Van Straubenzee, in order for them to avoid a high level of scrutiny over their private lives.
Writing in the highly anticipated memoir, which was accidentally released early in Spain, the duke describes his apparent role as best man as a “bare-faced lie”, adding that Meade and Straubenzee gave the traditional speech at the reception.
According to the Mirror – one of many outlets to obtain a copy of the Spanish version and translate it – Harry writes: “Willy doesn’t want me giving a best man’s speech.”
The duke also claims his brother was “wasted” on rum hours before his wedding to Catherine Middleton, and that he was drunk when he went out to greet people on the Mall in London before the ceremony.
Harry said he could smell “the aftermath of last night’s rum” on his “tipsy” brother’s breath, and that he offered mints to William as he lowered the windows of their car, telling him, “You smell of alcohol”.
Writing about his own wedding seven years later, Harry reportedly claims William ordered him to shave his beard as he could not stand the thought of his younger brother having a perk he was denied, as he was made to shave his beard for his wedding.
“At one point he actually ordered me, as the heir speaking to the spare, to shave,” he writes.
The book is due to be published on Tuesday, having been ghost-written by JR Moehringer and follows Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary, in which the duke said he was “terrified” when William screamed and shouted at him during a tense Sandringham summit in 2020 .
The memoir is being published four months after the death of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the start of his father’s reign as king, and follows years of turmoil for the royal family amid the “Megxit” crisis, the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, accusations of racism in the Sussexes’ Oprah interview and the brothers’ long-running feud.
The reports come after revelations from the memoir were revealed, including that Harry said he killed 25 Taliban fighters during his second tour of Afghanistan, and that he and his brother begged his father not to marry Camilla, the now queen consort.