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LONDON: Prince Harry has accused his stepmother, Camilla, the Queen consort, of leaking private conversations to the media to burnish his reputation as she promotes a new book that tells the story of his life behind the palace walls. Tells
In interviews aired on Sunday and Monday, Harry accused members of the royal family of “falling into bed with the devil”; to gain favorable tabloid coverage, following Camilla’s long-standing affair with her father to the British public Singling out efforts to re-establish his image, now King Charles III.
“She became dangerous because of the connections she was making within the British press,” he told CBS. “There was an open willingness on both sides to trade information. And with a family built on hierarchy, and with that being the queen consort, there were going to be people or dead bodies left on the road.
Harry spoke to Britain’s ITV, CBS’s “60 Minutes” and “Good Morning America” ​​to promote his book “Spare”, which is set for wide release on Tuesday. Some UK bookshops are planning to open at midnight to meet demand for the much-anticipated memoir, which has sparked incendiary headlines with reports that it will contain details of the bitter family feud, as well as Harry and his wife Meghan’s Including the decision to abdicate and move on from their royal roles. to California.
In interviews, Harry has repeatedly blamed the media for the troubles plaguing the couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, saying the coverage has hurt his brother, Prince William. and contributed to the rift with his wife, Kate.
He told Good Morning America, “He always pitted us against each other.” “They pit Kate and Meghan against each other.”
Harry was also unhappy about launching a legal battle against parts of the British media. While he said his father believes cracking down on the press is “probably a suicide mission”, Harry described changing the media landscape in Britain as “my life’s work”.
But Harry also continued to criticize the royal family.
He reiterated his claim that the royal family had “concerns” about the skin color of his unborn child after he married American actress Meghan Markle. Harry and Meghan first mentioned the incident during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, but did not identify the family member who expressed concern.
Harry insisted that his family was not racist, but said the episode was an example of unconscious bias. The prince told CBS he was “probably fanatic” before meeting Meghan, and said the royal family, which is held to a high moral standard, needed to “learn and grow” to be “part of the solution”. “Be able to become part of the problem.
Harry told ITV, “Otherwise unconscious bias then falls into the category of racism.”
“Spare” explores Harry’s grief over his mother’s death in 1997, and his long-standing resentment over his role as royal “spare” being overshadowed by the “heir” – older brother William. He recounts arguments and a physical altercation with William, recounts how he lost his virginity and describes using cocaine and cannabis.
He also said he killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan – drawing criticism from both the Taliban and British military veterans.
The allegations about Camilla are particularly sensitive because of her role in the acrimonious breakdown of Charles’ marriage to the late Princess Diana, mother of William and Harry.
Diana once described Camilla, who had a long-term relationship with Charles, as the third person in their marriage. While many members of the public initially shunned Camilla, she has won fans by taking on a wide range of charitable activities and has been credited with helping Charles become less and more in tune with modern Britain.
Writing about his father’s 2005 wedding to Camilla, Harry says: “I had complicated feelings about getting a step-parent, who I believed had recently walked out on her personal PR altar I was sacrificed.” Still, he says that all he wanted was for his father to be happy. “In a funny way, I also wanted Camila to be happy. If she was happy, maybe she would be less dangerous?”
The “spare” is the latest in a string of public announcements by Harry and Meghan since they left royal life and moved to California in 2020 on what they see as the media’s racist treatment of Meghan and a lack of support from the palace. It follows a six-part Netflix series featuring interviews with Winfrey and released last month.
In the hauntingly written memoir, Harry, 38, describes the couple’s acrimonious split from the royal family after their request for a part-time royal role was denied.
The televised interview will certainly put more pressure on the royal family. Harry has also appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.
Royal officials have not commented on either allegation, although aides have pushed back on the claims largely anonymously.
Harry has defended the memoir as his attempt at “my story” after years of “spin and distortion” by others. In a “60 Minutes” interview, Harry denied that his book was intended to hurt his family.
Omid Scobie, co-author of “Finding Freedom”, a book on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, said Harry is giving the public a look behind the palace walls that they have always wanted.
“Of course, it brings with it some downsides for those of us who have been part of his journey,” Scobie told the BBC. “We’ve heard some really shocking statements and stories about members of the royal family, particularly when it comes to Camilla and her relationship with the press.”
While Harry said he hasn’t spoken to his father or brother in a while, he hopes to find peace with them. But he told ITV that “the ball is in their court”.
“They have shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile,” he said.
While the saga is damaging to the royal family, it may not be as damaging as people might think and will give a global audience a platform to discuss difficult issues such as misogyny and racism, said Ariane Chernock, professor at Boston University, in the Modern Specialist in British History.
But she was cautious about candidates suggesting the monarchy itself was in trouble. The institution has finally come to an end after over 1,000 years.
“It is a central component of the history of the royal family,” she said. “Scandal is the norm not the exception.”