LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry has accused his stepmother Camilla, the Queen’s consort, of leaking private conversations to the media to tarnish his reputation as he promotes a new book which reveals the story of his life outside the palace walls.
In interviews broadcast on Sunday and Monday, Harry accused the royal family of being “in bed with the devil” to get favorable tabloid coverage, singling out Camilla’s efforts to rehabilitate her image with the British people after her long-running affair with his father. King Charles III.
“That made her dangerous because of the connections she made through the British press,” he told CBS. “The willingness of both sides to trade information was open. And with a family that has been established as a hierarchy and on her way to becoming queen, there will be people or bodies left on the street.
Harry spoke to Britain’s ITV, CBS’ 60 Minutes and Good Morning America to promote his book, Spare, which goes into wide release on Tuesday. Some UK bookshops are planning to open at midnight to meet demand for the much-anticipated memoir, which generated inflammatory headlines with reports that it contains details of bitter family feuds, as well as Harry and his wife Meghan’s decision to step back from their royal roles and move to California.
In interviews, Harry has repeatedly blamed the media for the troubles that plagued the couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, saying the information contributed to the rift with his brother Prince William and his wife Kate.
“They’ve always been against us,” he told Good Morning America. “They are against Kate and Meghan.
Harry has also been unrepentant about starting legal battles with some sections of the British media. While he said his father thought it was “probably a suicide mission” to go into print, Harry described changing the media landscape in the UK as “my life’s work”.
But Harry continued to criticize the royal family itself.
He repeated his claim that there were “concerns” within the royal family about the skin color of his unborn child after he married biracial American actress Meghan Markle. Harry and Meghan first mentioned the incident during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, but they did not identify the family member who raised the concern.
Harry insisted his family were not racist, but said the episode was an example of unconscious bias. The prince told CBS that he was “probably poisoned” before meeting Meghan and said the royal family, which is held to a higher moral standard, needs to “learn and grow” to be “part of the solution, not part of it.” part of the problem.”
“Otherwise, unconscious bias falls into the category of racism,” Harry told ITV.
“Backup” explores Harry’s grief over his mother’s death in 1997. and his long-simmering resentment of his role as royal “back-up” being overshadowed by his “heir” older brother William. He recounts arguments and physical conflict with William, reveals how he lost his virginity, and describes his use of cocaine and cannabis.
He also says he killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan — drawing criticism from the Taliban and British war veterans.
The allegations against Camilla are particularly sensitive because of her role in Charles’s abusive marriage to the late Princess Diana, mother of William and Harry.
Diana once described Camilla, who had a long-term affair with Charles, as the third person in their marriage. Although Camilla was initially shunned by many members of the public, she gained a following through her various charitable activities and was credited with helping to make Charles seem less stuffy and more in tune with modern Britain.
Writing about his father’s wedding to Camilla in 2005, Harry says: “I had mixed feelings about having a stepfather who I thought had recently sacrificed me on his personal PR altar. Still, he says he wanted his father to be happy. “In a funny way, I even wanted Camilla to be happy. Maybe she would be less dangerous if she were happy?
The “backup” is the latest in a string of public statements by Harry and Meghan since their 2020 wedding. they retired from royal life and moved to California, citing what they felt was racist treatment of Meghan by the media and a lack of support from the palace. It follows an interview with Winfrey and a six-part Netflix series released last month.
In the ghost-written memoir, Harry, 38, describes the couple’s acrimonious split with the royal family after their request for a part-time royal role was rejected.
The TV interview will undoubtedly put more pressure on the royal family. Harry also appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Royal officials have not commented on any of the allegations, although allies have denied them, mostly anonymously.
Harry defended the memoir, describing it as his effort to “own my story” after years of “spinning and twisting” by others. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Harry denied that his book was intended to harm his family.
Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom, a book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, said Harry was offering a look beyond the palace walls that the public had always wanted.
“Of course it has some downsides for those who were on his journey,” Scobie told the BBC. “We’ve heard some really startling confessions and stories about the royals, particularly Camilla and her relationship with the press.
Although Harry said he hadn’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 no desire to reconcile,” he said.
While the saga is damaging to the royal family, it may not be as damaging as people think and will give a global audience a forum to discuss difficult issues such as misogyny and racism, said Boston University professor Arianne Chernock, an expert on modern British history. .
But she was wary of the doomsayers who said the monarchy itself was in trouble. Still, the institution survived for more than 1,000 years.
“It’s a central part of the history of the royal family,” she said. “Scandal is the norm, not the exception.”
Associated Press writer Jill Lawless contributed.