“I want my father and brother back” ITV launches a trailer for an interview with Prince Harry. Video / ITV
If there are three words that should strike fear into the heart of the royal family, not including “gluten-free sweetbread,” “non-alcoholic gin,” and “interpretive dance engagement,” then it would have to be “raw, unwavering honesty.” ”.
This is what Penguin Random House has promised readers will get from Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, with the ex-army captain turned semi-professional malcontent and irony-free purveyor of “truth” having written a memoir. (Or at least occasionally allowed to hold the pen while ghostwriter JR Moehringer went to make a mug.)
We got our first little taste of that “honesty” on Tuesday when previews of two confusingly similar interviews, with UK and US ITV. 60 minutes – to promote the book were released. Bottom line: King Charles, Prince William, The Firm, and the British look set to get another lavish service for the cameras.
However, what has gone largely unnoticed in the scant details we have about the book, the scathingly titled Spareit’s something much more controversial, much more shocking, and potentially much more painful for the Prince of Wales: the events surrounding the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
In the last 24 hours, clues have emerged that point to Spare could not just offer Harry’s “honesty” about the dramatic break in relations in the royal family in recent years or the drama that led to the Sussexes’ historic departure for greener pastures (and all those greenbacks) earlier 2020, but could also explore the “circumstances” surrounding Diana’s death.
First, ITV issued a statement promoting the channel’s meeting with Harry, and hidden therein was that, among other things, the TV chat would include “never-before-heard details about the death of his mother, Diana.”
Then, secondly, on Wednesday, the daily mail Sue Reid revealed that investigators from Harry’s book appear to be looking into the accident in Paris that claimed Diana’s life. Reid writes that “they have contacted many of those who remember the accident in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel, or were related to it. These include eyewitnesses, French police officers who attended the scene and journalists, including myself, who have investigated in great detail how and why Diana died.”
(Side note: Doesn’t the very nature of an autobiography negate the need for researchers?)
According to Reid, “It seems certain that Harry will address issues related to the murky circumstances surrounding his mother’s death.”
Note here that two police investigations, in France and the UK, and an inquest in London came to the same conclusion about that tragic night in Paris: that the combination of alcohol, paparazzi and circumstance resulted in the accident that occurred. took his life. life of the princess, her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed and the driver Henri Paul.
But, ITV’s statement and the revelation from Reid’s investigator suggest the duke might not just be writing about the devastating loss of his mother in Spare but possibly also exploring the events leading up to it.
And that’s terrible news for William and Kate, Prince and Princess of Wales.
Over the past year, Harry has repeatedly gambled on his mother’s legacy, telling them People in April, “I honor my mother in everything I do. I am my mother’s son” and then last month on the Netflix series of the Sussexes saying: “my mother made most of her decisions, if not all, from her heart. And I am my mother’s son.
If William has been cast in the role of Charles in the current 1990s War in Wales reboot, a dutiful royal footsoldier who has given himself completely to the crown, then Harry seems to have cast himself as the Diana of today, a man driven by passion and willing to speak out about the perceived sins of Buckingham Palace.
That has extended to Harry’s willingness to repeatedly bar his grief over the loss of his mother at such a young age, such as saying “there’s a lot of grief that still needs to be let out” in 2017, in contrast to the fact that we’ve only really gotten a glimpse of William’s suffering.
Most recently, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth, the 40-year-old told a member of the public during a walk to greet mourners outside Windsor Castle that it was a “difficult” time, reminding him of his wife’s funeral. mother. The times reported that when a supporter “told the emotional Prince that he was on the verge of tears”, he replied: “Don’t cry now, you’re going to start me off.”
But, just because we have a brother who is more willing to speak about the loss in the public arena and another who has mourned heavily in private, that doesn’t take away from the cost it might take for William to unearth the princess’s death.
In May 2021, William released a highly unusual video statement following the findings of the Dyson investigation that the BBC’s Martin Bashir lied to get Diana to accept her 1995 contract. Panorama interview and went on to make his position absolutely clear: in his opinion, it should never air again.
And yet, in the recent Netflix series of the Sussexes there was, what else but clips of that very Panorama interview, a move that left William “enraged” and “disappointed”, the Mail reported at the time.
If Harry is about to potentially reopen the wounds surrounding his mother’s death, it will be a double whammy for the future king who seems likely to be coming for some new dough.
A report from London earlier this week revealed that according to “a source with knowledge” of Spareit is the eldest prince who is painted in the harshest light.
“It’s tough on William in particular, and even Kate gets a bit of a barrage,” the source said. “There are these minute details and a description of the fight between the brothers. I personally can’t see how Harry and William will be able to reconcile after this.”
(This comes, of course, after Harry accused William of “yelling and yelling at him” during the Sandringham Summit and his aides “leaking” stories to the press on the Sussexes’ Netflix series.)
For Kate, right now, watching her close ex-brother-in-law on the cusp of yet another offensive, and not only with her husband in her sights, but with her as well, must be a particularly ordeal, especially since there’s nothing they can do.
Unlike Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview, when we got the now-iconic statement that “memories may vary,” Buckingham and Kensington Palaces have so far assiduously refused to comment on the Sussexes’ barrages, in instead of adopting a head down attitude. just continue with the boss job approach.
However, that public stoicism and determination contrasts with the of the telegraph Camilla Tominey recently reported that Wales were “devastated” by the attacks by the Sussexes, a situation exacerbated by the fact that the family is only months away from the late Queen’s death.
The way things look today, there may be more awkwardness and sadness about William and Kate’s arrival.
Late last year a friend from Wales told him the daily beast:: “The brothers were so close, they had such an incredible bond. It really is impossible to express what a huge, terrible and constant headache this has been for William in recent years.
Now? That “headache” could be about to get much, much worse.
- Daniela Elser is a writer and royal commentator with over 15 years’ experience working with a number of Australia’s leading media outlets.