Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with ITV has finally arrived. The Duke of Sussex sat down with journalist Tom Bradby for the 90 minute programme, which aired just days before the UK release of his memoir Spare.
It is one of a number of interviews he has lined up including with CBS in the US. The duke is also speaking to Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes on CBS News on Sunday night, Michael Strahan of Good Morning America on Monday (9 January) and Stephen Colbert on the Late Show on CBS on Wednesday (11 January) morning UK time.
Here are all the revelations and bombshells from the ITV interview on Sunday night.
Harry explains reason for writing the book
“Thirty-eight years of having my story told by other people... it felt like a good time to own my story and tell it myself. It is my story to tell.”
“Never complain, never explain”
Harry says that the family motto of “never complain, never explain” was just a motto and in fact a “lot of complaining and explaining” was happening.
“It never needed to get to this point”
Harry say he has written emails, letters and if “it had stopped” by the time he “fled” Britain, then “maybe things would have turned out differently”
Harry reads his own audiobook
Tom Bradby revealed Harry is the narrator of the audiobook version of Spare, before playing a clip of the Prince discussing the night he was told of his mother’s fatal accident.
The clip played from Spare reveals that his father would call him “darling boy”.
“I do not want to be a single dad”
Duke tells ITV that part of the reason “we are here now” is because he doesn’t want “history to repeat itself” and have to be a single parent to his children.
Young Harry wanted to believe Diana was still alive
Tom Bradby described how in the early part of the book that Harry almost tried to convince himself that his mother wasn’t really gone, but was in fact in hiding. Calling it “post traumatic injury”.
Harry wanted to see secret government file on Diana’s death
In Spare, Harry describes how he demanded to see the secret government file on Diana’s death - and a clip of the audiobook version, narrated by the duke, was played. He describes the frenzy of paparazzi “shooting, shooting, shooting” the car after Diana’s accident.
William and Harry both asked to be driven through tunnel where Diana died
In the book, the Duke recounts how both he and his brother asked to be driven through the tunnel in Paris where the crash happened at the same speed.
Prince Harry had wanted to reopen inquiry into mother’s death
“There’s a lot of things that are unexplained” but says he doesn’t “really see the point” at this stage to request one.
Shock over impact of Diana’s death in America
He told Tom Bradby he has been surprised by how Americans tell him exactly where they were when Diana died.
Harry tried to teach Ali G move to Queen Mother
He said he will “never forget” that night, in which he tried to teach his great-grandmother the Queen Mother how to do the Ali G wrist flick.
Harry says it is important to acknowledge drug use
He admits to using cocaine, marijuana and magic mushrooms in the book. Including when he was 17 on a hunting weekend.
Harry “loves” his family
He says book isn’t intended to “harm” his family, but he needs to tell his story after years of “lies”. And that parts of his family have climbed “into bed with the devil” in a bid to rehabilitate their image.
Duke denies being “scathing” about his step-mother
Tom Bradby references a part of the book which says that Prince Harry was “sacrificed on the altar” to improve Queen Consorts image. The ITV journalist describes the sections as “scathing”, but Harry says he has not been “scathing” about anyone in his family.
“Forgiveness is 100% a possibility”
Prince Harry says however at the moment he does not recognise them, “as they probably don’t recognise me”. He blames it on the British press who want to “create as much conflict as possible”.
However he would still “like reconciliation”.
“Africa was my thing, you can’t have it”
Describing the rivalry in his relationship with his older brother William, who he calls competative, he recounts how the Prince of Wales once said “Africa was my thing, you can’t have it” in relation to charity work.
William and Kate “were Suits fans”
“Who would have thought”, Harry told Tom Bradby.
William and Kate never got on with Meghan
He says that from the moment he introduced his brother and Kate to Meghan they did not get on. Says there was “a lot of stereotyping” going on, pressed on what he meant he says “American actress”.
He says that the stereotyping got in the way of William and Kate’s relationship to his wife.
Harry had to ask permission to keep his beard
Duke says that he had to ask the Queen for permission to keep his beard for his wedding, but claims that William wanted him to shave and it led to a week long arguement, ending with Prince of Wales ordering Prince Harry to shave it off.
“Beard felt like the new Harry”
He describes how he has kept the beard and saw it as a “shield” for his anxiety. Claims William was made to shave his beard prior to his wedding.
Harry says he would feel “very, very different” if he shaved his beard, saying those who wear a beard would recognise the feelings he described.
Harry had dream of “fab four”
The Duke of Sussex told Tom Bradby on ITV the idea of him and his wife being the “fab four” with the Prince and Princess of Wales was “something the British press created” and it “creates competition”. He said: “The idea of the four of us being together was always a hope for me.
“Before it was Meghan, whoever it was going to be, I always hoped that the four of us would get on. But, very quickly it became Meghan versus Kate.
“And that, when it plays out so publicly, you can’t hide from that, right? Especially when within my family you have the newspapers laid out pretty much in every single palace and house that is around.”
William “raised some concerns” about Harry’s marriage
The Duke of Sussex said his brother “raised some concerns” about his marriage to Meghan Markle.
Harry told Tom Bradby on ITV: “He never tried to dissuade me from marrying Meghan but he aired some concerns very early on and said ‘this is going to be really hard for you’, and I still to this day don’t truly understand which part of what he was talking about. Maybe he predicted what the British press’s reaction was going to be?”
“William and I used to fight all the time”
After a clip of the previously leaked section about the fight with William, he describes how they used to fight as children. Including firing BB guns at each other and having “firework” fights.
However he didn’t hit William back because he was in a “better place” due to his therapy sessions which had helped him control his emotions.
“This whole thing is incredibly sad”
He describes the situation which led to him writing Spare as “heartbreaking”.
Duke doesn’t think his brother or father will read his book
He says that he doubts they will read his memoir or watch the interview and says that he will speak to them in private. Harry adds he “hopes” it “stays private”.
Harry didn’t believe his brother when he said he “wanted him to be happy”
The Duke of Sussex said it was “heartbreaking” that he “simply didn’t believe” his brother when he said he wanted him to be happy and used the words “on mummy’s life” at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. In his book Spare, Harry described the phrase as a “universal password” or a “secret code” between the pair, which he said they had used for 25 years “for when one of us needed to be heard”.
Harry told Tom Bradby on ITV: “It is heartbreaking. This whole thing is completely, not just unnecessary, it’s incredibly sad. But there’s a – there’s a way through it, there’s a way out of it. And that’s what I’m focused on now. But yes, it’s heartbreaking.”
Duke responds to accusations of breaching privacy
Responding to a question about how he has railed against the breaching of his privacy and yet could be accused of doing the same with his book, he said his family have been briefing the press for years. He added: “I’m sorry that me honing my own story... but I have to rely on the truth.”
“Horrible reaction” on day of the Queen’s death
Harry has claimed there was a “horrible reaction” from his family members when the Queen died. He told Tom Bradby on ITV: “The day that she died was just a really, really horrible reaction from my family members.
“And then by all accounts, well certainly from what I saw and what other people probably experienced, was they were on the back foot and then the briefings and the leaking and the planting. I was like ‘we’re here to celebrate the life of granny and to mourn her loss, can we come together as a family?’ but I don’t know how we collectively – how we change that.”
“Distorted narrative” that he and his wife were leaving to make money
The Duke of Sussex has claimed “planting and leaking” from other members of the royal family meant, in his mind, they had written “countless books” and “millions of words … dedicated to trying to trash my wife”.
Asked how his brother would react to his airing of private conversations in public, Harry told Tom Bradby on ITV: “He’d probably say all sorts of different things. But you know, for the last however many years, let’s just focus on the last six years, the level of planting and leaking from other members of the family means that in my mind they have written countless books – certainly millions of words have been dedicated to trying to trash my wife and myself to the point of where I had to leave my country. The distorted narrative is that we wanted to leave to go and make money.”
Family have shown “no willingness” to reconcile
Duke says his family have shown “absolutely no willingness” to reconcile up to this point. Harry adds “I’m not sure how honesty is burning bridges. Silence only allows the abuser to abuse.”
Changing media landscape is Harry’s “life’s work”
Harry describes changing the media landscape in Britain as his “life’s work”. Says “who is policing them” about the press.
“Certain members” of Royal Family complict in press conflict
The Duke of Sussex said “certain members” of his family and the people who work for them are complicit in conflict created by the British tabloid press. Speaking to ITV’s Tom Bradby ahead of the publication of his memoirs, Spare, Harry said he would like to forgive and reconcile with his family.
He said: “I think there’s probably a lot of people who, after watching the documentary and reading the book, will go, how could you ever forgive your family for what they’ve done? People have already said that to me, and I said, forgiveness is 100% a possibility because I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back. At the moment, I don’t recognise them, as much as they probably don’t recognise me.
“But that is, uh, a symptom of one of the problems where we’re not just talking about family relationships, we’re talking about an antagonist, which is the British press, specifically the tabloids who want to create as much conflict as possible. The saddest part of that is certain members of my family and the people that work for them are complicit in that conflict.
“So, though I would like to have reconciliation, I would like accountability, I’ve managed to make peace over this time with a lot of things that have happened but that doesn’t mean that I’m just gonna let it go. You know, I’ve made peace with it, but I still would like reconciliation. And not only would that be wonderful for us, but it would be fantastic for them as well.”
Harry denies accusing family members of racism in Oprah interview
Tom Bradby said “in the Oprah interview you accused members of your family of racism”, Harry responded by saying “no I didn’t”, adding “the British press said that”. The duke continued: “Did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist?”
After Bradby said the duchess claimed troubling comments were made about Archie’s skin colour, Harry said: “There was – there was concern about his skin colour.” Asked if he would describe that as racist, the duke said: “I wouldn’t, not having lived within that family.”
He continued: “The difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different. But once it’s been acknowledged, or pointed out to you as an individual, or as an institution, that you have unconscious bias, you therefore have an opportunity to learn and grow from that in order so that you are part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
“Otherwise unconscious bias then moves into the category of racism.”
Harry responds to Jeremy Clarkson article
He has said Jeremy Clarkson’s “horrific” article in the Sun newspaper about his wife Meghan encourages people around the world to believe it is an acceptable way to treat women. Harry told Tom Bradby on ITV ahead of the publication of his memoir Spare: “When we’re talking about accountability… the Jeremy Clarkson article, so not only did what he said was horrific and is hurtful and cruel towards my wife, but it also encourages other people around the UK and around the world, men particularly, to go and think that it’s acceptable to treat women that way.
“To use my stepmother’s words recently as well, there is a global pandemic of violent – violence against women. It’s no longer a case of me asking for accountability, but at this point the world is asking for accountability, and the world is asking for some form of comment from the monarchy but the silence is deafening.”
The Sun newspaper apologised after the piece, in which TV presenter Clarkson said he “hated” Meghan, became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s most complained-about article.