Prince Harry's memoir Spare has been released in Spain days ahead of its official release date, with the Duke of Sussex revealing in the book that his father, King Charles, once joked about whether or not he was Harry's "real father". Harry recounts in the book how his father "liked to tell anecdotes," and "one of his best" was a story of a visit to a psychiatric hospital where he met a man who was claiming to be the Prince of Wales, which was Charles' title at the time.
According to Harry's retelling, Charles wagged his finger at the patient and said, "I am the Prince of Wales," but the man would simply "respond with the same gesture".
Charles then reportedly joked, "Who knows if I'm even your real father? Perhaps your father really is in Broadmoor, my dear son!"
Harry writes that the joke was "in poor taste" given the rumours that followed him for years that James Hewitt, who had an affair with Princess Diana from 1986 to 1992, was his real father.
Diana confirmed the affair in the infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, and as both Harry and James have red hair, people began to suspect the young Prince wasn't Charles' son.
However, Harry shares in the book that Diana didn't actually meet James "until long after I was born". He adds that Charles kept any thoughts of the affair to himself and never shared them with him.
Harry claims he and William 'begged' Charles not to wed Camilla
It comes following further claims from the book where Harry compares Queen Consort Camilla to a "wicked stepmother". The Duke of Sussex shares that both he and William were aware that she was “the other woman” but “begged” Charles not to remarry.
The brothers had meetings with Camilla before she went public with her romance with Charles, and Harry compares the experience to getting a painful injection. “This is nothing. Close your eyes and you won’t even feel it,” he writes.
The royal says Camilla wasn’t interested in meeting with him and writes that she seemed “bored” during their conversation. Harry believes this was because he wasn’t the heir, so the meeting was simply a “pure formality”.
Harry also claims that he was unsure about how Camilla would treat him once she became part of the family. “I remember wondering…if she would be cruel to me; if she would be like all the wicked stepmothers in the stories,” he writes.
The Duke says that the brothers were open to forgiving Camilla if she was able to make their father happy.
Harry writes: “We saw that like us, he wasn’t. We could recognise the absent glances, the empty sighs, the frustration always visible on his face.”
The brothers “begged” Charles not to wed Camilla, saying that they would accept her as long as he didn’t remarry, he writes.
Harry alleges that the King did not reply. He claims that the brothers were concerned that the now Queen consort would be constantly compared to the late Princess Diana.
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