Prince Harry has compared Camilla to a “wicked stepmother” in a revealing passage from his memoir Spare. The Duke of Sussex says 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 that the now Queen consort 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.
Camilla’s secret campaign
Harry claims that after meeting the brothers, Camilla embarked on a “long-term strategy” to wed Charles and take the Crown. The royal accuses his stepmother of leaking stories to the press as part of her plan.
“Shortly after our private meetings with her, she began to develop her long-term strategy, a campaign directed at marriage and with time, the Crown (with the blessing of our father, we supposed),” he writes.
“News stories started appearing in all the newspapers about her conversations with Willy, stories which recounted lots of small details, none of which came from my brother, of course,” Harry says.
The royal alleges that Camilla convinced Charles to hire a communications professional, resulting in numerous leaks to the press.
Camilla married Charles in 2005, and received Queen Elizabeth II’s blessing to become Queen Consort once she passed.
What else do we know about Harry’s memoir?
The title of Harry’s memoir Spare is a nod to the old adage ‘the heir and the spare’, with his brother William being the heir to the throne while Harry is the younger sibling unlikely to ever become king.
A Spanish-language edition of the memoir reveals an even deeper insight into Harry’s feelings about his position in the royal family with the subtitle En La Sombra, translating to ‘in the shadow’.
The release date, January 10, is also significant as the memoir will not only be released four months after Queen Elizabeth II’s death but also two days after the three-year anniversary of Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leaving the royal family. It’s believed that the book was pushed back following the Queen’s passing, but will still be released a few months before King Charles’ coronation.
How much will the memoir cost?
The 416-page memoir will cost $50 AUD for a hardcover version, with the e-book set at half price, and will be released alongside an unabridged audiobook read by Harry himself.
The Duke of Sussex was reportedly paid a $31 million advance for the memoir as part of a three-book deal with Penguin Random House.
His publisher revealed that he has already donated $2.3 million to Sentebale, a charity he co-founded that helps children and young people in Lesotho and Botswana affected by HIV/AIDS. He has also donated $530,000 to WellChild, a British charity for disabled children which he has been a patron of for the past 15 years.
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