What's in Prince Harry's new book, Spare?

Prince Harry.
Prince Harry. Illustrated | Amazon, Getty Images
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Still waiting to get your hands on a copy of Prince Harry's Spare? We've got you covered in the meantime. Here are some of the newly released memoir's biggest revelations and allegations:

Neither King Charles III nor Prince William made the book's dedication page

Several stores in Spain accidentally put the book up for sale on Jan. 5, which allowed at least The Sun to score a Spanish-language version before launch day. And per the outlet's translation, the memoir's dedication page reads: "For Meg, Archie, and Lili… and, of course, my mother." The names Meg, Archie, and Lili refer to the Duke of Sussex's wife, son, and daughter, respectively. But Prince William, Harry's brother, and King Charles III, Harry's father, are noticeably absent from the epitaph.

Harry and William allegedly got into a physical altercation

According to The Guardian, Harry at one point in his memoir recounts a physical altercation with his brother William after the latter allegedly called Meghan Markle — Harry's wife — "difficult," "rude," and "abrasive." By Harry's account, he and William had agreed to meet at Nottingham Cottage, where Harry was living, to discuss Harry's romantic relationship. William then complained about Megan and things escalated from there. The pair shouted back and forth before a frightened Harry moved into the kitchen; William then followed. "Willy, I can't speak to you when you're like this," Harry allegedly said, handing his brother a glass of water. But William "set down the water, called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast."

"He grabbed me by the collar," Harry continues, "ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog's bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out." William then left, but returned "looking regretful" and apologized. When he later departed a second time, however, William suggested Harry keep what happened from Meghan. "You mean that you attacked me?" Harry allegedly replied, to which William responded, "I didn't attack you, Harold."

Meghan later learned of the incident, but only after she noticed "scrapes and bruises" on her husband's back. When Harry then told her about the altercation, she "wasn't that surprised, and wasn't all that angry," he writes.

Harry says Camilla, the queen consort, changed his bedroom into a dressing room

Once Harry was out the door, Queen Consort Camilla Parker Bowles allegedly turned his bedroom at Clarence House in London into "her own personal dressing room," Page Six summarizes. "I tried not to care. But especially the first time I saw it, I cared," Harry writes.

He claims to have urged his father not to marry Camilla

Though Harry writes that he and his brother "recognized that [their father] was finally going to be with the woman he loved, the woman he'd always loved," and "the woman fate might've intended for him in the first place," both apparently urged Charles not to marry Camilla, the supposed "other woman" in his marriage to William and Harry's late mother, Princess Diana. The brothers allegedly assured their father they would welcome Camilla into their family, but they didn't believe he needed to marry again. Charles proceeded regardless. "We pumped his hand, wished him well. No hard feelings," Harry says.

Even so, Harry writes that he later felt as though Diana was "blocking rather than blessing" Charles and Camilla's marriage, on account of multiple delays in the ceremony, Us Weekly reports.

Harry says he was dubbed the 'spare' the day he was born

When Harry was born, Charles allegedly told Diana: "Wonderful! Now you've given me an heir and a spare – my work is done," per the prince's memoir. As the old royal saying goes, "a first son is an heir to titles, power and fortune, and a second is therefore a spare, should anything happen to the first-born," The Guardian explains.

Charles allegedly made jokes about Harry's 'real' dad

Charles apparently had no problem making jokes about the long-festering rumor that Major James Hewitt, Diana's former lover, was Harry's real father, per a segment of the memoir reviewed by Page Six.

"Pa liked telling stories," Harry writes, "and this was one of the best in his repertoire. He'd always end with a burst of philosophizing … Who knows if I'm really the Prince of Wales? Who knows if I'm even your real father?"

"He'd laugh and laugh, though it was a remarkably unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then that my actual father was one of Mummy's former lovers: Major James Hewitt. One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt's flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism."

Harry says Charles didn't hug him when breaking the news of Diana's death

By Harry's account, Charles did not hug his son when sharing the news of his mother's death. "He wasn't great at showing emotions under normal circumstances," Harry writes, "how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis?"

At the time, the prince claims, Charles sat down on the edge of his son's bed and "put a hand on my knee. 'Darling boy, Mummy's been in a car crash,'" Harry recalls his father saying, before recounting how he waited in that moment for good news that didn't come — that his mother would be okay. "Mummy was quite badly injured and taken to hospital, darling boy," Charles continued. Harry says his father always called him "darling boy," but "he was saying it quite a lot now. His voice was soft. He was in shock, it seemed."

He killed 25 Taliban fighters while in Afghanistan

"Most soldiers can't tell you precisely how much death is on their ledger," the prince writes of his time in the military. "My number: 25."

He says he refrained from humanizing his targets in the "heat of combat" because "you can't kill people if you think of them as people. … I'd been trained to 'other-ize' them, trained well. On some level I recognized this learned detachment as problematic. But I also saw it as an unavoidable part of soldiering."

He regrets Googling some of Meghan Markles' Suits scenes

In Spare, Prince Harry writes that he made "the mistake" of watching some of Meghan Markles' Suits sex scenes online when the pair first began dating. Now, he says he'll need "electric-shock therapy" to get the images out of his head. "I'd witnessed her and a castmate mauling each other in some sort of office or conference room," he says. "I didn't need to see such things live."

Harry comes clean about his drug use

Harry also admits for the first time to trying cocaine as a teenager, Sky News reports. He writes that he was "offered a line" during a "hunting weekend" at someone's house and that "since then I had consumed some more."

"It wasn't very fun," he goes on, "and it didn't make me feel especially happy as seemed to happen to others, but it did make me feel different, and that was my main objective. To feel. To be different."

Even so, the Duke of Sussex concedes to also trying mushrooms while staying at actress Courteney Cox's house in 2016. At the time, a party had broken out, and he and his friends "spotted a huge box of black diamond mushroom chocolates. Someone behind me said they were for everybody. Help yourself, boys. My mate and I grabbed several, gobbled them, and washed them down with tequila," Harry writes, per Vice News. After gobbling down the chocolates, the prince then went to the bathroom, where he says the trash can "became … a head." He stepped on the can's foot pedal to open its lid, "and the head opened its mouth," Harry continues. "A huge open grin." Then the toilet became a head, as well: "The bowl was its gaping maw, the hinges of the seat were its piercing silver eyes. It said, 'Aaah.'"

He had a frostbitten 'todger' at William and Kate Middleton's wedding

A 2011 charity trip to the North Pole left Harry with "frost nipped ears and cheeks," as well as a frostbitten "todger," or penis, he writes in his memoir, per Page Six. And while his "ears and cheeks were already healing" upon his return to the U.K., "the todger wasn't," he says. "It was becoming more of an issue by the day." Unfortunately, the prince wasn't able to remedy the situation before William and Kate Middleton's wedding, meaning his … extremities were still "frost nipped" as he stood next to his brother at Westminster Abbey.

He claims to have lost his virginity to an 'older woman' in a field

In another particularly juicy revelation, Prince Harry recounts how he lost his virginity to an older woman in a "grassy field behind a busy pub." The woman, who "liked horses," treated the prince like "a young stallion," he says, likening the encounter to a "quick ride, after which she'd smacked my rump and sent me to grace."

Harry wasn't William's best man, and William wasn't Harry's

Apparently, the palace lied about Harry and William being each other's best men. Harry says he actually selected his "old friend" Charlie for the role, and that William, possibly as a result, didn't show up to drinks the night before the ceremony. "Was he sulking because he wasn't my best man? Was he annoyed because I had asked my old friend Charlie instead?" Harry writes, alluding to his brother. "The Royal Family announced Willy was the best man as they had done with me when he and Kate got married. Did that have something to do with it?"

Further, Harry says his family issued a "bare-faced lie" when announcing he was William's best man back in 2011. William "didn't want me giving a best man's speech," Harry says, claiming he was told to go along with the lie so William's friends and actual best men weren't scrutinized.

He addresses his infamous Nazi costume

In Spare, Harry sheds new light on his decision to wear a Nazi costume to a party in 2005. He says he was deciding between the Nazi outfit and a pilot get-up, and "phoned Willy and Kate" to get their opinions. "Nazi uniform, they said." When he tried the costume on, "they both howled," he writes. "Worse than Willy's leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point."

Of course, the prince would later come to regret his choice. Upon seeing the photos, "I recognized immediately that my brain had been shut off, that perhaps it had been shut off for some time. I wanted to go around Britain knocking on doors, explaining to people: I wasn't thinking. I meant no harm," he writes. "But it wouldn't have made any difference. Judgment was swift, harsh. I was either a crypto Nazi or else a mental defective."

Per CNN, the prince ends the passage by writing that the "shame would never fade. Nor should it."

He describes seeing Queen Elizabeth II's body at Balmoral Castle

"I braced myself, went in," Harry writes of seeing his late grandmother, who passed in September of 2022. "The room was dimly lit, unfamiliar — I'd been inside it only once in my life. I moved ahead uncertainly, and there she was. I stood, frozen, staring. I stared and stared."

"It was difficult, but I kept on, thinking how I'd regretted not seeing my mother at the end," he continues. "Years of lamenting that lack of proof, postponing my grief for want of proof. Now I thought: Proof. Careful what you wish for." He says he then whispered to the queen that he hopes she is happy and that she is with her husband, Prince Philip.

Update Jan. 10: This article has been updated to include additional information from Prince Harry's memoir.

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