Prince Harry has claimed that his elder brother and heir to the throne, Prince William, knocked him to the floor during a 2019 argument over Harry’s wife Meghan, according to British media reports.
The Guardian reported on Wednesday that it had obtained a copy of Harry’s memoir, titled Spare, which is due to be published on January 10.
Harry will appear in two television interviews to promote the book on Sunday, but the Guardian revealed several passages with the newspaper saying it had obtained a leaked copy despite stringent security.
“He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor,” Harry wrote, according to the Guardian.
“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 reportedly challenged his younger brother to hit back, but Harry refused.
William later returned to the scene, “looking regretful, and apologised”, Harry wrote, according to the Guardian.
The palaces of King Charles and Prince William have so far declined to comment on the report.
A royal wedding
William and Harry, the sons of King Charles, were once seen as very close after the death of their mother Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997, but they have fallen out in recent years.
Since Harry and Meghan, who married in 2018, stepped down from royal duties two years ago and moved to California, they have delivered stinging criticism of the British monarchy and accusations of racism, charges that the family has mostly dismissed.
In their six-part Netflix series released last year, Meghan claimed the royals were cold while Harry said the institution failed to protect his biracial wife from being bulled by the British press, sections of which the pair has denounced as racist.
According to the Guardian, the dispute with William arose over the royal family’s displeasure with Meghan, Harry wrote.
Harry says William called Meghan “difficult”, “rude”, and “abrasive”, which he said sounded like “the press narrative” about Meghan.
Harry has made numerous public statements that both he and his wife were mistreated by the palace and its staff, and accused palace insiders of planting negative stories in the press.
The title of the book Spare comes from an oft-cited quote in British aristocratic circles about the need for an heir, and a spare.
According to the Guardian, Harry claims his father King Charles said on the day he was born to his mother Princess Diana: “Wonderful! Now you’ve given me an heir and a spare – my work is done.”
The book also recounts “intensely private scenes and conversations”, the Guardian reported, such as describing his memories and love of his late mother, who was killed in a 1997 car crash, and grandmother Queen Elizabeth, who died last year at age 96.
How much the disclosures, which are headlines across the world’s media, will resonate with the public is unclear.
A YouGov poll this week found 65 percent of those surveyed were “not interested at all” in his upcoming book, while another found greater sympathy among respondents for William and his wife Kate than for Harry and Meghan.
Charles is still hoping for a reconciliation with his son, unnamed sources told newspapers this week.
In its leaked extracts, the Guardian says the king had stood between his two sons during a difficult meeting at Windsor Castle following the April 2021 funeral for their grandfather Prince Philip, the late queen’s husband.
“Please, boys,” Harry quoted his father as saying. “Don’t make my final years a misery.”