Prince Harry, in a 60 minutes interview linked to the publication of his memoir this week, described an incident in early 2019 when tensions boiled over with Prince William to the point that his brother pushed him and he cut his back as he fell on a dog bowl on the floor.
Already, there were tensions around Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, who became the target of British tabloids. The confrontation took place at Harry’s cottage at Kensington Palace.
“It was a buildup of frustration, I think, on his part,” Harry told Anderson Cooper. “It was at a time when he was being told certain things by people in his office. And at the same time, he was consuming a lot of the tabloid press, a lot of stories. And he had some issues, which weren’t based on reality. And I was standing up for my wife. And he was coming for my wife – she wasn’t there at the time – but through the things he was saying. I was standing up for myself. And we went from a room to the kitchen. And his frustrations were growing, and growing, and growing. He was yelling at me. I was yelling at him. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t nice at all. And he broke down. And he pushed me to the ground.
“It was quite an unpleasant experience,” he said.
Harry said he cut his back, although he didn’t immediately notice the injury. Prince William apologized, but asked him not to tell anyone. But Meghan saw the cut on her back.
“She goes, ‘What is this?’ I was like, ‘Huh, what?’ I actually didn’t know what she was talking about. I looked in the mirror. I was like, ‘Oh shit.’ Well, because I had never seen it,” said Harry.
The interview was Harry’s first with US media before the publication of his book, Spare, on Tuesday. ITV did an interview with him earlier on Sunday, and he will also appear on hello america and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
He argues that Buckingham Palace is responsible for the leak to British tabloids, comparing the press there to the dragons of game of thrones.
“It all started with their briefing, daily, against my wife with lies to the point where my wife and I had to flee our, my country.”
Harry also described being in London last September for a charity event and being told Queen Elizabeth was gravely ill. But he was not invited on a plane with other family members to visit the Queen before she died. Instead, he arrived at Balmoral on his own. But by the time he arrived, she was already dead.
When he arrived he said, “I walked into the hall and my aunt was there to greet me. And she asked me if I wanted to see her. I thought about it for about five seconds, thinking, “Is this a good idea? And I was like, ‘You know what? You can–you can do it. You… you have to say goodbye. Um, so I went upstairs, took my jacket off and walked in and just hung out with her alone.
“She was in her room…. I was really happy for her. Because she had finished her life. She had finished her life, and her husband was waiting for her. And the two are buried together.
He told Cooper he hadn’t spoken to his brother or father, King Charles, “in a while.” When asked if he could ever see a return to becoming a full-time member of the Royal Family, he replied: “I don’t see that happening.”
But he said he was open to reconciliation. His concern, he said, is that any conversations will leak to the press.
“The ball is really in their court, but, you know, Meghan and I have kept saying that we will openly apologize for anything that we have done wrong, but every time we ask that question, no one tells us the details or anything. ,” he said. “There has to be a constructive conversation, a conversation that can take place in private and that is not leaked.”
At the end of the segment, Cooper said that 60 minutes contacted the palace for comment, but they demanded to see the report before responding “which we never do”.
The interview took place over two segments of 60 minutessomething that is usually reserved only for “big hits”.
In the first segment, Harry described trying to deal with the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. He was only 12 at the time, and he said that for years, until he was in his twenties, you’d think she might still be alive. In the book, he wrote, “I often said to myself first thing in the morning, ‘Maybe it’s daytime. This may be the day she will reappear.
“For a long time I just refused to accept that she was gone…she would never do this to us, but also part, maybe it’s all part of a plan.”
He added: “For a while, then she would call us and we would join her.
He said William also shared “similar thoughts” following the loss of their mother. But the two brothers did not have a close relationship after Diana’s death. According to Cooper, Harry wrote in the book that it was his father who informed him of his mother’s death, telling him that there had been an accident and that, “They tried, honey. I’m afraid she didn’t survive.
He wrote in the book: “Daddy didn’t kiss me. He was not good at showing his emotions under normal circumstances. But his hand fell once again on my knee and he said, “It’s going to be fine.”
When he was 20, Harry asked to see the police report of the crash, along with photos from the scene. He said it was then that he discovered “the last thing Mom saw on this earth was a flashbulb”.
“The footage showed the reflection of a group of photographs taking pictures through the window, and the reflection on the window was – it was them,” Harry told Cooper.
“It was obvious to us as children that the British press was part of our mother’s misery and I had a lot of anger in me which thankfully I never expressed to anyone,” said Harry. “But I resorted to a lot of alcohol. Because I wanted to numb the feeling, or I wanted to distract myself from how… whatever I was thinking. And I would also resort to, you know, drugs.
Harry also had some critical things to say about Camilla, the Queen Consort. He told Cooper that he and his brother asked their father not to marry him because they “didn’t think it was necessary.”
“We thought it was going to cause more harm than good and if he was now with his person… that would surely be enough. Why go so far when it is not necessarily necessary? We wanted him to be happy. And we saw how happy he was with her. So at the time it was ‘Okay,'” he said.
But he wrote that Camilla would be “less dangerous if she was happy”. He told Cooper she was “dangerous” because of the need she felt to rehabilitate her image.
“It made her dangerous because of the connections she was forging within the British press,” Harry said. “And there was an open willingness on both sides to exchange information. And with a family built on hierarchy, and with it on the way to becoming queen consort, there would be people or bodies left on the streets because of it.
Full 60 minutes segment is here.