Prince Harry has accused his older brother, Prince William, of physically assaulting him in 2019 while they traded words over his wife, Meghan Markle, the Guardian reports.
The Guardian says they have obtained an advance copy of Harry’s memoir, Spare, ahead of its official release next week. Reuters and other media outlets have also seen the book, reporting that they were able to obtain copies in Spain.
The U.K. newspaper says that in the highly-anticipated book, Harry alleges that William knocked him to the floor after calling Markle “difficult,” “abrasive” and “rude.”
The confrontation escalated until William “grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and … knocked me to the floor,” The Guardian quoted from the book.
“I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me,” the book is quoted as saying. “I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.”
Harry says he had “scrapes and bruises” as a result of the tussle. William, Harry states, tried to goad his younger brother into hitting him back but he refused to do so.
William left, but returned later “looking regretful” and apologized, The Guardian noted.
Spokespeople for King Charles and Prince William have, so far, declined to comment on The Guardian’s report.
Separately, celebrity website Page Six reported that the book alleges William and his now-wife Kate Middleton encouraged Harry to wear a Nazi uniform to a costume party in 2005.
Harry says he debated dressing as either a pilot or a Nazi for the “Native and Colonial”-themed party.
According to Page Six, Harry writes about how his brother and Middleton “howled with laughter” when they saw him in the costume, which featured a red swastika armband.
“I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said,” Harry writes. “They both howled.”
Harry has repeatedly apologized for the costume and called the decision to wear it one of the biggest mistakes of his life.
The Guardian and Page Six reports are the latest in a series of blows to the British Royal Family at the hands of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
In last month’s Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, Harry claimed William screamed at him during a family meeting. Harry also accused palace officials of lying to protect his elder brother, who is now heir to the throne. Markle, 41, talked about wanting to end her life as she struggled to cope with toxic press coverage.
The docuseries accused the Royal Family’s press offices of planting stories in the British tabloids to drag down other members of the family in exchange for good press. Harry said William broke a pact between the two brothers, where they both swore they would never allow their press offices to trade negative stories about each other.
Although he did not name a specific past instance, he said, “William and I both saw what happened in our dad’s office and we made an agreement that we would never let that happen to our office.”
“I would far rather get destroyed in the press than play along with this game or business of trading,” he said, expressing his disappointment in the Prince of Wales, noting, “and to see my brother’s office doing the same thing that we promised the two of us would never ever do, that was heartbreaking.”
In the documentary, which attracted record audiences, both Harry and Markle express their disappointment in how royal aides failed to protect the couple from the toxic press situation and refused to address hostile, inaccurate press coverage.
Although The Guardian’s article focuses mainly on the alleged physical altercation between Harry and William – revealing that they call each other “Willy” and “Harold” – the report also recounts high tensions when Harry returned to the U.K. for the first time in 2021 after stepping back as a working royal.
Harry had travelled to attend his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral and says his father, now King Charles III, asked his sons not to “make my final years a misery.”
William and Harry were once seen as very close after the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in a Paris car crash in 1997.
But the brothers have fallen out since Harry married Markle, a former actress, in 2018 and the couple then stepped down for royal duties to move to California two years later.
— with files from Reuters and The Associated Press
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