Five Times Prince Harry Slammed Prince William in 'Spare' 

Prince Harry's hit memoir Spare broke records upon its release in January, going on to become the fastest selling non-fiction book in history. The prince's intimate revelations made headlines around the world and engaged a global readership, despite the contents of the book being leaked to the press prior to publication.

Harry spared himself and his family no blushes in his book, recounting how he lost his virginity and giving his side of a number of royal scandals, such as his 2004 decision to wear a Nazi uniform to a costume party.

Among the royal family members who found their personal lives at the center of Harry's narrative are King Charles, Queen Camilla, Kate Middleton and Prince William, the latter of whom plays perhaps the most prominent part.

Part of his impetus for writing the book, Harry told 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper, was to dispel the idea that Meghan Markle destroyed the inseparable bond between himself and William, giving a more accurate idea of their relationship than the one the public was shown for many years.

Prince Harry and Prince William "Spare" Book
Prince Harry (L) and Prince William (R) are photographed above at Kensington Palace on July 1, 2021. Inset: the cover art for Harry's 2023 "Spare" memoir. DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/RAMONA ROSALES/PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

From descriptions of bitter jealousies and explosive arguments, Harry paints a picture of two brothers at odds with one another, though has repeatedly stated that he has enduring "love" for William and has no desire to emotionally hurt him.

For his part, William has remained silent about Spare and his bother's claims against him. Kensington Palace, who run the royal's press communications, have adopted a "no comment" position, as have Buckingham Palace who act for King Charles and the wider royal family.

Here, Newsweek looks at five times Prince Harry slammed Prince William in Spare:

Stranded at School

An insight into Harry's relationship with his brother William is provided early on in Spare where the royal recounts his school experiences, including his hurt at William's coldness towards him when he attended Eton College.

According to Harry, William enforced a social distance between himself and his younger brother, telling him to: "pretend I didn't know him."

In Harry's Own Words:

"For the last two years, [William] explained, Eton had been his sanctuary. No kid brother tagging along, pestering him with questions, pushing up on his social circle. He was forging his own life, and he wasn't willing to give that up...For Willy it was pure agony to wear the same blazer, the same tight shorts, as me. And now, to attend the same school, was pure murder. I told him not to worry. 'I'll forget I ever knew you.'"

Alarming Baldness

Among the harsher descriptions of his brother, Harry hones in on William's physical appearance in a chapter detailing a meeting after the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip in 2021.

Taking in the face of his brother after the strain and pain of stepping away from the monarchy and moving to the United States with Meghan, Harry goes so far as to describe his belief that William has lost the famous resemblance he once had to their mother, Princess Diana.

In Harry's Own Words:

"I looked at Willy, really looked at him, maybe for the first time since we were boys. I took it all in: his familiar scowl, which had always been his default in dealings with me; his alarming baldness, more advanced than my own; his famous resemblance to Mummy, which was fading with time. With age. In some ways he was my mirror, in some ways he was my opposite. My beloved brother, my arch nemesis, how had that happened?"

Prince Harry and Prince William
Prince Harry, 12, and Prince William, 15, photographed at Balmoral in August 1997. Harry took a jab at William's appearance, including his "alarming baldness," in "Spare." Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Plotting His Revenge

Among the childhood resentments felt between the royal brothers, Harry describes William's resentment that he appeared to face harsher punishments than his younger brother.

In one annecdote, Harry recounts an argument in a car after which the then-Prince Charles ordered William to get out and sit in the back-up vehicle following them. William, Harry says, was "plotting his revenge."

In Harry's Own Words:

"Willy turned to me, furious. He felt I got away with everything. He stepped out of the car, stomped to the backup car with all the bodyguards, strapped himself in. (We always wore seatbelts after Mummy's disappearance.) The convoy resumed. Now and then I peered out the back window. Behind us, I could just make out the future King of England, plotting his revenge."

Beard Envy

According to Harry, his older brother's jealousy over the freedom he was allowed as the "spare" came to a head in the weeks before the 2018 royal wedding.

Harry recounts how he wanted to wear his beard on his wedding day, something he needed to ask his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for as it was against the rules in the British Army to appear in uniform with facial hair. The queen, he writes, granted him permission, something that didn't go down well with William who wasn't allowed to keep his own beard when he joined the Royal Air Force.

In Harry's Own Words:

"Willy always thought Granny had a soft spot for me, that she indulged me
while holding him to an impossibly high standard. Because...Heir, Spare, etc. It
irked him. The argument went on, in person, on the phone, for more than a week. He wouldn't let it go.

"At one point he actually ordered me, as the Heir speaking to the Spare, to
shave. 'Are you serious?'

"'I'm telling you, shave it off.'

"'For the love of God, Willy, why does this matter so much to you?'

"'Because I wasn't allowed to keep my beard.'"

Prince Harry and Prince William Buckingham Palace
Prince Harry and Prince William are photographed above at Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018. At one point in "Spare," Harry claims that William was jealous that he was allowed to keep his beard for his 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Physical Attack

One of the most explicit arguments between William and Harry, recounted in Spare, took place in 2019 when William allegedly confronted his brother over Meghan's treatment of palace staff, calling her "rude" and "abrasive."

The confrontation came to a head in the kitchen of Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace where Harry and Meghan were living, in which the prince claims that William physically attacked him, knocking him to the ground and causing injury.

In Harry's Own Words:

"He 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, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dogs' 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.

"'Come on, hit me! You'll feel better if you hit me! Do what? Come on, we always used to fight. You'll feel better if you hit me.'

"'No, only you'll feel better if I hit you. Please...just leave.'"

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek's royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek's The Royals Facebook page.

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