Photo: CBS via Getty Images
Prince Harry sat down with Anderson Cooper for an episode of 60 Minutes Sunday night. Earlier in the day, across the pond, Harry spoke to Tom Bradby on ITV. Both interviews come ahead of the Prince’s memoir, Spare, hitting US shelves January 10. Despite some of the shocking revelations that have come from the book, Harry assured Cooper that he wants to reconcile with his family. “My brother and I love each other. I love him deeply. There’s been a lot of pain between the two of us, especially the last six years,” he said. “None of anything I’ve written and anything I’ve included is ever intended to hurt my family, but it does give a full picture.” Harry says that the Royal Family airs its dirty laundry through leaks with the press. Now Harry is talking with his full chest. “So now, trying to speak a language that perhaps they understand, I will sit here and speak truth to you with the words that come out of my mouth, rather than using someone else, an ‘unnamed source.'”
On ITV, Harry said that before meeting Meghan Markle, he often felt like a “third wheel” on official engagements with Prince William and Kate Middleton. But the three were in a particularly warm period of friendship. When Harry met and fell in love with his wife, he hoped that the closeness would extend to Markle. “I always hoped that the four of us would get on,” he said. “But very quickly it became Meghan versus Kate. And that, when it plays out so publicly, you can’t hide from that.” Harry said on 60 Minutes that he wrote the book with a desire to “squash” the notion that Meghan came between him and his brother, underscoring the sibling rivalry that was always there — an early example of which being when William told Harry to pretend not to know him when they went to the same school.
Harry also accuses Camilla of leaking stories about himself and Prince William in order to rehabilitate her image in the British press. “There was open willingness on both sides to trade information,” he told Cooper. “And with a family built on hierarchy, and her on the way to being queen consort, there were going to be people or bodies left in the street because of that.”
Between the two interviews, Harry shared details about the days after his mother’s death, his eventual acceptance that she did die and did not fake her own death, and the role the paparazzi played in that death. “The last thing Mummy saw was a flashbulb,” he wrote Spare. “It was obvious to us as kids the British press’ part in our mother’s misery,” Harry told Anderson Cooper, “and I had a lot of anger inside me that luckily I never expressed to anybody. But I resorted to drinking heavily because I wanted to numb the feeling.”
One of the biggest revelations in Harry’s ITV interview was that he still has nagging questions about his mother’s death. Princess Diana was killed in a crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, with paparazzi having a still-debated involvement in the collision. Harry said he distinctly remembered seeing paparazzi taking photos of Diana as she lay dying, rather than helping her. “I couldn’t understand it,” he said. Harry also said he felt guilty about not crying while meeting mourners outside Kensington Palace. “There were 50,000 bouquets of flowers to our mother and there we were shaking people’s hands, smiling,” he said. “We couldn’t understand why their hands were wet, but it was all the tears that they were wiping away.” On 60 Minutes, Harry said the mourners “were showing more emotion than we were showing. Maybe more emotion than we even felt.”
Harry said on 60 Minutes that at first he suspected Diana had faked her death, and that she would one day ask her children to reunite with her. “William and I talked about it as well,” Harry said. “He had similar thoughts.” Harry believed his mother might still be alive until the age of 23, when he rode the same route his mother did that fatal night. While he still has questions, Harry now believes learning more about his mother’s death “would change a lot.” Harry credits therapy and psychedelics (used therapeutically) with helping him find closure.
Harry told Anderson Cooper that biases (including racism and anti-American sentiment) colored the royal family’s opinion on Meghan Markle before they even met her. “My family reads the tabloids,” he said. “It’s laid out at breakfast when everyone comes together. So whether you walk around saying you believe it or not, it’s still — it’s still leaving an imprint in your mind. So if you have that judgment based on a stereotype right at the beginning it’s very, very hard to get over that.” The family and the press both attributed Harry’s personal growth to Meghan being “a witch” rather than hard work on Harry’s part.
Harry says he was “probably” bigoted before he started his relationship with Meghan, in a way similar to that of the British press. When pressed on that by Cooper, Harry said, “Put it this way, I didn’t see what I now see.”
Prince Harry’s press tour isn’t over. He is scheduled to appear on Good Morning America Monday, and on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Tuesday night.