The Guardian felt that the biggest story from Prince Harry’s Spare was the incident in early 2019, when Prince William went to Nottingham Cottage and violently assaulted his brother. I agree that the passage is truly disturbing, and you can feel Harry struggling to write about and avoid his default, which is “making excuses for William and giving William the benefit of the doubt.” In every instance before this, Harry blames William’s advisors and staff, or he blames simple misunderstandings which simply got blown out of proportion. I’m not sure, even now, if Harry wants to acknowledge that William is – at least partially – behind the coordinated character assassination of the Duchess of Sussex. And that’s connected to William’s assault on Harry. I was also surprised that the Guardian stretched their coverage to include this: “Harry then accused his brother of acting like an heir, unable to understand why his younger brother was not content to be a spare.” When really, this is how Harry describes the lead up to William assaulting him:
Meg’s difficult, he said. Oh, really? She’s rude. She’s abrasive. She’s alienated half the staff. Not the first time he’d parroted the press narrative. Duchess Difficult, all that bullsh-t. Rumors, lies from his team, tabloid rubbish, and I told him so—again. Told him I expected better from my older brother. I was shocked to see that this actually pissed him off. Had he come here expecting something different? Did he think I’d agree that my bride was a monster?
I told him to step back, take a breath, really ask himself: Wasn’t Meg his sister-in-law? Wouldn’t this institution be toxic for any newcomer? Worst-case scenario, if his sister-in-law was having trouble adjusting to a new office, a new family, a new country, a new culture, couldn’t he see his way clear to cutting her some slack? Couldn’t you just be there for her? Help her?
He had no interest in a debate. He’d come to lay down the law. He wanted me to agree that Meg was wrong and then agree to do something about it.
Like what? Scold her? Fire her? Divorce her? I didn’t know. But Willy didn’t know either, he wasn’t rational. Every time I tried to slow him down, point out the illogic of what he was saying, he got louder. We were soon talking over each other, both of us shouting.
Among all the different, riotous emotions coursing through my brother that afternoon, one really jumped out at me. He seemed aggrieved. He seemed put upon that I wasn’t meekly obeying him, that I was being so impertinent as to deny him, or defy him, to refute his knowledge, which came from his trusted aides. There was a script here and I had the audacity not to be following it. He was in full Heir mode, and couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t dutifully playing the role of the Spare.
[From Spare by Prince Harry]
“Like what? Scold her? Fire her? Divorce her? I didn’t know.” I mean… wasn’t it clear to Harry at that point? They all wanted Meghan gone by any means necessary. The purpose was to inflict misery – if not outright harm – on Meghan, to convince Meghan that she would never get any peace in that dreadful island, that she should either unalive herself or divorce Harry. They wanted to drive a wedge between Harry and Meghan, because that’s how much of a threat they were to the institution. It’s also shocking to consider that this was happening AS William and Harry were dividing their offices and breaking up the Royal Foundation. Like, the household split had already been announced and everything was already being moved. William “got what he wanted” – he got Harry and Meghan out of HIS office. So why was he still violently angry?
The rest of the passage was basically as the Guardian described. Harry felt real fear as William menaced him, berating him and insulting him. William had come there for a physical confrontation, Harry just didn’t know it yet. Even after the assault, Harry keeps his promise to William to not tell Meghan and he called his therapist: “I apologized for the intrusion, told her I didn’t know who else to call. I told her I’d had a fight with Willy, he’d knocked me to the floor. I looked down and told her that my shirt was ripped, my necklace was broken.” He told Meghan what happened only after she saw the cuts and bruises on his back. It still feels like… Harry is kind of in denial about what William did to him and how premeditated the assault was.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.