Prince Harry has obviously decided to give up his little secret garden… In his memoirs to be published on January 10 – and of which a lot of extracts have already leaked – the Prince says everything, absolutely everything. We thus learn that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan, that he took cocaine at 17, that his brother William is his “sworn enemy”, that his father would have done better not to marry Camilla, and even that he searched for sex scenes of Meghan in ‘Suits’ – which he bitterly regrets. He also lifts the veil on his first time: “A humiliating moment in a field with an older woman who loved horses”. We will know everything.
Officially, “The Substitute”, the biography of Prince Harry, will not be published until next Tuesday. But the contents of the book have already been leaked, and the British press is rushing headlong into the stories of King Charles III’s youngest son. And the revelation that he killed 25 “enemy combatants” in Afghanistan, which he saw as “chess pieces”, probably caused the most noise. “I had made it my goal from day one never to go to bed doubting that I had done the right thing, that I had shot Taliban and only Taliban, without civilians nearby,” he says in the book.
In the age of Apache helicopters and computers, he knows “exactly how many enemy combatants” he has killed. “And it seemed essential to me not to be afraid of this number”, “25”, which gives him neither “satisfaction” nor “embarrassment”. “Of course, I would have preferred not to have this number on my military CV , or in my head, but I also would have preferred to live in a world without Taliban, a world without war.” A shock outing that has already earned him an immediate response from Ben McBean, who served with him: “Harry, stop. Real soldiers don’t brag.”
The title of the book refers to an aristocratic saying that the King’s second son is a “substitute”. With us, Prince Laurent had, for example, been called the “Prince in excess” in a book. The feeling of being only a potential replacement, a reserve prince, is the common thread of the autobiography. Harry writes that when he was born, his father said to his wife, Princess Diana: “Fantastic! Now you have given me an heir and a reserve. My work is done.”
Moreover, nothing is going well between Prince Harry and Crown Prince William. “My beloved brother and sworn enemy”, he nicknamed him thus. He accuses his brother of knocking him to the ground during a 2019 argument over Meghan, whom Harry had married the previous year, and who he accused of being “clumsy and rude”. William “grabbed me by the collar, ripping my collar off, and knocked me to the ground,” says the Duke of Sussex. “I landed on the dog bowl, which shattered under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay like that for a while, stunned, then I got up and told him to fuck off.” William then allegedly apologized to her.
Conflict with Kate
Other disputes are said to have taken place behind the scenes – between Meghan and her sister-in-law Kate, in particular. According to Harry, in June 2018, the two couples decided to get together so they could discuss their issues. And a discussion about what little Charlotte would wear to the couple’s wedding quickly escalated when Meghan told Kate she “suffers from ‘baby brain’ due to her hormones.” “That’s rude,” William reportedly replied, pointing his finger. “We don’t do that sort of thing here.” To which Meghan reportedly replied: “If you don’t mind, take your finger off my face.” Harry defends his wife in the book: “She said she never did anything to deliberately offend Kate. And if so, she begged him to tell her to prevent it from happening again.
Fans of “Suits”
The prince confesses that he also googled the sex scenes of his wife, who was an actress before their marriage. From 2011 to 2018, Meghan starred in the lawyer series “Suits”. “I had seen her and one of her co-workers hanging on in some sort of office or conference room. I didn’t need to see such things. Now I need electroshock therapy to erase these images from my memory,” he jokes. Much to Harry’s surprise, William and Kate were ‘Suits’ fans at the time. “All this time I was worried that Willy and Kate wouldn’t welcome Meg into the family, and suddenly I had to worry that they weren’t chasing her for an autograph.”
When Princess Diana died in 1997, Harry could not count on his father’s support. “Dad didn’t hug me. He couldn’t even show his emotions in everyday situations. How could he in such a crisis situation?”. However, the Prince remembers a tender gesture: a hand placed on his knee. “He told me: ‘It’ll be OK’. It was already a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful and kind.” After their mother’s death, Harry and William reportedly asked their father not to marry Camilla, fearing she was “a naughty stepmother”. what we asked in return is that he does not marry a second time.” In April 2005, Charles and Camilla said “yes” to each other anyway.
Diana’s death continued to – understandably – haunt Harry for a long time. In 2007, when he was 23, he was in Paris for the Rugby World Cup. “I was assigned a driver and on my first night in Paris I asked him if he knew the tunnel where my mother died. In the rearview mirror, I saw his eyes widen. ‘The tunnel is called Pont de l’Alma‘, I told him. Yes yes. They had. ‘Do you want to go through the tunnel?‘, he replied. Sixty-five kilometers an hour to be precise. ‘Sixty-five?’ According to the police, this is the exact speed at which mom’s car was traveling. And not 120 kilometers per hour, as the press had initially reported”, writes the Prince.
“I had always imagined the tunnel as a treacherous, dangerous passage. But it was a short, simple, uneventful tunnel. No reason for anyone to die there.”
William and Harry wanted to reopen the investigation into their mother’s death, Harry said again. “The conclusion that the driver was drunk and that this was supposedly the sole cause of the accident struck us as simplistic and absurd. (…) We have agreed on all these issues, and also on what to do about them. We would circulate a joint statement calling for the reopening of the investigation. We were going to hold a press conference. But we were advised against it.”
Harry also claims that William and his wife Kate encouraged him, when he was 20, to dress up as a Nazi at a costume party, which caused a scandal. “They both roared with laughter. The outfit was ‘ridiculous’, and again, that was the point.”
He also openly recounts having used cocaine. “At someone’s house, during a hunting weekend, I was offered a line and then I took it again. It wasn’t much fun, and it didn’t make me particularly happy, which it clearly did for others. But it made me feel different. I was a 17 year old who wanted to try anything to challenge the established order.
Finally, he recounts the “humiliating episode” of his loss of virginity to an “older woman”, who loved horses and treated him like a “young stallion”… and spanked him after he ‘rapidly climbed’ in a field behind a busy pub.
The death of Queen Elizabeth, September 8, 2022, is also mentioned. In his book, Harry writes that he rushed to Balmoral so he could say goodbye to his grandmother. Unfortunately, he arrived too late. “As the plane started to land, my phone turned on. I got a message from Meghan: ‘Call me as soon as you read this‘. Before Harry even had the chance, he read on the BBC website that the Queen was dead. I put on a black tie and got off the plane.
The Prince claims his father ordered him not to come with Meghan. “He started explaining his reasons, but they didn’t make sense. It was disrespectful and I did not tolerate it. He said nobody’s wife would go, not even Kate.” Which turned out to be wrong.
25 dead in Afghanistan, cocaine, death of Diana: the main revelations of Prince Harry in his memoirs
Prince Harry in 2005 scandal photo: ‘Kate and William told me to wear the Nazi costume’