Prince Harry + Prince William
Gambling, drinking, meeting friends: In the secret “Club H” they were normal teenagers
There has been speculation for years about the mysterious “Club H” in King Charles’ Highgrove estate. Prince Harry is finally revealing what the secret place in Gloucestershire meant to him and brother William in his book ‘Spare’.
Not all childhood and youth memories have found a happy place in the heart of exile royal Prince Harry, 38. One place, however, he remembers fondly: “Club H”, a beloved retreat on Highgrove, the estate of his father King Charles, 74, in the Cotswolds. Here he and Prince William, 40, spent what must have been the happiest hours of their youth, stolen moments without public pressure. Here the two royals were finally allowed to be normal teenagers.
Prince Harry and Prince William created a place for themselves away from their duties
For the first time, Harry is now speaking out about what the retreat in the basement of the stately home meant for him and William. “I hid in the basement at Highgrove, usually with Willy,” the 38-year-old writes in his book Spare. [deutscher Titel: “Reserve”]. On those occasions, the two of them had mostly strenuous weeks at the elite boarding school Eton. In the catacombs of the country estate of King Charles, 74, his sons finally found soothing relaxation.
“We called it ‘Club H’,” says Harry. A name that has caused wild conjectures among Royal fans for years. But now the royal himself explains: “It was often assumed that the ‘H’ stood for Harry, in fact it stood for Highgrove.” The way to the former air-raid shelter held a few stumbling blocks, but also interesting insights into the stepmother’s tastes and the discovery of true treasures: “To get into its depths, you walked through a heavy white door on the ground floor, then went down a steep stone staircase , groped his way across a damp stone floor, descended three more flights of stairs, traversed a long damp hallway with a low barrel vault, and passed various wine cellars where Camilla kept her finest bottles, a freezer, and various storerooms filled with paintings, polo equipment, and silly gifts from foreign governments and rulers.”
An interior that left nothing to be desired by teenagers
Then you came across the legendary secret club. Behind two green doors with brass knobs was the legendary “Club H”, which the previous rumors apparently seemed more opulent than the truth was: “There were no windows,” reports Harry, “but it came because of the brick walls painted in a white tone no feeling of tightness.” In addition, the two princes gave free rein to their creativity and equipped their hideout with the finest props from the royal residences: “A Persian carpet, red Moroccan sofas, a wooden table, an electronic dartboard.” And the perfect retreat was ready for two young men from a good family who just wanted to unwind.
A stereo system and a PC for gambling complete the age-appropriate feel-good ambience. And there was also a glass or two between siblings and friends: “In one corner there was a serving trolley with drinks – prospered by means of creative borrowing processes.” In short: Dad’s gin supplies were allowed to go here from time to time.
A typical weekend at “Club H”
As soon as Harry and William were settled on their arrival at Highgrove, the joint relaxation program could begin: “A typical weekend, Willy and I would start by sneaking off to a nearby pub,” reveals the now father of two. But instead of sticking to age-appropriate soft drinks, the two preferred to indulge in more exhilarating refreshments. “We downed a couple of drinks there, a couple of pints of Snake Bite [alkoholisches Mischgetränk aus Cidre und hellem Bier; Anmerkung der Redaktion]then we picked up some friends and drove back to ‘Club H’ with them.”
Harry then also allows a little peek through the keyhole: “There was a lot of innocent kissing that went hand in hand with the not-so-innocent drinking.” Drugs, however, were a no-go, after all – and that spoils the almost normal impression to some extent – bodyguards were always nearby even on these private occasions. “It kept everything in line,” says Harry. “We also just had a sense of boundaries.”
Source used: Prince Harry “Spare”; published on January 10, 2023