Prince Harry: Spare becomes fastest selling non-fiction book
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Royal fans have cast doubt over some of the claims made by Prince Harry in his new book Spare as one allegation is proven to be completely untrue. The book has set records today as it became the fastest-selling non-fiction book after selling 400,000 copies in one day. But some of the claims made by the Duke of Sussex have left people questioning their accuracy. A handful of the claims he makes in the 407-page book are already being questioned by readers, royal experts and even people who were there at the time, reports the Mirror. From claiming that his stepmother Queen Camilla leaked stories about their first meetings to inaccurate dates, some of the allegations are being put under the microscope.
Camilla leaked information to press
One accusation that Harry levels against his stepmother Camilla is that she leaked details about her first-ever meeting with his brother Prince William to the press. He claims that William would not have leaked these details so deduces that it must have been Camilla.
However, royal sources have disputed that the Queen Consort was responsible for this information ending up in the public domain. According to The Telegraph, Camilla had told a former aide, who she had hired in 1998, in confidence about the meeting.
This aide then reportedly repeated the conversation to her husband, who in turn told a colleague, who informed a newspaper. The aide then apologised and left her post, with Camilla said to be furious about the situation.
The aide released a statement saying: “It is a matter of great regret to me that chance remarks of mine led to the disclosure in the press of the private meeting between Mrs Parker Bowles and Prince William. I am so very sorry for the distress this has caused. Above all, my shame is that I have failed those who demand loyalty and trust, particularly my remarkable employer Mrs Parker Bowles. I am very sorry to be leaving but as the person responsible for this unhappy chain of events, I cannot with honour remain in this position.”
Queen mother death
In the book, the Duke of Sussex recalled the moment he learnt his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, had died in March 2002.
The 38-year-old went into detail about the “bright and warm” weather at his school in Eton when he took the dreaded “phone call”.
But reports from the time say that the prince – who was 17 at the time – wasn’t even in the UK and was away skiing in snowy Switzerland with his father and brother.
A statement from the King at the time says he planned to return to the UK as soon as possible – and Harry was photographed returning back a day later. In Spare, Harry wrote: “At Eton, while studying, I took a call. I wish I could remember whose voice was at the other end; a courtier’s, I believe.
“I recall that it was just before Easter, the weather was bright and warm, light slanting through my window, filled with vivid colours. Your Royal Highness, the Queen Mother has died.”
But at the time in 2002, Buckingham Palace issued the following statement: “The Queen, with the greatest sadness, has asked for the following announcement to be made immediately: Her beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth, died peacefully in her sleep this afternoon.
The then Prince of Wales’s spokeswoman issued a statement from Klosters later that day, where he was staying with both of his sons, adding: “He [Charles] is devastated. His only wish is to get home as soon as he can.”
A BBC News online report from the time clearly adds “William and Harry [were] away skiing in Klosters when the 101-year-old died in her sleep.”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told GB News: “This is a serious error in a hugely controversial book.
“That Harry is clearly wrong in his recollection of the facts as to where he was when the Queen Mother died leaves doubt as to how closely this book has been fact-checked.
“One wonders how many other factual errors are to be found within its pages.”
Harry claims he was gifted Xbox four years before they existed
In the book’s early pages, Harry details his 13th birthday, which came around on September 15, 1997, just weeks after the tragic death of his mother Princess Diana.
As he was given cake and sorbet during a celebration, he explains that he was asked to make a wish, and was thinking of Diana when “out of nowhere” his aunt Sarah appeared holding a box.
He tore at the wrapping paper, peered inside and saw he had received an Xbox.
According to Harry, aunt Sarah revealed that Diana had bought the games console for him shortly before her death, while she was in Paris.
Harry says he was thrilled with the gift because he loved video games.
However, in Spare, he also writes: “That’s the story, anyway. It’s appeared in many accounts of my life, as gospel, and I have no idea if it’s true. Pa said Mummy hurt her head, but perhaps I was the one with brain damage? As a defence mechanism, most likely, my memory was no longer recording things quite as it once did.”
It does appear that Harry might be getting confused, as the Xbox wasn’t actually available to buy until four years later.
Released in 2001, Xbox was Microsoft’s first entry into the world of console electronic gaming, which placed it in direct competition with Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Nintendo’s GameCube.
Contradiction over first date outfit
Royals fans with a good memory will also question the page on which Harry discusses what Meghan wore on their first date at Soho House.
Recalling their first meeting after weeks of messaging, Harry says she was wearing a black sweatshirt, jeans and heels. He adds that while he knows nothing about fashion (he later admits he only shops once every six months, and he only goes to TK Maxx), he says he could tell she was “chic”.
He admires her “no frills” look at their first meeting, describing her as “heart-attack beautiful”.
However, Meghan has previously revealed that she wore a blue dress for their first meeting.
When she was reunited with her stunning Givenchy wedding dress for an ITV documentary, Meghan revealed she had a thread from the dress sewn into her veil as her “something blue”.
Seeing the dress for the first time since her wedding during ITV’s Queen and Commonwealth, she said: “My goodness, it’s amazing, isn’t it?
“Somewhere in here, there’s a piece of… did you see it?” she points out when inspecting her veil. “The piece of blue fabric that’s stitched inside. It was my something blue. It’s fabric from the dress that I wore on our first date. It’s nice to see it again. It’s beautiful.”
However, it’s possible that there was just a bit of confusion as Harry recalls Meghan wearing a blue dress on their second date.
Also at Soho House, he writes that she wore a blue sundress with white pinstripes. He again praises her beautiful, romantically saying she was “aglow”.
Charles and Camilla’s wedding
One of the first mentions of Queen Consort Camilla is early in the book when Harry meets her for the first time.
He later recalls pleading with his father not to marry her and writes that a wedding would cause “controversy”.
Meanwhile, he also details the couple’s wedding day in April 2005, and said he “knew without question that this marriage would take Pa away from us” and had mixed feelings that day.
One person who has poured doubts on these claims is Grant Harrold, a former royal butler, who worked for Charles and Camilla for seven years – and said he saw an excitable Harry at their nuptials.
Speaking with Spin Genie, he said: “I was there for the wedding, the engagement. I promise you from my point of view and as I say, I wasn’t there every single second so I can’t guarantee what conversations took place but when I was around they all got on. [Harry and William] supported their father, they were very excited about it and they were there at the actual wedding as well.
“I saw when the cars drove off after the wedding, there was William and Harry running after the cars with the cans. Why would you do that? If you were so against it you wouldn’t even go outside.”
Queen’s death news
In the final few pages of the book in its epilogue, Harry talks about the fateful day last September when his grandmother the Queen died at her beloved Balmoral home.
As he and Meghan happened to be in the UK at the time, he raced to be with his grandmother as she entered her final moments – but after taking a private jet to school, he like several other of his royal relatives arrived too late after she passed away.
In Spare, Harry says as his plane began its descent “my phone lit up” with a text from Meghan telling him to call her – and it prompted him to check the BBC website, where he learned “Granny was gone. Pa was King”.
However, royal sources previously insisted that Harry was told the news of the Queen’s passing before an official statement confirming it was released.
One told the Telegraph: “The King was adamant that the official statement must not be released until all members of the family had been informed. That was a father talking because he cares.”
‘Glum’ William’s wedding uniform
As well as revealing never-before-heard details about his own wedding, Harry also writes about the nuptials of his brother William to his wife Kate.
They tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, with Kate memorably wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen wedding dress.
William wore the bright red uniform of the Irish Guards at the late Queen’s insistence – despite, Harry claims, wanting to wear his Household Cavalry frockcoat uniform.
In Spare, Harry writes: “Willy was glum at having so little say in what he wore to get married, at having his autonomy taken from him on such an occasion. He’d told me several times that he felt frustrated.”
However writing in the Daily Mail, biographer Robert Hardman says when he talked to William shortly after his wedding, he was not glum about the uniform he had to wear that day.
He said: “When I interviewed Prince William about his wedding a few weeks after the event for my book, Our Queen, he not only had fond memories of the Queen’s insistence on his choice of uniform. He was very funny about it and laughed a lot.”
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