Prince Harry is working overtime to do the interview rounds ahead of the release of his memoir Spare on Tuesday. And this one is a BIG one, even by those already-lofty standards.
On Monday night, the 38-year-old prince sat down with Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan. The Brit delivered an expansive, long-form interview about his book and his life. Nearly no stone was unturned as Harry spoke about his relationship with wife Meghan Markle, the fractured relationships he now has with father King Charles III and brother Prince William, and every other dramatic detail about his former life with the royal family.
Related: Prince Harry Claims Dig At William’s ‘Alarming Baldness’ Wasn’t A Diss At All!
The interview covered a lot of ground. As the former New York Giants football star prodded William’s little bro and sat in awe to hear the responses, Harry spoke candidly about how life has changed since walking away from Buckingham Palace.
Here are all the highlights from Monday night’s Prince Harry: In His Own Words tell-all interview…
The Divide Was Already There
As we’ve reported, Harry has already spoken in GMA teasers about the growing rift between himself, Prince William, and King Charles. When Strahan asked about that, as we’ve noted, Harry doubled down:
“I have thought about it long and hard. And as far as I see it, the divide couldn’t be greater before this book.”
Still, the Spare author remained optimistic about possibly finding some kind of reconciliation with his family in the future. If that comes, Harry told the television host, it would be life-changing:
“If we can get to the point of reconciliation, that will have a ripple effect across the world. I genuinely believe that, and that’s kind of what is pushing me. And if that doesn’t happen, then that’s very sad.”
Wow. Clearly, there are a lot of emotions here.
Harry’s (Not So) Beloved Brother
To the outside world, Harry and his 40-year-old brother have always seemed close — especially after the tragic death of their mother Princess Diana when they were children. But in speaking to Strahan, Harry explained there is actually more to the story regarding the connection between him and William.
The memoir writer, who called William his “beloved brother and arch nemesis,” explained:
“There has always been this competition between us weirdly. Again, I think it really plays into, or is played, by the heir/spare.”
Harry even went so far as to tell Strahan he felt William was jealous of his position as the “spare” of the two brothers.
While Prince William sits “in the monarch’s shadow” and waits for his turn on the throne, as Harry said, the younger brother gets to enjoy relative freedom. To that end, Harry explained the dynamic to the former NFL star:
“I have more freedom than he does, right? So his life is planned out for him. I have more flexibility to be able to choose the life that I wanted.”
Well, that’s true. And Harry proved as much when he walked away from the royal family. So there’s definitely something real about that assessment.
The Brothers’ Broken ‘Pact’
Harry also opened up about a “pact” the brothers had in the past. As the younger bro moved towards marriage with Meghan several years ago, he and William apparently agreed to an informal deal. In it, they intended to not allow their offices or publicists to fight externally or brief the media against each other.
But that didn’t end up happening, Harry claims. Instead, he told Strahan that members of the royal family allegedly fed stories to the press. They also supposedly refused to discredit other salacious stories about Meghan and Harry that the fam knew were plainly phony.
“The people that he employed broke that. But again, within the family, it’s hard because you are led to believe that if you don’t play the game, that you will be destroyed. And again, I’m the one who’s proving that that is true, right? Chose not to play the game, but they’re trying to destroy me.”
The Suits alum’s husband went on to say that the press ate it up. In turn, they worked up a feud between the two couples for maximum ratings and attention from the public:
“[The media] pitched the Waleses, which Kate and William are now, against the Sussexes, me and my wife. They always pitched us against each other. They pitched Kate and Meghan against each other.”
Wow. Not great!!
Oh, and speaking of Meghan and Kate…
Catherine Vs. Meghan
Harry blames press reports and media strife on disrupting Markle’s relationship with Princess Catherine when it was still in its very early stages. Of course, we’ve written quite a bit about that tense relationship over the past few weeks.
The memoir author said:
“Without question. If you read [news coverage], it very much feeds into how you function, operate, and behave. Without question. But the moment you don’t read it, you can live a truly authentic life.”
Such was the thrust of their Netflix docuseries released late last year. So it sounds like Harry is actually practicing what he preaches with that?
Reconciliation On The Horizon?
All the while, Harry claimed to Strahan, the British press worked tirelessly to “drive a wedge” between the brothers. However, he still hopes he can one day be close with William again at some point far in the future:
“I hope that we will be joined at the hip again. Because, you know, if there’s something that will terrify the British press more than anything, it’s William and I being aligned.”
It just may take some time.
Related: Prince Harry Walks Back ‘Villain’ Claim About Queen Camilla
And to be fair, Harry did admit to bearing some of the blame for the fractured relationship he has with his older bro. Still, he told the GMA host that he has worked hard behind the scenes to try to mend fences:
“What people don’t know is the efforts that I’ve gone to [in order] to resolve this privately, both with my brother and with my father.”
As you can see, Harry is remarkably emotional over the challenge of navigating that tough relationship:
Prince Harry to @michaelstrahan on rift with his family: “What people don’t know is the efforts that I’ve gone to to resolve this privately, both with my brother and with my father.”
Stream now on @ABCNewsLive or on @Hulu here: https://t.co/pwf8p4chSC pic.twitter.com/EBGCicBcBt
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) January 10, 2023
A difficult situation for all, no doubt.
Major Security Concerns
A big remaining point of contention for Harry goes back to the moment when he and Meghan chose to step back from the royal family. When he approached the family with his choice, Harry claims he was met with “zero compromise.”
When he and Meghan moved to Canada briefly while starting that process, then, they received no security after a previously-agreed-upon 12-month transition period of guard was pulled out from under the couple. Harry told Strahan:
“I was stunned that my family would allow security to be taken away, especially at the most vulnerable point for us. And maybe they didn’t understand the concerns that I had. I mean, I listed them. I laid them out.”
Strahan asked the famous father whether Buckingham Palace didn’t realize about his security concerns or didn’t care. To that, the younger prince replied:
“I think probably a little bit of both.”
Oof. Definitely not a good look for the royal fam. Just saying…
Wishing For Windsor
Still, initially, Meghan and Harry didn’t want to leave their roles within the royal family. He recalled how being based in Windsor made him feel — for a while — like that was where he was meant to spend the rest of his life:
“We were based in Windsor. That was where we genuinely thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives.”
But things were tough, too. The “filter of the tabloids,” as Harry noted, made life difficult to live in the public eye as part of the monarchy.
And so he and Meghan tried to find a way through it — but to no avail. The embattled prince told Strahan:
“We were trying to find a different way to work, but for one reason or another, despite the fact that it already exists within the family, we weren’t allowed to do things slightly differently. To still perform and work and support and represent the monarchy, but to be financially independent, to remove the supposed public interest, which the tabloids had used repeatedly to invade every single element of our life.”
It sounds like its own prison, TBH. Definitely not fun in some ways! Even if it might feel like a fairytale life from the outside looking in! The grass is always greener, after all…
Striving For Peace
Now, Harry is in a mood for peace. Spare bares all when it comes to his fractured relationship with the institution and his family, of course. But he thinks telling his story in book form will eventually lead to a truce among family members:
“I don’t think that we can ever have peace with my family unless the truth is out there. There’s a lot that I can forgive, but there needs to be conversations in order for reconciliation, and part of that has to be accountability.”
And one day, Harry told Strahan, he hopes to have a candid (and private!) conversation with his family to clear the air:
“I just hope that there’s a way that we can have a conversation that is trusted within that conversation that isn’t then spilled to the British press. That’s where I am.”
Well wouldn’t that be something? Not holding our breath here, tho…
Interacting With The Queen
Interestingly, Harry did tell GMA that Queen Elizabeth II was not angry with him for wanting to alter his royal role. Instead, he thinks she was “sad” about the situation and how it unfolded near the end of her life.
Harry hypothesized more on the late Queen’s possible mindset towards him and Meghan in her final years:
“I had many, many conversations with her both in the U.K. over the years and in the run-up to the point of this change, so it was never a surprise to anybody, least of all her. She knew what was going on. She knew how hard it was. I don’t know whether she was in a position to be able to change it.”
Say what you will about Harry, and Meghan, and the royal family in general, but clearly this was a tough situation for all.
Dealing With Diana’s Death
Harry also spoke openly about the past. Specifically, he talked to Strahan about his mother’s shocking death in a car accident in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi in 1997. He told Strahan that he initially didn’t want to believe Diana was dead, and as a 12-year-old boy who was confronted with the shocking fact, it harmed him greatly.
Calling his wish to avoid the death a “defense mechanism,” Harry told the GMA host:
“I think for anyone, especially if you’re a kid, I was 12 years old. I refused to accept that was what had happened.”
He also explained how Charles woke him and William up early the next morning to break the news to them, saying:
“It was really important to be able to sketch that scene and share with people where my story really began. As a dad, I would never, ever want to have to break that news ever, so I have a huge amount of sympathy and compassion and understanding now about how ill-equipped I guess my dad was, how ill-equipped anybody would be in that situation.”
Harry admitted that the moment was truly the most difficult one imaginable, and even now, he’s not sure how it could have possibly turned out any better:
“I don’t think my family knew what to do. I don’t think they knew what to do, and I can’t say whether other families would’ve done a better job.”
No kidding. Such an awful situation.
As we already reported based on early GMA teasers, Prince Harry spoke about his take on Queen Camilla‘s role in the royal family. In his comments to Strahan, Harry said some surprising stuff:
“That made her dangerous because of the connections that she was forging within the British press. And there was open willingness on both sides to trade off information. And with a family built on hierarchy, and with her, on the way to being Queen Consort, there was gonna be people or bodies left in the street because of that.”
Jeez!! Then, when asked what Camilla had done to make Harry so resistant to welcoming her into the family, Harry replied:
“I have a huge amount of compassion for her, you know? Being the third person within my parents’ marriage. And she had a reputation or an image to rehabilitate, and whatever conversations happened, whatever deals or trading was made right at the beginning, she was led to believe that that would be the best way of doing it.”
That “compassion” comment definitely made Strahan raise his eyebrows. And now, despite claiming there’s no bad blood between the two, the author did reveal they don’t have much of a relationship these days:
“We haven’t spoken for a long time. I love every member of my family, despite the differences. So, when I see her, we’re perfectly pleasant with each other. She’s my stepmother; I don’t look at her as an evil stepmother. I see someone who married into this institution and has done everything that she can to improve her own reputation and her own image for her own sake.”
Well then! Are U guys buying that?
A Future Far From Home
So what does the future look like, then?
For Harry, he doesn’t believe his family will ever return full-time to the United Kingdom. Directly referencing the overly-aggressive British press, he told Strahan:
“Even if there was an agreement or an arrangement between me and my family, there is that third party that is going to do everything they can to make sure that that isn’t possible. Not stopping us from necessarily going back, but making it unsurvivable, and that’s really sad because that is essentially breaking the relationship between us.”
And yet he left the door open to be of service to the Commonwealth in some other way moving forward if he felt there were something he could do:
“If there was something in the future where we can continue to support the Commonwealth, then that’s of course on the table, but there’s so much that needs to happen between now and then, and so much that can happen.”
That would be interesting. But it sounds like the door is (mostly) closed for him and Meghan. Especially in regards to being back in London!
With the memoir, Harry told Strahan he is now hoping to “change the media landscape” in the United Kingdom. It remains to be seen whether that will happen, of course.
Related: Harry Will No Longer Have Role In King Charles’ Coronation After Memoir Claims!
But Harry took a dim view of the role the tabloid media plays in the Commonwealth. And he regrets very much what it did to him and his extended family:
“In this instance, the most popular, most read and therefore most influential newspapers in our country are tabloids. That affects the country. That affects the construct of the country.”
He also told GMA about his hope for changing the “codependency” the royal family and the tabloids have on each other:
“There are some people, especially in the U.K., who have been led to believe that because you are a member of the royal family, somehow everyone owns you or has a stake in you. And that’s a message that has been purely pushed out by the British tabloids, and it creates real problems within that family and that relationship. Of course, there has to be some sort of relationship, but where it’s got to now is incredibly unhealthy.”
Obviously, that’s a real line in the sand on that one. Whether Harry — or anyone — can succeed in changing that close relationship is anybody’s guess. But we’re not holding our breath. Just saying…
Modernizing The Monarchy
Finally, the Duke of Sussex spoke about what he hopes the monarchy will become in the future. He “genuinely” believes it should continue, he told Strahan. But he also hopes it will modernize through the 21st century.
“I think the same process that I went through regarding my own unconscious bias would be hugely beneficial to them. It’s not racism, but unconscious bias if not confronted, if not acknowledged, if not learned and grown from, that can then move into racism. And the way that I understand it is that we all want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”
Specifically, Harry also felt the royal fam had “a huge missed opportunity” when they failed to represent and promote Meghan as a biracial woman during her time in London:
“It’s what she said to me from right from the beginning, representation. And I, as a privileged white man, didn’t really understand what she was talking about.”
Harry also worries about younger members of the royal family, and what they may go through. He explained:
“I also worry about other young kids within that family if this continues. Because who’s to say that someone else doesn’t fill my shoes and that their partner, whether it’s a husband or a wife or boyfriend or a girlfriend, doesn’t get treated exactly the same as Meghan did?”
That’s a tough one, for sure. Do U have any solutions, Perezcious readers?
You can see more highlights from the GMA interview (below):
That’s obviously a heavy subject — and one that means a great deal to Harry.
What do U think of Harry’s whole interview with Michael Strahan? The duo covered a LOT of ground. What are your reactions to it??
[Image via GMA/YouTube]
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