London — In his forthcoming autobiography, Spare, Prince Harry says that his brother, heir to the throne Prince William, physically attacked him in 2019, according to a report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper. The Guardian says it viewed a copy of Harry’s book, which is due out next Tuesday. CBS News has not seen a copy of Spare and is not able to independently verify the report.
According to the Guardian, William went to meet Harry at his then residence on the grounds of Kensington Palace, Nottingham Cottage, wishing to discuss “the whole rolling catastrophe” of their struggles with the media and their personal relationship.
When he arrived, Harry said, William was already angry and started “parrot[ing] the press narrative,” calling Meghan “abrasive,” “difficult,” and “rude.”
William reportedly said Harry was not being rational, and Harry accused his older brother of acting like an heir and refusing to understand why Harry wasn’t happy to be treated poorly, just because he was not the next in line for the throne. William reportedly said he was trying to help Harry, who scoffed, further angering William, who moved towards him, swearing.
The book apparently describes Harry then going into the kitchen and giving William a glass of water.
“He set down the water, called me another name, then came at me,” Harry writes, according to the Guardian. “It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.”
Harry said that William urged him to hit him back, referencing fights they had as kids, but Harry refused, so William left but then returned, “looking regretful, and apologized.”
Harry said he didn’t immediately tell Meghan about the fight, but did tell his therapist. When Meghan later noticed the scrapes on his back, he told her, and “she was terribly sad.”
There was no comment from Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace or the publisher of Spare, Penguin Random House, in response to the Guardian report.
The book recounts another meeting of the brothers, according to the Guardian, this time with their father, now King Charles III, after the funeral of the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, in April 2021.
According to the Guardian report, Harry says Charles stood between his two angry sons and said: “Please, boys. Don’t make my final years a misery.”
Two interviews ahead of the official release of Harry’s book are expected this weekend, one withand the other with British broadcaster ITV News.
In the “60 Minutes” interview, which will air in full on Sunday, Harry says he tried to resolve the conflicts with his family in private, but that the palace used the media against him and Meghan. In a clip from the ITV interview, which also airs Sunday, he seems to suggest that he would like to reconcile.
“The door is always open,” Harry says. “The ball is in their court.”