Harry: The Interview, is just over an hour of your life you won’t get back - but was it worth the watch? Interviewer, ITV’s Tom Bradby, said he needed “a long lie down” after reading Harry’s book Spare, and I can see why.
Journalist Bradby’s relationship with Harry spans some 20 years and while the pair sat closely facing each other, the level of push-back from both sides was strong.
Of the immense spilling of royal tea, Harry told him: “It never needed to be this way.”
The 38-year-old said he was tired of the spin and distortion of other people telling his story and decided the “words and truth” should come from his mouth now. And there were, many words.
The interview starts in raw form as Harry recounts Charles, in his dressing gown, telling him about his mother’s death, and follows the pain of processing the trauma. These are not just scars for Harry but an open wound, as he describes demanding to see the ‘secret government file’ on Diana’s death.
“I saw the photographs of all the paparazzi in the window [of the car],” Harry said.
“Taking pictures of your mother as she’s dying, rather than helping her,” Bradby finished his sentence.
“Exactly and that still hurts,” Harry said.
The interview is overlayed with Harry narrating lines from the book. Recounting his mother’s death is a sad watch as Harry describes it being played out in the press. But the deeply humane tone turns as he forms allegations against his family and the "Institution".
Claims against Charles, Camilla, William
The interview, which almost mirrored a therapy session, progressed to Harry’s cocaine and magic mushroom use to “certain members of the [royal] family” who he alleges decided to get into bed with the Devil – (the tabloid press).
“You don’t seem to hold anything back,” Bradby said in a massive understatement.
“My life in itself, has been put through a blender as such,” Harry continued, in what was unfolding as a type of infomercial about said blender.
Charles, Camilla, William, all get thrown under the bus (or put into the blender).
“I wish it would stop,” Harry says. I wish it would stop too.
From feeling like Charles wasn’t there for him, to asking his father not to marry Camilla, on and on it went, as Harry narrated more words from his book:
“He’d always given an air of being not quite ready for parenthood – the responsibilities, the patience, the time. Even he, though a proud man, would have admitted as much. But single parenthood, Pa was never made for that.
“But to be fair, he tried.”
A one-star review right there for Pa Charles who Harry said told him: “I suppose it’s my fault” – as Harry described his own mental health burdens over dinner with his dad one night.
And then he addressed Camilla, whom Harry said he and William begged their father not to marry, despite endorsing and supporting her.
“We asked him not to get married, he chose to and that’s his decision.”
He then alleges her to be a leaker. The blender is now crushing at high speed.
The narration continued:
“Stories began to appear everywhere, in all the papers, about her private conversation with Willy, stories that contained pin-point accurate details, none of which had come from Willy of course.
“They could only have been leaked by the one other person present.”
William was next in the firing line as the narration went on (and on).
“My God. Sibling rivalry. I put a hand over my eyes – have we not got past this yet? The whole heir vs spare thing. Wasn’t it a bit late in the day for that tired childhood dynamic?
“Even if Willy insisted on being competitive, on turning our brotherhood into some kind of private Olympiad – hadn’t he built up an insurmountable lead? He was married, with a baby on the way, while I was eating takeaway alone over the sink. Pa’s sink.
“I still lived with Pa. Game over man. You win.”
By now, I’m crying on the inside. Please make it stop. But it doesn’t – less than half-way in and I have royal tea spilling from my eyes.
Harry believes reconcilliation '100%' possible
The interview presses on, as the “wretched bridesmaid story” is addressed, as is Harry’s rivalry with William, and an ensuing argument about Harry wearing a beard to his wedding. The family issues run deep folks.
Turns out the ‘fab four’ aren’t so fab as Will, Kate, Harry and Meg’s dramas are aired, including the fight with William who Harry alleges “grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace and he knocked me to the floor…
“I lay there for a moment dazed….” We are all dazed Harry. Dazed and confused.
You will be getting the gist of this interview by now. The irony of Harry wanting to be left alone by the press yet putting himself and his family right into the fray of it, isn’t lost on me.
After leaving his country to escape the pain and suffering “happening to my wife” – it seems he’s just inviting it right back in.
Bradby tells Harry the royal family will be “reeling” by the level of personal disclosure, without permission, despite Harry saying he “one hundred per cent” believes there could be reconciliation.
“My family have been briefing the press solidly for well-over a decade. So, I’m sorry that me, owning my story and being able to tell my own story is upsetting to some people.”
“Now I get to tell my story.”
Bradby, who looks ready for another long lie down (with no need for a cup of tea as it’s already all over him) wraps up the interview after what seems like a very long hour:
“Thank you for sparing the time. Pleasure to see you as always.”
Got an hour to spare? Watch the full interview here.