With the release of Prince Harry’s memoir Spare, tensions are reportedly high at Buckingham Palace. The royal family has not released an official statement on the Duke of Sussex’s tell-all book, but a source close to Prince William told Entertainment Tonight that he’s “privately seething and devastated” by the details described in his little brother’s autobiography. The royal expert they spoke to, Katie Nicholl, added that William is “incredibly angry at the level of detail” in Harry’s story.
One of the difficult stories in the book covers how Harry attacked him physically after they argued over Meghan Markle in 2019.
‘Knowing how bad things have got between the brothers, it’s not actually all that surprising that one of them just lost their temper and lashed out,” said Nicholl. “But to read about it in such detail is very painful, and one can only imagine very difficult for the Prince of Wales, Prince William, who of course isn’t really able to answer back, isn’t really able to share his side of the story.”
The book is apparently really shaking things up in the U.K.
“Jaws really are on the ground over here in the U.K.,” said Nicholl. “And, in terms of the royal family, we’re not hearing anything officially. There’s still no comment out of Kensington Palace, out of Buckingham Palace, but the repercussions of Harry’s autobiography, the things that he’s said are clearly being felt. My understanding is that the mood in the palace is one of shock, one of disbelief, and Prince William is said to be devastated and seething over this autobiography.”
The royal expert also claimed that King Charles has wanted to repair relations with the Sussexes, but they have allegedly refused to reconcile.
“The king invited Harry and Meghan to Sandringham for Christmas, they refused that invitation,” Nicholl explained. “The king has made a real point of extending an olive branch to the couple and I think knowing just how damaging this book was going to be for the royal family, Harry and Meghan made that decision to stay away over Christmas.”
However, in a clip from Harry’s upcoming interview with ITV, the Prince says he wants to reconcile, and that they’re the ones who have resisted a reconnection.
“I would like to get my father back. I would like to get my brother back,” he said. “They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile.”
But the book itself might be the last nail in the coffin for that possibility.
“Prince Harry’s given a number of interviews ahead of the release of his autobiography and he speaks about wanting to reconcile with his family,” Nicholl insisted. “He talks about the door being open, but I think the feeling is that, actually, he’s made sure that door has been firmly slammed shut.”
She continued, “The idea of any reconciliation seems almost unthinkable, given what he has said, given the very personal nature of these attacks because that’s what they are — they are verbal attacks on members of the royal family. And not just any member of the royal family — his father, his brother, his mother-in-law, his sister-in-law. No one is really spared in Spare.”
Another source told Page Six that the Waleses are “reeling” from the content of the book.
“Harry and Meghan do always have a knack of picking their timing,” the insider said. They continued to say that Harry and William were close before the former’s marriage.
“Kate, William and Harry were such best buddies, they were inseparable,” said the source. “These are the words of a man so literally blinded by love he can’t see straight.”
They continued, “I can imagine Harry and William coming to blows, to be honest. I think William is quite hot-headed. But Kate has been one of Harry’s biggest supporters, so this is really heartbreaking… everyone is pretty shocked, they’re reeling. Let’s be honest, it’s been blow after blow after blow. It’s so disrespectful, so hurtful, and [the book is just delivering the last blow. It’s like when you’re in the boxing ring and there’s the knockout punch — there’s no way back.”
As for whether or not reconciliation is possible, the source said, “I hope there will have been moments of conscience for Harry when he was writing this. I think there was a moment when people thought it would be a smarter, less provocative, less tabloid book, but here we are.”
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.