Prince Harry was due to discuss his memoir in much-anticipated TV interviews on Sunday after controversy caused by details of the book’s explosive revelations about royal divisions, sex and drugs.
The book written by a ghost of the 38-year-old prince, ‘Spare’, was widely leaked after it was mistakenly put on sale in Spain ahead of the official release date on Tuesday.
Details include an allegation that his brother Prince William, the heir to the throne, attacked him during an argument over his wife Meghan; an account of how he lost his virginity; an admission of drug use; and a claim that he killed 25 people while serving in Afghanistan.
They drew both condemnation and derision, although the palace did not react.
All the channels have already released clips where Harry talks about his rocky relationship with William and accuses his family of sowing negative stories about him and Meghan in the media.
British television ITV was due to air its 95-minute program “Harry: The Interview” at 9:00 p.m. (21:00 GMT) on Sunday.
In clips released by ITV, Harry said William lashed out at him as they rowed over Meghan and “I saw this red haze in him”.
“He wanted me to answer him, but I chose not to,” Harry told the outlet.
“I want reconciliation, but first there must be accountability.”
– “The sworn enemy” William –
ITV interviewer Tom Bradby asked Harry if his brother’s reaction to the book might be: “How could you do this to me…after all we’ve been through?”
Harry replied laconically that William “would probably say all sorts of different things”.
The former British Army captain added that he still believes in the monarchy, although he is unsure whether it will play a role in its future.
When asked why he was invading his own family’s privacy, Harry replied: ‘That would be the accusation of people who don’t understand or don’t want to believe my family briefed the press.’
The American channel CBS was then to broadcast his interview on its program “60 Minutes” at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (00:30 GMT, Monday).
Another US network, ABC, was scheduled to air its interview on Monday.
Harry called William a “beloved brother and sworn enemy,” ABC presenter Michael Strahan said in an interview excerpt.
“There’s always been this competition between us, weirdly,” Harry told the American channel.
“I think it really plays or is played by ‘the heir/replacement’.”
– Impact on the Queen –
The interviews were recorded before Harry’s book was widely leaked on Thursday, prompting a backlash from the media, royal commentators, military veterans and even the Taliban.
British newspapers have slammed Harry’s claim that he killed 25 people while serving in the army in Afghanistan, after veterans slammed the claims as risky and inappropriate.
Even the Taliban condemned Harry for saying the killings were like removing chess pieces from a chessboard.
The Sun tabloid wrote on Saturday that “with a silly remark, Harry put lives at risk and delivered an unlikely press stunt to the Taliban’s fascist, murderous misogynists.”
The Daily Telegraph quoted sources close to the late Queen Elizabeth II as saying her grandson’s attacks on the family and his fear of his memoirs affected his health in his final months.
He quoted a friend of the Queen as saying that the “constant ambush of the Royal Family by a much-loved grandson has taken its toll”.
The Times, citing a US editorial source, reported that Harry wanted to withdraw the book from publication after attending the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last summer.
As he ‘visited his grandmother he had doubts’, the source said, suggesting he was told during his visit that ‘there would be no turning back’ if the book was coming out.
“Obviously everything changed with the death of the monarch in September,” the source added.