Royal biographer Jonathan Dimbleby has said Prince Harry’s leaked memoir contains revelations one would expect from “a kind of B-list celebrity”.
Since the Duke of Sussex’s ghostwritten autobiography Spare was accidentally put on sale in Spain on 5 January, five days before its official release date, excerpts from it have been continuously published by the UK press.
These sections contain several startling anecdotes and claims, including the revelation that Prince Harry killed 25 people while serving in the military in Afghanistan, his experiences with drugs such as cocaine and magic mushrooms, and the news that he was suffering from a frostbitten penis at William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.
You can follow The Independent’s live coverage of Harry’s book here.
During an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday (7 January), Dimbleby said he was “perplexed” and “at a loss” over Harry’s memoir, calling the duke a “very troubled man”.
He continued: “I’m concerned, incidentally, that everyone uses the word ‘revelations’.
“Yes, there are obviously revelations about how he lost his virginity, taking drugs, and how many people he feels he might have shot down from his Apache. But those are the kind of revelations, in part, that you would expect, I suppose, from a B-list celebrity,” the 78-year-old broadcaster said.
What is “much more significant”, Dimbleby continued, are Harry’s “allegations, complaints” against the royal family.
“His assertion that this is his side because so far there has only been one side. It seems to me I’ve not heard the other side at all, because the other side is always silent,” Dimbleby said.
King Charles famously revealed he had been unfaithful to Diana after their marriage broke down during a 1994 ITV interview with Dimbleby.
Dimbleby has reportedly remained friends with the new King since the interview was broadcast nearly 30 years ago.
When asked how Charles would feel about Spare, Dimbleby said he had not spoken to him about the memoir but suggested he would be “extremely pained” by the book.
He said: “I can only imagine he is extremely pained, very frustrated and would be very anxious to bring it to an end... because his concern, as he has demonstrated since he came to the throne impeccably, is to act as head of state for a nation which we all know is in pretty troubled condition.”
The author of Charles’s biography told Today presenter Mishal Husain he would be “very suprised” if Harry wasn’t invited to his father’s coronation in May because “that would fuel the flames”.
Harry refused to commit to attending the ceremony during an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby to promote his memoir.
The interview will be telecast at 9pm on Sunday (8 January).