‘It never needed to be this way’: Everything Harry has said about the royal family in memoir interviews

Prince Harry’s new memoir Spare will be published on 10 January – just a little over a month after his and wife Meghan Markle’s Netflix documentary was released amid controversy.

Ghostwritten by Pulitzer Prize winner JR Moehringer, the “personal and emotional” book reportedly includes claims that Prince William physically attacked Harry at his London home during an argument about the Duchess of Sussex in 2019.

Harry also reportedly writes that King Charles asked his sons not to “make my final years a misery” during a conversation that took place after Prince Philip’s funeral in March 2021.

The 38-year-old recently sat down with ITV’s Tom Bradby and CNN’s Anderson Cooper to promote the memoir in separate interviews in the United Kingdom and United States, respectively.

During the interviews, Harry addressed his future as a working royal, the desire to reconcile with his father and brother, and accusations he’s violating his family’s privacy after “railing against” invasions into his own life.

On his fall-out with the royal family

“It never needed to be this way.”

Harry appears to address his strained relationship with the royal family in conversation with ITV’s Tom Bradby, in a teaser for Harry: The Interview.

“It never needed to be this way,” he told Bradby in a 20-second teaser released on 3 January.

Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family in January 2020.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Getty Images)

In their six-part Netflix docuseries, Harry opened up about the “Sandringham Summit”, or the meeting he had with the late Queen, Charles and William on 13 January 2020, which was held to discuss the Duke and Duchess’s decision.

He said he was left “terrified” after the Prince of Wales “screamed and shouted” at him during the discussions.

His memoir Spare is reportedly “tough on William in particular”, and provides new details about their falling out.

“There are these minute details, and a description of the fight between the brothers. I personally can’t see how Harry and William will be able to reconcile after this,” a source with knowledge about the book reportedly told The Sunday Times.

“I want a family, not an institution.”

In the same clip, Harry also tells Bradby “I want a family, not an institution.”

In volume one of Harry and Meghan, Harry alleged that there was “leaking but also planting of stories” about the duchess to the British press, adding that “there’s a hierarchy of the family”.

He also compared the UK media’s treatment of Meghan with William’s wife, the Princess of Wales Kate Middleton, claiming that the royal family “were never willing to tell the truth to protect us”.

Britain Prince Harry (PA)
Britain Prince Harry (PA)

Harry appears to elaborate on the “leakings” during his conversation with Cooper for CNN’s 60 Minutes, which will air on Sunday (8 January).

Harry alleged that every time he tried to discuss his and Meghan’s future with the royal family privately, “there have been briefings, and leakings, and planting of stories against me and my wife”.

He continued: “The family motto is ‘Never complain, never explain,’ but it’s just a motto.”

“They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile.”

Following the release of the Netflix documentary, The Times reported that Harry and Meghan would like to “sit down with the royal family” and sort through their “issues”.

Reacting to the Palace’s announcement that Lady Susan Hussey had apologised to the Black charity founder Ngozi Fulani over “racist” remarks, a source close to the Sussexes reportedly said: “Nothing like that was ever done when Harry and Meghan raised various concerns – no meeting, formal apology or taking responsibility or accountability.

“That is hard to swallow – 100 per cent yes, they’d like to have a meeting.”

During his conversation with Bradby, Harry says his family have “shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile” with him and his wife.

“I would like to get my father back, I would like to have my brother back,” Harry also said in the clip, adding: “They feel as though it’s better to keep us somehow as the villains.”

On the accusation he’s invading his family’s privacy

“Wouldn’t your brother say to you ‘Harry, how could you do this to me? After everything we went through?’” Bradby asked Harry in a new teaser for the ITV interview.

Harry replied: “He’d probably say all sorts of different things.”

When Bradby pressed his interviewee, asking him about the accusation he’s violating his family’s privacy “without permission” after fighting back against intrusions into his and Meghan’s personal lives, the duke responded: “That’ll be the accusation from the people that don’t understand or don’t want to believe that my family have been briefing the press.”

In their Netflix show, Harry and Meghan alleged that the royal household planted negative stories about the duchess to distract from less favourable coverage of other family members.

On attending the King’s coronation and his future as a royal

“The ball is in their court.”

During his interview with Bradby, Harry refused to commit to attending King Charles’s coronation if he is invited.

In the latest clip that’s been released, Bradby asked Harry whether he would travel to London for the ceremony in May.

Harry replied: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But, the door is always open. The ball is in their court.


“There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they’re willing to sit down and talk about it,” he continued.

During the teaser for Harry’s interview with Bradby, he confirmed he still believes in the monarchy. When the ITV presenter asked him whether Harry believes he will “play a part in its future”, he replied: “I don’t know.”

Separately, when CNN’s Cooper asked him whether Harry could see a day “when you would return as a full-time member of the royal family”, he said: “No.”

ITV’s Harry: The Interview will be released on 8 January at 9pm in the UK.

Viewers can watch his appearance on CNN’s 60 Minutes on the same day.

Follow live updates on Harry’s memoir here.