Prince Harry has clarified his relationship with his stepmother, Queen Consort Camilla Parker-Bowles, after he described her as “the villain” and claimed she launched a “campaign” to marry his father, King Charles.
The Duke of Sussex, who is said to make a number of surprising claims about the Queen Consort in his upcoming memoir Spare, addressed his current relationship with his stepmother during an interview with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan on Monday 9 January.
During the conversation, Harry was asked by Strahan about his “complex feelings” towards Camilla, who the duke alleges in his book had “recently sacrificed me on her personal PR altar”. In response, Harry told Strahan that he has a “huge amount of compassion” for Camilla, “being the third person in my parents’ marriage”.
“And she had a reputation, or an image, to rehabilitate. And whatever conversations happened, whatever deals or trading was made right at the beginning, she was led to believe that that would be the best way of doing it,” Harry said.
As for his relationship with Camilla now, the duke told Strahan that he and his stepmother haven’t spoken “for a long time,” but that he “loves” every member of his family despite their differences.
“So, when I see her, we’re perfectly pleasant with each other, she’s my stepmother,” Harry said, adding that he doesn’t view his father’s second wife as an “evil stepmother”.
Rather, Harry said he “sees someone who married into this institution and has done everything she can to improve her own reputation and her own image for her own sake”.
Prince Harry’s comments come amid reports of a number of surprising revelations about his relationship with Camilla in his upcoming book, such as his claim that he and his brother Prince William “begged” their father not to remarry.
The Duke of Sussex elaborated on his claims while speaking to CBS’ Anderson Cooper on Sunday night, where he described Camilla as “the villain”.
“She was the villain. She was the third person in their marriage. She needed to rehabilitate her image,” Harry said in Sunday’s interview, before confirming that he and his brother begged their father not to marry Camilla.
“We didn’t think it was necessary,” he explained. “We thought that it was going to cause more harm than good, and that if he was now with his person that surely that’s enough. Why go that far when you don’t necessarily need to?”
King Charles and the now-Queen Consort engaged in a years-long relationship during the now-monarch’s marriage to Diana, the late Princess of Wales. Charles announced his engagement to Camilla in February 2005, with the pair tying the knot on 9 April 2005.