Prince Harry says he wants Charles and William ‘back’ but Royal family ‘unwilling to reconcile’

Prince Harry says he wants Charles and William 'back' but Royal family unwilling to 'reconcile' - ITV
Prince Harry says he wants Charles and William ‘back’ but Royal family unwilling to ‘reconcile’ – ITV

The Duke of Sussex has accused his family of showing no willingness to reconcile, saying: “I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back.”

Prince Harry was interviewed by Tom Bradby, ITV’s veteran anchor, to promote his forthcoming memoir, Spare, suggesting that he blames the King and the Prince of Wales for the ongoing family rift.

In a trailer released on Monday, the Duke said: “It never needed to be this way, the leaking and the planting. I want a family, not an institution.”

He added: “They feel as though it’s better to keep us somehow as the villains.

“They’ve shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile. I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back.”

The full interview, which was filmed in California, will be broadcast next Sunday evening, two days before the publication of Spare on January 10.

The Duke is said to discuss his personal relationships, including “never-before-heard details” surrounding the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales and a look ahead at his future.

The 90-minute programme, called Harry: The Interview, will see the Prince go into “unprecedented depth and detail” about life in and out of the Royal family, ITV said.

The publicity blitz will also include a “revealing” television interview with veteran American broadcaster Anderson Cooper for his CBS News programme, 60 Minutes. It will be broadcast next Sunday evening ET, just hours after the ITV interview.

The Duke told Cooper that “silence is betrayal” over the alleged failure of Buckingham Palace to defend him and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, before they stepped down as senior royals.

In a short trailer, posted online, Harry said: “Every single time I’ve tried to do it privately, there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife.

“The family motto is ‘never complain, never explain’, but it’s just a motto.

“They (palace aides) will feed or have a conversation with a correspondent, and that correspondent will literally be spoon-fed information and write the story, and at the bottom of it, they will say they have reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment.

“But the whole story is Buckingham Palace commenting.

“So when we’re being told for the last six years, ‘we can’t put a statement out to protect you’, but you do it for other members of the family, there becomes a point when silence is betrayal.”

Spare is expected to contain specific detail about the Duke’s bitter fallout with the Prince of Wales.

The brothers’ relationship, already hanging in the balance, is likely to come under renewed strain with reports suggesting the memoir will be particularly “tough on William”.

The two television interviews are understood to have been agreed to allow the Duke to set out his stall ahead of the book’s release, to describe his intent and the process behind it.

Bradby, a former royal correspondent for ITV, is a friend of the Sussexes and previously interviewed them for a documentary about their 2019 Africa tour.

Michael Jermey, ITV director of news and current affairs, said: “It is extremely rare for a member of the Royal Family to speak so openly about their experience at the heart of the institution.

“Tom Bradby’s interview with Prince Harry will be a programme that everyone with an informed opinion on the monarchy should want to watch.”

Ian Rumsey, ITN Productions managing director and executive producer, said: “Harry’s version of events contains many elements we’ve never heard before, as viewers will see. It is a raw and intimate perspective on his relationships with the people closest to him and the moments that have shaped him.”

The first CBS trailer, released on Monday morning, gave little away but described the book as “explosive.”

It showed the Duke and Mr Cooper deep in conversation, first strolling outside and then seated together indoors, Harry gesticulating to emphasise a point.

The Duke appeared relaxed as the pair strolled outside, one hand thrust into a pocket.

The interview appears to have been filmed at the Churchill cottage at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, an exclusive hotel not far from the Sussexes’ Montecito home.

The resort, which boasts 38 vine-covered cottages, was also used by the Duchess of Sussex for a Variety magazine interview and photoshoot last year.

The Churchill cottage is described as an “historic 1,450-square-foot retreat” used by Winston Churchill “while he was writing one of his many tomes” and costs between $7,000 and $8,000 a night.

It features a private gated patio, polished oak floors and a “charming living room decorated with hand-selected antiques and Persian rugs.”

A source with knowledge of Spare told The Sunday Times they believed the memoir would cause irrevocable damage to the brothers’ relationship.

The source said: “Generally, I think the book [will be] worse for them than the Royal Family is expecting. Everything is laid bare. Charles comes out of it better than I expected, but it’s tough on William in particular, and even Kate gets a bit of a broadside.

“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.”

It comes after the Duke claimed in his Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan, that Prince William broke a promise to him never to leak stories or brief against one another after witnessing the fallout of such actions in their father’s office.

He also claimed that his brother “screamed and shouted” at him during the Sandringham summit crisis talks about the Sussexes leaving the UK in January 2020.

Spare has already spent weeks near the top of the Amazon books sales charts based on advance orders, with the title at No. 5 in the UK listings on Sunday.

The Sussexes are said to have signed a $20 million, four-book deal with Penguin Random House in 2021 and there has recently been unsubstantiated speculation that a memoir by Meghan might form part of the publication series.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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