The Duke of Sussex is a “very troubled man” whose personal revelations catalogued in his biography are the kind associated with B-list celebrities, a close friend of King Charles has said.
Jonathan Dimbleby has said he is “perplexed” and “at a loss” about what the Duke of Sussex was trying to achieve with his memoir, Spare.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today Programme, the veteran broadcaster said he believed the king would be “extremely pained, very frustrated and anxious” to bring the saga to an end.
“I’m perplexed. I’m at a loss. He is clearly a very troubled man,” Mr Dimbleby said. “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.
“Much more significant are what are actually not revelations but allegations, complaints. The anger and pain of what he is saying. 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.
“So, I’m perplexed. I can’t believe it is merely to make a great deal of money because of the perfectly natural urge to want to protect his family, his wife and his children, in a very uncertain future…
“If he wants reconciliation, I don’t understand how you do it by metaphorically sitting in your Apache firing potshots at people who aren’t going to answer back, as he must very well know.”
He added that Prince Harry had “understandably constructed a narrative” of his life based on the “terrible sense of loss” of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. However, he felt a “wise counsellor” would have advised him not to go public with his feelings, but instead make overtures to his father and brother in private to resolve the rift.
Mr Dimbleby, 78, was behind the television interview with the now King in which he admitted his affair with the now Queen Consort. The programme, broadcast on ITV in 1994, resulted in Mr Dimblebly forging a friendship with the then Prince.
Asked what the King’s reaction to his son’s book might be, Mr Dimbleby replied: “I can only imagine he is extremely pained, very frustrated and anxious to bring it to an end.”
He added: “I think he will think this gets in the way. I think as a father he will be deeply pained by it. But, he will get on with the job. That’s what they do. It’s happened in the past, it’s happened now.”
Mr Dimbleby said he would be “very surprised” if Prince Harry was not invited to the Coronation because that would “fuel the flames” behind the fallout.
He rejected the suggestion that the Prince’s actions had damaged the monarchy, but accepted it had harmed the Royal family and had inevitably renewed questions about transparency and the funding and role of that institution.