Wed, 11 January 2023 at 12:41 pm GMT
An author and journalist has sparked criticism after comparing Prince Harry‘s new book to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Daily Mail columnist and author AN Wilson sparked the backlash on social media while discussing Harry’s book Spare, which came out on Tuesday and became the fastest-selling non-fiction book following its release.
The duke has been highly critical of the media, accusing members of the royal family and palace aides of “getting into bed with the devil” – a reference to the British press.
When asked by Times Radio if he thought Harry was “likeable”, Wilson drew comparisons with reading Mein Kampf – Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto that described the process by which the Nazi leader became antisemitic.
Wilson said: “I’m not suggesting he’s as bad as Hitler but it is like reading Mein Kampf, in that Hitler thinks he’s a great hero and you put the book down with absolute disgust.
“And you do put this book down with total disgust at the self-pity, self-indulgence of this character who doesn’t seem to realise… what an incredible privilege he has been born into.”
Wilson went on to describe Harry as a man “who’s so hopelessly in love or in thrall to his partner that he’s lost all sense of proportion and reality.
“He doesn’t seem to realise what an incredible privilege he has been born into,” he added.
Ariel Kovler, who writes about Israeli politics, mocked Wilson’s comments, tweeting: “It is like reading Mein Kampf, in that both were books, written with words, by men about their lives. Other than that, not so much.”
Journalist Otto English expressed disbelief, tweeting: “Yes folks, AN Wilson really did say that.”
Replies in the tweet by the Times were also critical of the newspaper for promoting his comments.
Journalist Benjamin Butterworth said: What dire editorial standards to think this is justified and reasonable to broadcast just because some random said it.”
In an interview with ITV News on Sunday, Harry accused sections of the press of targeting him in retaliation after he accused them of phone hacking.
“I put in my claims over three years ago and I’m still waiting. So one might assume that a lot of this, from their perspective, is retaliation,” he said.
Harry is bringing privacy claims against News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun, and Mirror Group Newspapers, now Reach, which publishes The Mirror, over alleged phone hacking and unlawful information gathering. News Group Newspapers is owned by News UK, which publishes The Times.
It was revealed in October that Harry is among six people suing the publisher of The Daily Mail over alleged unlawful information-gathering at its titles, a claim the Mail describes as “unsubstantiated and highly defamatory”.
Reach and News UK both told Yahoo News UK they had no further comment to make, while Associated Newspapers has also been approached for comment.
Spare entered the record books on Tuesday after achieving 400,000 hardback, e-book and audio format copies sold, its publisher Transworld Penguin Random House said.
The book includes claims that the Prince of Wales physically attacked him and teased him about his panic attacks, and that the King put his own interests above Harry’s and was jealous of the Duchess of Sussex and the Princess of Wales.
In a US broadcast promoting the work, Harry branded Duchess of Cornwall the “villain” and “dangerous”, accusing her of briefing journalists to rehabilitate her image at the expense of his.
In his interview with People magazine, which featured a flattering photoshoot, Harry said of his book, which was ghostwritten by JR Moehringer: “I don’t want to tell anyone what to think of it, and that includes my family. This book and its truths are in many ways a continuation of my own mental health journey.
“It’s a raw account of my life — the good, the bad and everything in between.”
He has also shared frank admissions in his book of drug-taking throughout his life, of losing his virginity to an older woman in a field as a teenager, and getting frostbite on his penis.
The 407-page book sees Harry expressing his frustration at being the “spare to the heir”, his anger at the UK media, his unresolved trauma over the death of his mother, his mental health struggles, his lonely life before meeting Meghan, and the breakdown of his family relationships.