Prince Harry, in a 60 Minutes interview tied to the publication of his memoir this week, described an incident in early 2019 when tensions boiled over with Prince William to the point that his brother shoved him and he cut his back as he fell on a dog bowl on the floor.
Already, there were tensions over Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, who became a target of the British tabloid media. The confrontation occurred at Harry’s cottage at Kensington Palace.
“It was a buildup of frustration, I think, on his part.,” Harry told Anderson Cooper. “It was at a time where he was being told certain things by people within his office. And at the same time, he was consuming a lot of the tabloid press, a lot of the stories. And he had a few issues, which were based not on reality. And I was defending my wife. And he was coming for my wife– she wasn’t there at the time– but through the things that he was saying. I was defending myself. And we moved from one room into the kitchen. And his frustrations were growing, and growing, and growing. He was shouting at me. I was shouting back at him. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t pleasant at all. And he snapped. And he pushed me to the floor.”
“It was a pretty nasty experience,” he said.
Harry said that he cut his back, although he didn’t immediately notice the injury. Prince William apologized, but asked him not to tell anybody. But Meghan saw the cut on his back.
“She goes, ‘What’s that?’ I was like, ‘Huh, what?’ I actually didn’t know what she was talking about. I looked in the mirror. I was like, ‘Oh s***.” Well, ‘cause I’d never s-I hadn’t seen it,’” Harry said.
The interview was Harry’s first with a U.S. outlet in advance of the publication of his book, Spare, on Tuesday. ITV ran an interview with him earlier on Sunday, and he also will appear on Good Morning America and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
He contends that Buckingham Palace has been responsible for leaking to the British tabloids, comparing the press there to the dragons from Game of Thrones.
“This all started with them briefing, daily, against my wife with lies to the point of where my wife and I had to run away from our, my country.”
Harry also described being in London last September for a charity event and getting word that Queen Elizabeth was seriously ill. But he was not invited on a plane with other family members to visit with the Queen before she passed. Instead, he got to Balmoral on his own. But by the time he got there, she was already dead.
When he arrived, he said, “I walked into the hall, and my aunt was there to greet me. And she asked me if I wanted to see her. I thought about it for about five seconds, thinking, ‘Is this a good idea?’ And I was, like, ‘You know what? You can– you can do this. You– you need to say goodbye.’ Um, so I went upstairs, took my jacket off and walked in and just spent some time with her alone.”
“She was in her bedroom…. I was really happy for her. Because she’d finished life. She’d completed life, and her husband was– was waiting for her. And the two of them are buried together.”
He told Cooper that he had not spoken to his brother or his father, King Charles, “for a while.” Asked if he could see ever returning to be a full-time member of the royal family, he said, “I can’t see that happening.”
But he said that he is open to a reconcilation. His worry, he said, has been that any conversation will get leaked to the press.
“The ball is very much in their court, but, you know, Meghan and I have continued to say that we will openly apologize for anything that we did wrong, but every time we ask that question, no one’s telling us the specifics or anything,” he said. “There needs to be a constructive conversation, one that can happen in private that doesn’t get leaked.”
At the end of the segment, Cooper said that 60 Minutes reached out to the palace for comment, but they demanded to see the report before responding “which is something we never do.”
The interview took up two segments of 60 Minutes, something that is usually reserved only for “big gets.”
In the first segment, Harry described trying to grapple with the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. He was only 12 at the time, and he said that for years, until he was in his 20s, be believed that she may still be alive. In the book, he wrote, “I’d often say it to myself first thing in the morning, ‘Maybe this is the day. Maybe this is the day that she’s gonna reappear.
“For a long time, I just refused to accept that she was gone … she would never do this to us, but also part of, maybe this is all part of a plan.”
He added, “For a time, and then that she would call us and that we would go and join her.”
He said that William also shared “similar thoughts” after the loss of their mother. But the two brothers did not have a tight relationship after Diana’s death. According to Cooper, Harry wrote in the book that it was his father who informed him of his mother’s death, telling him there was an accident and that, “They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it.”
He wrote in the book, “Pa didn’t hug me. He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances. But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said, ‘It’s going to be okay.’”
When he was 20, Harry asked to see the police report on the crash, as well as photos of the scene. He said it was then that he discovered that “the last thing Mummy saw on this earth was a flash bulb.”
“The pictures showed the reflection of a group of photographs taking photographs through the window, and the reflection on the window was– was them,” Harry told Cooper.
“It was obvious to us as kids the British press’ part in our mother’s misery and I had a lot of anger inside of me that luckily, I never expressed to anybody,” Harry said. “But I resorted to drinking heavily. Because I wanted to numb the feeling, or I wanted to distract myself from how…whatever I was thinking. And I would, you know, resort to drugs as well.”
Harry also had critical things to say about Camilla, the Queen Consort. He told Cooper that he and his brother asked their father not to marry her because they “didn’t think it was necessary.”
“We thought that it was gonna cause more harm than good and that if he was now with his person … surely that’s enough. Why go that far when you don’t necessarily need to? We wanted him to be happy. And we saw how happy he was with her. So, at the time, it was, ‘Okay,’” he said.
But he wrote that Camilla would be “less dangerous if she was happy.” He told Cooper that she was “dangerous” because of the need she felt to rehabilitate her image.
“That made her dangerous because of the connections that she was forging within the British press,” Harry said. “And there was open willingness on both sides to trade of information. And with a family built on hierarchy, and with her, on the way to being Queen consort, there was gonna be people or bodies left in the street because of that.”
The full 60 Minutes segment is here.