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Report: King Charles pleaded with William and Harry to not make his 'final years a misery'

By Sarah May
|
January 7, 2023

The severe strain between Prince Harry and the British royal family has been laid bare in recent months, and in a new memoir entitled Spare, the second child of King Charles reveals that, faced with seemingly unreconcilable tensions between his two sons, the new monarch pleaded with the pair, “Please, boys. Don't make my final years a misery,” as the Daily Mail reports.

According to the book, the encounter occurred during a meeting involving Harry, his brother William, and Charles, then the Prince of Wales, in the immediate aftermath of Prince Philip's funeral in the spring of 2021.

Battling brothers

The entreaty from Charles came after difficulties between his sons had been brewing for years, according to the book, with at least some of the tension stemming from Harry's marriage to American actress Meghan Markle and her reportedly inappropriate treatment of palace staff.

Harry's memoir includes a shocking retelling of an incident he says occurred at the London home where he was residing at the time, in which he and William got into a heated conversation that prompted the older sibling to brand Markle “difficult,” “rude,” and “abrasive.”

In Harry's account, William became so angered by the trajectory of the discussion that “he grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor.”

That, according to Harry, sent him hurtling toward the floor, caused him to land on a dog bowl, which cracked into pieces and injured his back.

Costume controversy

Though Harry has reportedly declared his desire to reconnect with his brother and his father, despite their difficulties in recent years, another revelation from his memoir could pose yet another obstacle to such an outcome, particularly with regard to William.

As CBS News notes, in his book, Harry tells the story of the infamous 2005 incident in which he was photographed dressed in a Nazi costume for a fancy dress party, writing that it was William and his then-girlfriend, now-wife Catherine who urged him to don the incendiary clothing.

Harry asserted that he asked the pair whether he should opt for the Nazi uniform or something else, and their response was that the Nazi outfit was the way to go, and when they saw him in person clad in the garb, “they both howled.”

“Hanging by a thread”

Charles' concerns that the ill will between his sons could indeed make his final years extraordinarily difficult were apparently well-founded, as the Daily Mail reports that insiders believe the pair's relationship is “hanging by a thread” and that the memoir's contents will do little to ease the situation.

One source cited by the outlet said of the book, “Everything is laid bare. Charles comes out of it better than I had expected, but it's tough on William, in particular, and even Kate gets a bit of a broadside.”

“These are 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,” the source added.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl recently opined on GB News' Dan Wootton Tonight that, in her estimation, William “simply can't forgive” Harry's decision to leave the royal family in the manner he did, and that a true reconciliation is not on the cards.

“Badly let the side down”

It is not just members of his family who are exasperated with some of the bombshell disclosures in Harry's new book, with a number of British military veterans also taking aim at the prince's claims about his experience as a soldier in Afghanistan, as the Guardian notes.

In Spare, Harry writes that he was personally responsible for killing 25 Taliban fighters, describing them as “chess pieces removed from the board,” and that revelation – and the manner in which it was made – has drawn significant backlash.

As the outlet reported, army veteran Col. Tim Collins was among those highly critical of Harry's words, saying, “Amongst his assertions is a claim that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan. That's not how you behave in the army; it's not how we think. He has badly let the side down. We don't do notches on the rifle butt. We never did.”

Echoing the sentiments of many who have watched Harry's forays into tell-all pop culture that have included a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey and a six-part docuseries on Netflix, Collins added that the prince appears to be consumed with a “tragic moneymaking scam to fund the lifestyle he can't afford” and that his situation was something “someone else has chosen,” in perhaps a thinly veiled jab at Markle.

Harry is set to appear Sunday in two high-profile interviews, one on CBS' 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper and one on Britain's ITV with Tom Bradby, and whether he has any additional ammunition to unleash on his father, brother, or any other members of his family, only time will tell.