Prince Harry ’s disclosures of troubled ties with stepmother Camilla

By: News Desk
Published: 12:41 AM, 14 Jan, 2023
Prince Harry ’s disclosures of troubled ties with stepmother Camilla
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Prince Harry has opened up about his troubled relationship with his stepmother Camilla in his explosive memoir Spare.

In the book, which hit shelves a couple of days ago, the 38-year–old Duke of Sussex claims the Queen Consort dismissed his Meghan when she went to her for advice with her public image - reminding her that she had been the 'bad guy once', according to a UK-based paper.

Elsewhere in the memoir, the father-of-two described how he told his wife not to curtsey to Camilla during their first meeting before accusing Camilla of trying to 'eavesdrop' on a conversation between the Duchess of Sussex and his father.

According to the Dailymail, he claims his stepmother encouraged him to take on the role of Governor General of Bermuda - which would involve him and his wife moving thousands of miles away. Prince Harry describes introducing his girlfriend Meghan Markle to his father and stepmother in late 2016 - shortly after her awkward meeting with Prince William.

Before going into Clarence House in London, Prince Harry says the couple had 'rehearsed' how Meghan should greet Charles and Camilla. Earlier on in the book, the Duke recounts how the Duchess of York taught the Suits actress to curtsy for The Queen at Windsor Lodge. He instructed her to curtsy for Charles, address him as 'Your Royal Highness' and give him a kiss on each cheek if he leaned in - but if he didn't, she should stick to a handshake instead.

However, Harry told Meghan to take a different approach with Camilla and said a curtsy was ‘not necessary’. Instead, he urged her to give his stepmother either a kiss on the cheek or another handshake. Although Meghan queried his instruction about the lack of curtsy for Camilla, Prince Harry doubled down and insisted it ‘was not appropriate’.

During that same meeting over tea and salmon sandwiches at Clarence House, Prince Harry described how the conversation was 'easy' between the four of them at first. After Camilla and Meghan bonded over their shared love of animals, the Duke says his father and girlfriend fell into a 'quiet conversation', which intrigued his stepmother. Describing how Camilla was 'stuck' with him, Harry recalls how she seemed 'keener on eavesdropping' on Meghan and Charles' discussion.

Harry says the couple then ended the engagement by discussing Meghan's career. Later in the book, Prince Harry recounts how Prince William was left 'seething with rage' and accused his stepmother and father of 'planting' stories about his family.

Before their engagement was announced in November 2017, Prince Harry says Meghan became increasingly concerned about how she was being presented in the Press. The duke writes that earlier in the year The Sun had published a story about Meghan's Suits sex scenes being uploaded onto porn websites. Following her legal battle with the newspaper, the duchess turned to her future mother-in-law for advice coping with the media spotlight. However, Harry claims Camilla did not provide much in the way of reassurance.

The Queen Consort allegedly told the Suits actress that Harry should consider becoming the Governor General of Bermuda. The then Duchess of Cornwall put forward this suggestion as it would take the couple out of the 'red-hot centre of the maelstrom'.

However, he points out that this would conveniently 'take them out of the picture' too. Later on in the book, Prince Harry claims that his father and stepmother wanted the Princess of Wales to change the spelling of her name to set her apart from them.

The duke alleges that the royal couple suggested that the mother-of-three go by 'Katherine' instead of 'Catherine'.

He wrote: “I remembered the time he and Camilla wanted Kate to change the spelling of her name because there were already two royal cyphers with a C and a crown above: Charles and Camilla. It would be too confusing to have another.”

In his bombshell interview with Anderson Cooper, which aired on Sunday night, Prince Harry described Camilla as 'dangerous' and a 'villain'. 

“She was the villain, she was a third person in the marriage, she needed to rehabilitate her image. 

“That made her dangerous because of the connections that she was forging within the British Press. And there was open willingness on both sides to trade information and with a family built on hierarchy, and with her on the way to being Queen Consort, there was going to be people or bodies left in the street because of that.” 

But hours later, Prince Harry told Good Morning America that he does not view the Queen Consort as an “evil stepmother”.

In his third television interview, he said: 'I have a huge amount of compassion for her, you know, being the third person within my parents' marriage. She had a reputation, or an image, to rehabilitate.

“Whatever conversations happened, whatever deals or trading was made right at the beginning, she was led to believe that that would be the best way of doing it.”

Asked about what his relationship with Camilla is like now, Harry said: 'We haven't spoken for a long time. I love every member of my family, despite the differences, so when I see her we're perfectly pleasant with each other.

“She's my stepmother. I don't look at her as an evil stepmother. I see someone who married into this institution and has done everything that she can to improve her own reputation and her own image for her own sake.”

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