The Shocking Revelations in Prince Harry’s Memoir ‘Spare’


Whenever the public vows that it has grown tired of the British royal family’s drama and that nothing could possibly surprise them, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle offer up another juicy detail that proves them wrong.

Harry’s upcoming memoir Spare—which is officially released on Jan. 10—accidentally found its way to the shelves of Spanish bookstores on Thursday. As soon as the tabloids caught wind of these copies, locally titled En La Sombra, or In the Shadow, many snapped up the book.

Spanish bookstores have either sold out or pulled the premature book from their shelves. But Harry’s unfiltered revelations are already being drip fed to a global audience. On Thursday, The Guardian reported that it obtained an early copy, and that the book details an incident where Prince Harry alleges that his brother, Prince William, threw him to the ground in a physical altercation.

Below, TIME runs through the noteworthy revelations that reportedly feature in Spare.

Harry admits he experimented with cocaine, magic mushrooms, and cannabis

While it’s not shocking that Prince Harry took drugs given that both he and tabloids have discussed his relationship with substances over the years, his candor is still surprising. According to the Telegraph, Harry writes that as a “deeply unhappy” 17-year-old, he would try “anything that altered the pre-established order.”

The 38-year-old royal says he took psychedelics for recreation and therapeutic reasons, additionally revealing that he smoked cannabis since he was a teenager. Harry writes that drugs allowed him to see “another world where the red mist didn’t exist,” he reportedly wrote.

Harry also recalled a January 2016 trip to California where he got drunk on tequila and took magic mushrooms. He believed a bathroom bin was staring at him as it grew a head and shortly after he saw a talking toilet and left the room laughing, the Telegraph reported.

Harry notes he tried cocaine as a teenager and has “done a few more” lines since.

Harry reveals how he lost his virginity

One of the lighter stories Harry recalls in Spare is the “humiliating episode” where he lost his virginity to an older woman, according to the Daily Mail, which also obtained a copy of the book. He writes that the woman in question “liked macho horses” and treated him “like a young stallion.” When the encounter ended, he reportedly writes, she “spanked my ass and sent me away.”

The encounter took place in a field behind a busy pub and Harry recalls that someone must have seen them because a bodyguard was instructed by Prince Charles to follow up on press office reports that Harry was taking drugs, the Daily Mail added.

Harry says he killed 25 people in Afghanistan while serving in the military

Recalling his time as a helicopter pilot in the British army, the Duke of Sussex describes killing 25 people in Afghanistan across six missions, according to the BBC.

“It wasn’t a statistic that filled me with pride but nor did it leave me ashamed,” he writes. “When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat I didn’t think of those 25 as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bad people eliminated before they could kill good people.”

In the wake of this admission, Harry has come under fire by anti-war activists and military personnel. Richard Kemp, a former British commander, told the BBC they were “ill-judged” comments that were misleading and harmful to the British forces and government.

Read More: Everything We Learned From the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Netflix Docuseries

Harry found out Queen Elizabeth had died from the BBC

Harry touches on his relationship with Queen Elizabeth, his grandmother, who died aged 96 in September. In his memoir, he reflects on the moment in which he found out she had passed away—on the BBC news website.

As the late monarch’s health declined, Harry writes that his father, now King Charles III, called him to share the news. The BBC further reported that Harry says he was told to come to Balmoral—the royal family’s residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland—but not to bring Meghan. At the time, neither Kate nor Meghan attended Balmoral. Harry recalls that he was arriving by plane when he received the news on his phone but not via a message from his family.

“When the plane started to descend I saw that my phone lit up. It was a message from Meg: ‘Call me when you get this,’” he writes. He reportedly added: “I looked at the BBC website. My grandmother had died. My father was King.”

Harry expresses discomfort seeing Meghan act in a “love scene”

In an excerpt shared by Page Six, Harry reportedly made the “mistake” of watching Meghan act in a “love scene” in the legal drama Suits in the early days of their courtship.

“I’d witnessed her and a castmate mauling each other in some sort of office or conference room. I didn’t need to see such things live,” he reportedly wrote, referring to a scene between Rachel Zane and Mike Ross, played respectively by Meghan and Patrick J. Adams.

Harry joked that he would need electric shock therapy to remove the image from his mind, Page Six added.

Harry comments on his and William’s balding

Harry acknowledges an awkward truth for the royal family—their genetic predisposition to male baldness. As reported by the Daily Mail, Harry writes about a tense moment with his brother, who he describes as his “archenemy,” where he looked at him and took stock of his appearance.

“I looked at Willy, really looked at him, perhaps for the first time since we were little, taking in every detail: his familiar scowl, which had always been the norm in his dealings with me,” Harry reportedly wrote. The British tabloid reported that Harry wrote that William’s balding was “alarming” and more “advanced” than his own, as well as adding that his resemblance to Diana had faded.

Harry asked a driver in Paris to replicate Diana’s final journey before her death

According to the BBC, Harry discussed his trip to Paris for the 2007 Rugby World Cup semi-final, when he was 23-years-old. During the trip, Harry asked his driver to take him to the tunnel where his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997 alongside her then-partner Dodi al-Fayed.

He reportedly writes that he remembers “cruising past the Ritz, where Mummy had her last meal” before entering the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. The BBC added that Harry said that they drove at the same speed as the car she was in—65 miles per hour, not 120 miles per hour, which he says the press reported at the time.

“We zipped ahead, went over the lip at the tunnel’s entrance, the bump that supposedly sent Mummy’s Mercedes veering off course. But the lip was nothing. We barely felt it,” Harry reportedly wrote.

The unusual request did not bring Harry any closure, Harry adds, concluding that it was overall “a very bad idea.”

Harry claims that Prince Charles didn’t hug him after his mother died

Harry reportedly recounts how he learned about his mother’s death from his father. “Pa didn’t hug me,” Harry writes, according to US Weekly.

“He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis? But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said: ‘It’s going to be OK.’ That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue,” Harry reportedly added.

In a later excerpt, reported by the New York Post, Harry was able to find catharsis when his ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas asked him about his mother “with the perfect combination of curiosity and compassion.” The royal remembers telling his then-partner—who he met in 2012 via his cousin Princess Eugenie and dated for around two years—that this was the first time he had cried about Diana since she was buried. While differences led to the breakdown of their relationship, Harry writes that he felt “indebted” to Bonas.

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Write to Armani Syed at armani.syed@time.com.



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