King Charles made a savage joke to Princess Diana after she gave birth to Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex wrote in his controversial memoir.
Spare, in a knowing jibe at the term ‘an heir and a spare’, refers to the succession of power after the death of the monarch. Harry, 38, wrote in his memoir that the term has been in his life from the very moment he was born.
He wrote how the now King told his mother Princess Diana on the day of his birth: “Wonderful! Now you’ve given me an heir and a spare. My work is done.” Spare included many bombshell revelations that led to an even bigger strain on relationships within the Royal Family.
Prince Harry claimed he was physically attacked by Prince William during a heated row about Meghan Markle in 2019. The Duke of Sussex wrote that an alleged confrontation with his elder brother at his London home in 2019 left him with a visible injury to his back.
He wrote that the Prince of Wales grabbed him by the collar and ripped his necklace before knocking him to the floor. Harry further claimed William had called the American actress “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive” – comments which the younger brother said parroted “the press narrative” about his wife.
The bombshell passage goes on to say: “But William, Harry says, was not being rational, leading to the two men shouting over each other. Harry then accused his brother of acting like an heir, unable to understand why his younger brother was not content to be a spare.”
Insults were then exchanged between the two men before William claimed he was only trying to help – a claim which Harry said he found incredulous, causing William to allegedly become angry.
Despite the revelations within its pages, a royal biographer does not believe it will destroy or damage the monarchy no matter what accusations and claims may surface against The King. Harry and Meghan stepped down as working royals in March 2020. The book was released shortly after the Netflix series Harry & Meghan, which also included accusations against the royals.
Their Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021 saw Meghan suggest a senior member of the family questioned how dark then-unborn son Archie’s skin would be. Part of the reason why the Sussexes left the Firm was to become financially independent.
Charles and Diana married in a fairytale ceremony more than 40 years ago on July 31, 1981. However, it wasn’t long before it was clear that the union had been a mistake due to their age difference and completely different interests. By 1992, it was announced that Charles and Diana had split – although at that time, there were no plans for them to divorce.
It wasn’t until the Queen sent a stark letter saying she would allow the couple to get divorced, but that letter didn’t come easily. In 1995, Diana gave her bombshell BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, where she uttered the famous line “there were three of us in this marriage” when referring to Charles and his long-term love Camilla, now the Queen Consort.
The interview, which was watched by 22.8 million viewers, caused huge embarrassment for the royal family after she also said the monarchy was in desperate need of modernization and called the prince’s camp the “enemy”.
It plunged the royals into crisis as the general public sided with Diana – prompting the Queen to write the letter, which left the princess in no doubt about her annoyance at the interview.
The following year on August 28, 1996, the divorce was complete. It brought to an end the marriage of the pair that began with a huge fairytale ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.
Diana was reportedly awarded a lump sum of £17million along with £350,000 each year to run her private office. She was also allowed to keep her apartments at Kensington Palace.
However, one thing she was stripped of was her title of Her Royal Highness. She then became known as Diana, Princess of Wales. She died following a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997, alongside her companion Dodi Fayed – just a year after her divorce was finalized.