December 6, 2023

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Harry Calls Camilla A ‘Wicked Stepmother’

With the release of Prince Harry’s book and the consecutive interviews revolving around the Royal family, many people might be wondering: what was Camilla’s reaction to Harry’s Spare

The book named Spare launched on January 10, 2023, but many details of its contents were leaked a week prior. The book is described by its publisher, Penguin Random House, as a “landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.” The book will be the first insight into Prince Harry’s life since he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties and since the bombshell Oprah interview in 2021. The book was obtained in advance by outlets including The Guardian and Page Six, which revealed bombshell details about the Duke of Sussex’s life including his ongoing feud with his brother and exclusive insights into his royal family.

How did the Queen Consort Camilla respond to Prince Harry’s Spare? According to sources in Vanity Fair, Camilla Parker Bowles is “just astounded by the whole thing.” A source told Entertainment Tonight, “The family is appalled that Harry has revealed such private and lurid details which are completely inappropriate. He’s gone about dealing with it the wrong way. The problem is no family conversation can ever take place because Harry claims he and Meghan are opposed to leaks and then he and Meghan share extremely private family matters with the public.”

Camilla married King Charles in 2005, 10 years after Camilla’s divorce from British Army Officer Andrew Parker Bowles, whom she was married to from 1973 to 1995. Their marriage also came after his divorce from Charles’ late wife Diana, Princess of Wales, whom he was married to from 1981 to 1996, and a year before her tragic death in 1997.

In one instance of the book, Harry described how he didn’t want Camilla to marry his father Charles. “Despite Willy and me urging him not to, Pa was going ahead,” he wrote. “We pumped his hand, wished him well. No hard feelings. We recognized that he was finally going to be with the woman he loved, the woman he’d always loved.”

He continued: “Fate might’ve intended for him in the first place. Whatever bitterness or sorrow we felt over the closing of another loop in Mummy’s story, we understood that it was besides the point… I remember wondering … if she would be cruel to me; if she would be like all the evil stepmothers in the stories.” He added: “Willy had been suspicious of the Other Woman for a long time, which confused and tormented him. When those suspicions were confirmed, he felt agonizing remorse for not having done or said anything before.”

In a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper that came out two days before the release date of the book, Harry stated that it had been “a long time” since he’s spoken to his stepmother. “I love every member of my family, despite the differences, so when I see her, we’re perfectly pleasant with each other,” he said. “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.”

Image: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

He then added how Camilla’s treatment of the press affected his stance on her. “Certain members have got in bed with the devil to rehabilitate their image, but that rehabilitation has come at the detriment of others.” He continued, “If you are led to believe, as a member of the family, that being on the front page, having positive headlines, positive stories written about you, is going to improve your reputation or increase the chances of you being accepted as monarch by the British public, then that’s what you’re gonna do.“

Harry shared the sentiments again in an interview with ITV that the press was an “antagonist” that wanted to “create as much conflict as possible.” He added, “The saddest part of that is certain members of my family and the people that work for them are complicit in that conflict.” He stated that the “leaking” and “planting” of “a royal source” to the press “is not an unknown person, it is the palace specifically briefing the press, but covering their tracks by being unnamed.”

He confirmed “that’s pretty shocking to people. Especially when you realize how many palace sources, palace insiders, senior palace officials, how many quotes are being attributed to those people, some of the most heinous, horrible things have been said about me and my wife, completely condoned by the palace because it’s coming from the palace, and those journalists have literally been spoon-fed that narrative without ever coming to us, without ever seeing or questioning the other side.”

In his book, Harry claimed that his father Charles had planted stories about William and Kate’s family, about which the older prince was “seething”. A “gung-ho” member of Charles’ communication team had “devised and launched a new campaign of getting good press” for Charles and Camilla, but that came “at the expense of bad press” for the two boys. “They’ve done this to me for the last time,” William was said to have told Harry during a phone call. He “wasn’t going to take it anymore.”

William went to see Charles and Harry accompanied him as “moral support”. Charles did not appreciate it. “Pa instantly got upset. He began shouting that Willy was paranoid. We both were,” Harry wrote. “Just because we were getting bad press, and he was getting good, that didn’t mean his staff was behind it.”

In an ITV interview premiering on January 8, 2023, Harry revealed what he really wants from the coronation. “If you are invited to the Coronation, will you come?” ITV News anchor Tom Bradby asked Harry, who responded, “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But, the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they’re willing to sit down and talk about it.”

For more about Prince Harry, read his upcoming memoir, Spare. Told for the first time in his own words, the book takes readers through the Duke of Sussex’s life with the British royal family, from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 to how the moment led to his decision decades later to move to America with his wife, Meghan Markle, and leave Buckingham Palace for good in 2020. “With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief,” the publisher’s description reads.