The Daily Telegraph

I’m a victim of Harry’s Trumpian attitude to truth

- Spare

SThe great irony of his memoirs is that they confirm that what I reported was correct

The Duke now appears to be saying that, if he believes what he’s saying, then it must be true

omewhere in between thinking of his late mother while applying Elizabeth Arden cream “down there” and landing in the dog bowl during a spectacula­r bout of knock down ginger with his brother, I appear – unnamed – in Prince Harry’s autobiogra­phy, Spare.

“Days later came the coup de grâce,” he writes. “From a royal correspond­ent, a sci-fi fantasy describing the ‘growing froideur’ (good Lord) between Kate and Meg, claiming that, according to ‘two sources’, Meg had reduced Kate to tears about the bridesmaid­s’ dresses.”

What I actually wrote, for this newspaper in November 2018, was: “The Telegraph has spoken to two separate sources who claim Kate was left in tears following a bridesmaid­s dress fitting for Princess Charlotte. ‘Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional,’ said one insider.”

The article also quoted one of those pesky unnamed palace “sources” observing how the “charming” Duchess of Sussex was “a breath of fresh air”. The piece added: “One person who is said to be ‘completely taken’ with Meghan is Prince Charles.”

But like the proof copy of his memoir, Harry doesn’t actually appear to have read it.

He goes on: “This particular royal correspond­ent had always made me ill. She’d always, always got stuff wrong”, before demanding to know why the Palace hadn’t “phoned this execrable woman who wrote this story and demanded a retraction”.

(It would be another 28 months before the Duke and Duchess turned the tale on its head on Oprah, followed by a “recollecti­ons may vary” response from the late Queen.)

Oddly, Prince Harry fails to mention the reporter who lifted my original story and splashed it in another newspaper the next day, under the headline “Meghan Made Kate Cry”, who has since gone on to become a Sussex cheerleade­r. Funny that. Only journalist­s who have subsequent­ly scrutinise­d Harry and Meghan’s “truth” appear to have been targeted.

What makes his outburst about me even more bizarre is that I was the journalist who broke the story of Harry’s “Secret Romance With TV Star” Meghan, which they’ve yet to deny. (Although after the “we never accused the royals of racism” reversefer­ret, and the “media spun that I’d killed 25 Taliban even though they quoted me verbatim” U-turn, nothing would surprise me.) It speaks to the hypocrisy of a man who condemns Jeremy Clarkson for writing an unpleasant column about Meghan and then writes a book throwing lumps of excrement at his own family and others. Do as I say and not as I do seems to be the new-found mantra as Prince Harry apparently prioritise­s his own mental health above all others.

But even that isn’t the most ironic aspect of Spare. Because the inconvenie­nt truth for Harry is that his autobiogra­phy vindicates the very people he villifies: the press.

We now have confirmati­on there was indeed so much “froideur” that the Palace had to regularly spray the royal sisters-in-law with de-icer. Fleet Street also expresses its gratitude to the royal-turned-“chief Impact Officer” for ratifying everything that was written about “tensions” – and then some, from tantrums over tiaras to squabbles about lip balm, hormones, Easter presents and wedding place settings, to name but a few.

Thanks to Prince Harry, my “sci-fi fantasy” of a story, headlined “Kate and Meghan: Is the royal sisterhood really at breaking point?” has never appeared more prescient.

The Duke of Sussex suggests that he and his wife were forced out of the Royal family by a Palace “jealous” of Meghan’s popularity. Yet what he ends up giving us in Spare is a first-hand account of just how envious they apparently both were of William and Kate – from their superior place in the palace pecking order to their lavish home furnishing­s, compared with the Sussexes’ Ikea lamp and discount sofa, bought from with Meghan’s credit card.

He describes William as his “highly competitiv­e arch nemesis” and yet, as the title suggests, the whole theme of the book is how Harry was vying for equal status. He suggests that the Palace had an “agenda” against Meghan – and yet what becomes clear by the end of the book, as with the couple’s Netflix series, is that they had an “agenda” all along. And when they didn’t get the half-in-half-out, cake-and-eat-it scenario they so craved, they left for the bright lights and big bucks of America.

Seemingly forgetting that their own “Megxit” statement referred to their desire to become financiall­y independen­t, Harry told ITV’S Tom Bradby: “The distorted narrative is that we wanted to leave to go and, you know, make money. We were dedicated to a life of service, as is proven by everything that we’re doing now with the work that we do.” No Harry, all your recent behaviour has proved is your lack of commitment to a life of service to anyone other than yourself.

If “sci-fi fantasy” has played a role in Megxit – then it has only been of the L Ron Hubbard variety.

Having fallen victim to the cult of Sussexolog­y, in which followers believe that any negative publicity about the couple is either “wrong” or “execrable”, the Duke now appears to be saying that, if he believes what he’s saying, then it must be true.

It is this kind of warped thinking that convinces Scientolog­ists to believe that we all carry the souls of long-dead humans, or “thetans”, who were murdered under the tyrannical rule of an overlord named Xenu, who brought billions of people to Earth, on a spacecraft, 75 million years ago.

Someone simply believing something, no matter how strongly, doesn’t automatica­lly make it correct.

Fact-checking can determine whether something is true or not – but in Spare, that appears conspicuou­s by its absence. Several major bloopers have already been spotted, including that the Duke was given an Xbox before they were manufactur­ed and that he was descended from King Henry VI.

Harry’s recollecti­on of where he was when he was told that the Queen Mother, his great-grandmothe­r, had died has also been debunked.

He says he was at Eton but he was actually on a skiing holiday with his father and brother in Klosters, Switzerlan­d.

As Hugo Vickers, who has written a biography of the Queen Mother, put it: “If he can get those sorts of things wrong, what else can he get wrong, you ask yourself.”

Defending Spare from claims of inaccuraci­es and historical errors, Harry’s ghostwrite­r, JR Moehringer, this week insisted that mistakes are common in memoirs where “the line between memory and fact is blurry”.

The Pulitzer Prize winner shared a quote from Mary Karr, author of The Art of Memoir, which said: “The line between memory and fact is blurry, between interpreta­tion and fact. There are inadverten­t mistakes of those kinds out the wazoo.”

He also tweeted an excerpt from the book, in which Prince Harry says: “Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory, it does what it does… and there’s just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts.”

What? This from the man who has launched a war on the press, for reporting what he deems to be inaccurate, but which his own autobiogra­phy has confirmed was in fact accurate?

It’s bordering on Trumpian. Memories aren’t facts any more than feelings are.

But Harry is never going to admit that a lot of is all spin – and no substance.

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 ?? ?? Sci-fi fantasy: the cult of Sussexolog­y demands that believers view negative publicity about the couple as ‘execrable’ or ‘wrong’
Sci-fi fantasy: the cult of Sussexolog­y demands that believers view negative publicity about the couple as ‘execrable’ or ‘wrong’

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