Prince Harry has once again targeted the British media in an interview about his book Reserve on ITV. “They stand in the way of a reconciliation, the palace is in the plot.”
Harry’s reflection on his mother’s death in a tunnel in Paris is the most personal and emotional segment in his interview with Tom Bradby on British channel ITV. Through the eyes of his twelve-year-old self, he tells how father Charles brought him the horrible news on the edge of the bed. “I’m afraid she didn’t make it,” the prince repeats the words of the current king that would affect his further life.
The audiobook version of his memoir Reserve (Save in English), due out on Tuesday, serves as a setting for the tragedy. Harry’s voice tells how Charles slowly gets to the heart of the message. “Darling boy,” he says. “Mummy was in a car accident.” Just as the viewer comes to understand his anguish through this trauma, he embarks on a long-drawn-out attack on the British media, to a greater or lesser extent blamed for everything, according to him.
Fact and fiction mix instantly. When Harry indicates that he has viewed some of the photos in the Alma tunnel at his request, he claims to recognize the reflections of the lenses and the faces of paparazzi on the hood. Harry, who drove through the tunnel himself in his twenties, has no doubts. Without the ruthless tabloids, Princess Diana wouldn’t have crashed. “There is no danger there.”
Harry leaves out that a Fiat Uno collided with his mother’s chauffeur-driven Mercedes. Drawing from his own experiences with the tabloids, he concludes that photographers must have obstructed the view. “When I returned to London, they literally jumped on the car, so I couldn’t see a hand in front of my face.” The media is then blamed for the troubled relationship with his family.
Stepmother Camilla takes on the role of evil genius in the whole thing. After Harry and brother William begged their father not to marry her, she used her contacts at the newspapers to win over the people. She would also have leaked a private conversation between her and William. Harry is going against the facts here. Camilla’s secretary got her fired in 1998, when it became clear that she (and not Camilla) was the secret news source.
Harry returns to his hobbyhorse in front of Bradby, a close acquaintance of both brothers, when the journalist offers him a different perspective. In his eyes, the royal family lives more in the storylines outlined by tabloids than in reality. And the palace is doing everything possible to protect the most important members through briefings to the press.
Camilla receives the most vile accusations. “Some family members have made a pact with the devil,” Harry refers to the boulevard newspapers. His father gets a painful sneer. “He always radiated that he was not quite ready for fatherhood: the responsibilities, the patience, the (required) time. As proud as he is, he would admit it himself. But a single dad? Dad is not cut out of the right wood for that.”
The failed introduction of Meghan in The Firm showered Harry with his hatred for the tabloids. Their prejudices – American actress, divorced, mixed descent – stemmed from the articles in the newspapers, he said. William’s warning to Harry not to rush anything with Meghan also comes from this tube. “Maybe he was predicting how the British media would react.”
Chances of reconciliation
When Bradby, visibly frustrated with Harry’s sometimes paranoid-sounding explanation, asks about the chances of a reconciliation, he repeats himself. “Forgiveness is one hundred percent an option,” Harry begins. However, the press would like to prevent that. “They are the antagonists who want to create as much conflict as possible.” The alleged racism within the royal house would also stem from the influence of the powerful newspapers.
The struggle with William after reproaches from the heir to the throne about Meghan’s abrasive behavior, which Harry writes about in Reserve, also appears to spring from the brains of nefarious editors-in-chief and evil lackeys. “Some of his employees filled him with total nonsense,” said Harry. “If I wasn’t in therapy and knew how to deal with anger and frustration, I definitely would have fought back.
Harry nevertheless refuses to look in the mirror. His family has to admit that he sleeps with the media. Silence, as most of the British demand of him, is not an option. “By remaining silent, you offer the abuser the opportunity to continue to abuse.” A conversation with Harry, Bradby noticed, is extremely complicated. Anyone who disagrees with him cooperates with the press or believes in their fabrications.
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and don’t miss a thing of the stars.