Queen Elizabeth would have been “heartbroken” by Prince Harry’s numerous claims and revelations since her death last year, former Minister Ann Widdecombe has said. The Duke of Sussex’s new memoir, Spare, is due to hit the bookshelves on Tuesday, in advance of which he will bare his soul once again in an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby this evening.
However the former Tory MP for Maidstone as well as an ex-Brexit Party MP feels the Prince is making a grave mistake, not least in terms of the things he’s included in the book.
And she also believes it to be fortunate that her grandmother, who died in September, is not around to witness it.
Ms Widdecombe, who met the late monarch on a number of occasions, agreed that the 96-year-old would have been “heartbroken” by the relentless publicity.
She told Express.co.uk: “I’m glad the Queen isn’t around to see this quite honestly. It’s just horrible.”
Much of the content of Harry’s book has already been leaked, given that it went on sale in Spain at the end of last week.
Among his revelations are that brother Prince William physically attacked him during a row over wife Meghan Markle, that he lost his virginity to an older woman in a field behind a pub – and, possibly most controversially of all, that he killed 25 Taliban fighters during two tours in Afghanistan.
Ms Widdecombe, whose father and uncle both served in the military, suggested the Duke would have been well advised to resist the temptation to make such a claim.
Referring to JR Moehringer, who wrote the book based on interviews with the 37-year-old, she added: “What’s the matter with this ghostwriter?
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“You would think his ghostwriter would say to them, ‘I don’t actually think you should put it in quite those terms.’
Tonight’s interview is likely to throw more fuel on the fire, as is another with CBS’s Anderson Cooper which is scheduled to air in the early hours of tomorrow, GMT.
In extracts released in advance, Harry tells Mr Bradby he cried only once after his mother, Prince Diana, died in 1997 – at her funeral.
He said he felt guilty about not showing emotion when he and his brother Prince William greeted crowds of mourners outside Kensington Palace, Diana’s London home.
In Spare, Harry blames his family’s stiff-upper-lip ethos, saying he had “learned too well … the family maxim that crying is not an option.”
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He told Bradby: “There were 50,000 bouquets of flowers to our mother and there we were shaking people’s hands, smiling.
“I’ve seen the videos, right, I looked back over it all. And the wet hands that we were shaking, we couldn’t understand why their hands were wet, but it was all the tears that they were wiping away.
“Everyone thought and felt like they knew our mum, and the two closest people to her, the two most loved people by her, were unable to show any emotion in that moment.”
Spare is the latest in a string of public pronouncements by the prince and wife Meghan Markle since they stepped down as frontline royals and moved to California in 2020, citing what they saw as the media’s racist treatment of Meghan, who is biracial, and a lack of support from the palace.
It follows an interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which they claimed an unnamed royal had speculated about the skin tone of unborn son Archie, and a six-part Netflix documentary released last month.