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Prince Harry’s new memoir Spare is set to release next week, and his first interview to promote it was with Anderson Cooper on CBS Mornings. In a clip from their discussion, the Duke of Sussex shared another difficult aspect of his relationship to the royal family — he alleges that every time he tries to discuss an issue with someone privately, a slew of negative stories about himself and wife Meghan Markle pops up in the press.
“Every single time I’ve tried to do it privately there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife,” he told Cooper. “You know, the family motto is never complain, never explain, but it’s just a motto.”
He went on, “There’s a lot of complaining and a lot of explaining… being done through leaks.”
“They will feed or have a conversation with the correspondent,” Prince Harry explained. “And that correspondent will literally be spoon-fed information and write the story. And at the bottom of it they will say that they’ve reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment. But the whole story is Buckingham Palace commenting. So when we’re being told for the last six years, ‘We can’t put a statement out to protect you.’ But you do it for other members of the family. It becomes — there becomes a point when silence is betrayal.”
Harry and Meghan eventually stepped down as working members of the royal family, and made a new home in the states. In their new Netflix docuseries titled Harry & Meghan, the couple discuss how often they were being followed by the press, and how miserable it was making the Duchess. The couple felt as though they had no support and were often used to distract from other scandals or issues with different royal family members.
The full interview discussing his new book and life in the U.K. will be airing Sunday, January 8, on 60 Minutes.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.