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Harry says ‘dangerous lie’ told about his book – and claims Taliban remarks were taken out of context | UK News

Prince Harry has said the “most dangerous lie” about his explosive memoir Spare is that he boasted about killing 25 Taliban while serving as a soldier in Afghanistan.

The controversial book, which was released on Tuesday, sparked an uproar after it was revealed the Duke of Sussex had engaged in “the taking of human lives”.

“So, my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” he wrote.

The prince said he did not think of them as “people”, but instead as “chess pieces” that had been taken off the board.

In an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, the 38-year-old said it had been “hurtful and challenging” to watch the reactions after his book was prematurely leaked.

“Without a doubt, the most dangerous lie that they have told, is that I somehow boasted about the number of people that I killed in Afghanistan,” he said.

He noted the context in which the reference appeared in the memoir, before saying: “I should say, if I heard anyone boasting about that kind of thing, I would be angry. But it’s a lie.

“And hopefully now that the book is out, people will be able to see the context, and it is – it’s really troubling and very disturbing that they can get away with it.

“Because they had the context. It wasn’t like ‘here’s just one line’ – they had the whole section, they ripped it away and just said ‘here it is, he’s boasting on this’.

“When as you say, you’ve read it and hopefully everyone else will be able to have the chance to read it, and that’s dangerous.

“My words are not dangerous, but the spin of my words are very dangerous.”

Pic: CBS via AP
Pic: CBS via AP

Admiral Lord West, former head of the Royal Navy, said the duke had been “very stupid” for giving details of his Taliban kills.

The retired admiral told the Sunday Mirror that the Invictus Games – which were created by Harry and are scheduled to be held in Dusseldorf, Germany, this year – will have “serious security issues” because of their direct connection to Harry.

Read more:
Cheeky book shop display of Harry’s book
All the celebrities Prince Harry mentions in Spare
Midnight queues: Why people are buying Spare

Key revelations in Prince Harry’s book

  • The duke admits to using cocaine – saying “it wasn’t very fun”
  • He claims to have killed 25 people in Afghanistan during his two tours of duty
  • He says he asked his father not to marry Camilla – and his brother made the same request
  • He describes how King Charles told him Meghan should not go to Balmoral after the Queen’s death
  • He recalled the moment he found out his mother, Princess Diana, had been in a car accident
  • He says he lost his virginity to an older woman in a field behind a busy pub
  • He accuses Prince William of knocking him over during an argument about the Duchess of Sussex

Lord West added that the global multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women will be a prime target for those seeking revenge.

Meanwhile, a senior Taliban leader Anas Haqqani tweeted that the militants Harry had killed in Afghanistan were “not chess pieces, they were humans”.

Harry told Colbert he had been driven to discuss his kills in the hopes of reducing veteran suicides.

“I made a choice to share it because having spent nearly two decades working with veterans all around the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and to give space to others to be able to share their experiences without any shame,” he said.

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Harry book ‘half price already’

“And my whole goal, my attempt with sharing that detail, is to reduce the number of suicides.

Palace attempted to ‘undermine’ book

Harry claimed Buckingham Palace attempted to undermine the stories he has told in the book, with the help of the British press.

Without mentioning any names, Colbert asked if there had been attempts by the Palace to undermine the book, to which he replied: “Of course, and mainly by the British press.”

Asked again if it was the Palace who had assisted the undermining of his book, Harry said: “Of course.”

Fan of The Crown

Elsewhere in the interview, Harry admitted to watching The Crown – the hit Netflix historical drama series about Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the Royal Family.

“You’ve got to have watched some of The Crown, right?” Colbert asks.

“Yes, actually, I have watched The Crown,” Harry said. “The older stuff and the more recent stuff.”

On whether he fact-checks the Netflix show, the prince laughed before quipping: “Yes, I do actually. Which, by the way, another reason it is so important that history has it right.”

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Queen was ‘incredibly humorous’

The prince said he remembers his late grandmother the Queen for her “sharp wit” and sense of humour.

“Her sharp wit, her sense of humour, her ability to respond to anybody with a completely straight face. But totally joking,” he told Colbert.

“She was incredibly humorous.”

He continued: “I’m genuinely happy for her because she finished life. She had an amazing life, she had an amazing career and she was buried with her husband.

“And bearing in mind the global suffering that everybody’s experienced over the last three years, there was less suffering for both of my grandparents. I’m really, really grateful for that.”

Harry’s interview with Colbert marks the end of the press run for his autobiography, which has become the fastest-selling non-fiction book ever, recording figures of 400,000 copies so far across hardback, eBook and audio formats on its first day of publication.

The prince has used the 550-plus pages of Spare to make headline-dominating claims including accusing William of physically attacking him and teasing him about his panic attacks, saying King Charles put his own interests above Harry’s and, in a US broadcast interview, branding Camilla as the “villain” and “dangerous”.

But as a well-connected individual, the book is also packed with celebrity cameos, from the Spice Girls to Courtney Cox.

William and Harry will join King escorting Queen’s coffin to lie in state | UK News

The King will be joined by both his sons as he walks behind the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace.

The King, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex will follow the coffin on foot as it makes its journey to Westminster Hall for the lying in state from Wednesday afternoon.

The Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex will also walk with them.

Queen’s coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace – royal news latest updates

Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, will also join the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.

The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex will travel by car.

The procession will leave the palace at 2.22pm and is expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm.

A service lasting around 20 minutes will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Buckingham Palace, London, where it will lie at rest overnight in the Bow Room. Picture date: Tuesday September 13, 2022.
The Queen’s coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace
Prince william, Catherine, Prince Harry and Megan
United at an impromptu walkabout on Saturday

The brothers’ troubled relationship is well documented, but after the death of their grandmother last Thursday they and their wives united unexpectedly when they viewed floral tributes left to the Queen outside Windsor Castle.

The princes put on a united front with their wives during a mammoth walkabout on Saturday.

Read more:
Route revealed for queue to see the Queen lying in state – and where you can take a break
King and Queen Consort meet crowds in Northern Ireland
Accompanying Queen on final journeys has been ‘an honour’ – Anne

The King talked of his love for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in his televised address to the nation on Friday evening, saying: “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.”

In the Duke’s tribute to his grandmother, released on Monday, he said he wanted to honour his father at the start of his reign.

The last time Charles and his two sons were all together in public was at the service of thanksgiving for the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

Inside the cathedral
Inside St Paul’s at the service of thanksgiving for the Duke of Edinburgh

On that occasion, the Sussexes sat some distance from Prince Charles and Prince William, behind the Wessex family and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

This was Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance alongside the Windsors since they stepped down as senior royals in 2020.

In April 2021, Harry and William joined their father when they walked behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin at his funeral.

Britain's Prince Charles, from front left behind coffin, Princess Anne, obscured, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Earl of Snowdon and Tim Laurence follow the coffin as it makes it's way past the Round Tower during the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England Saturday April 17, 2021. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP)
Prince Charles and his sons escort the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin after his funeral last April

The brothers were separated by Mr Phillips, their cousin, but he dropped back half a pace at one point, so the siblings appeared closer together.

After the funeral service, William and Harry chatted as they walked back up the hill from the chapel to the castle.

Mourners have already joined the queue to attend the Queen’s lying in state at Westminster Hall, which begins at 5pm on Wednesday.

It will continue until 6.30am on Monday, the day of the Queen’s funeral.

The government has warned that the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for “many hours, possibly overnight” and with very little opportunity to sit down.