Diana, William, Camilla: excerpts from Prince Harry's memoirs

Diana, William, Camilla: excerpts from Prince Harry’s memoirs

The painful memory of his mother, the tensions with his family, his experience in Afghanistan: these are key excerpts from Prince Harry’s autobiography published Tuesday in 16 languages.

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These quotes are taken from the French translation published by Fayard.

(Her father tells her of Diana’s death): “She was standing by the bed, her eyes downcast. He looked, in his white nightgown, a ghost in a play. (…) He put a hand on my knee. My dear girl, mom was in a car accident.


“What I remember, with amazing clarity, is that I did not cry. Not the slightest tear. Dad didn’t hug me. (…) But he put his hand on my knee again, and said: it’s going to be fine.

(During a visit to Paris in 2007, Harry asks his driver to drive across the underground Alma Bridge where Diana died):

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“At 110 km/h, to be exact. 110. Yes. The exact speed Mom’s car was traveling at, according to the police, at the time of the accident. (…) She had always imagined it as a treacherous place, dangerous by nature, but it was nothing more than a simple short tunnel. There is no reason for anyone to die here. (…) Later, after having slept, I called Willy to tell him about my night. I didn’t teach him anything. This tunnel, he too had passed through.


(He shares doubts with his brother about the investigation that only involves the driver):

“We were going to issue a statement, together asking for the reopening of the investigation. Maybe organize a press conference. The high authorities have dissuaded us from it.”

“Two years older than me, Willy was the Heir; I, the Substitute. It wasn’t just the press that spoke of us in these terms, although it did. Dad, mom and grandpa used them often too. And even Grandma. The Heir and the Substitute, there is no judgment in these nicknames, but also no ambiguity. I was the shadow, the substitute, the plan B”.


(In 2019, during an altercation with William):

“Meg (Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s wife, Ed) is difficult, she said. (…) She left her glass, threw another insult at me and then jumped on top of me. It all happened so fast. So fast. She grabbed me by the neck, breaking the collar she was wearing in the process, and pulled me to the ground. I fell into the dog bowl, which broke under my weight, the pieces cutting into my back.

(During a discussion with William and Charles in 2021):

“The conversation escalated to the point where Dad ended up ruining it by raising his hands. Enough! He stepped between us, looking back and forth between our faces crimson with anger. Please, guys, don’t make my later years a nightmare.


“I looked at Willy (…) Everything appeared to me as a whole: the expression of annoyance that I had always had in front of me; his disturbing baldness, more advanced than mine; the famous resemblance of him to mom, which dissipated over time. (…) My beloved brother, my best enemy, how could we have come to this?

(About their first meeting):

“I told myself: it’s nothing, like a sting (…) I keep the vague memory of a Camila as calm (or dazed by boredom) as me from this meeting. (…) I remember asking myself , just before we met, if she would be mean to me. If she was like all the horrible stepmothers in fairy tales. Turns out she wasn’t.”


(On his opposition, with William, to Charles’s remarriage):

“We accept Camila, we told her. But please don’t marry her. Stay together, dad. He did not answer. But she does. Immediately. Shortly after our recap introductions, she embarked on a long-term operation, entering the campaign for wifely status and ultimately the Crown.


“My figure, therefore: twenty-five (murdered, editor’s note). I didn’t get any satisfaction from it. But I wasn’t ashamed either. (…) In the heat and fog of combat, these twenty-five downed targets did not appear to me as people. Without it, you can’t kill. We can’t hurt. They were not people, but pieces of a chess game that were erased from the board, the bad guys were eliminated before the good guys were killed.”


“I called Willy and Kate to ask their opinion. The Nazi uniform, they answered together. I rented it, along with a fake mustache to add a layer of ridiculousness, and went home. I tried on my costume. Kate and Willy cracked up.

(At 17 years old):

“In fact, I was taking cocaine at the time. At someone’s country house, during a hunting weekend, I had been offered a rail, and I had consumed it on other occasions since then. It wasn’t that much fun, and apparently it didn’t put me in the same euphoric state as everyone else around me, but it did make me feel something different.”

REUTERS/Stephen Hird

(Her defloration at the same age):

“A recent episode, and not a very glorious one, with an older woman. She loved horses passionately and treated me a bit like a young stallion. A quick raid, a little pat on the bottom and voila, he had sent me back to the paddock. One detail, among all those, many, that had made this experience a disaster: it had happened outside, in a grassy field, behind a pub full of people.

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