Highlights from Prince Harry’s interview with 60 Minutes
In an interview with Anderson Cooper which aired on 60 Minutes, Prince Harry spoke on American television for the first time about his upcoming memoir, “Spare.” These were some of the revelations from his chat.
Harry was 12 years old when his mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a car accident in Paris. It was August 1997, and Harry was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with other members of the royal family. In his book, Harry described the moment his father, Prince Charles, woke him up to tell him what had happened.
“In the book you write: ‘He says, ‘They tried, dear boy. I’m afraid he didn’t make it. ‘These sentences stick in my mind like darts on a board,’ you say,” Cooper said. “Did you cry?”
“No. No. I never shed a single tear in that moment,” Harry said. “I was in shock, you know? Twelve years. About 7, 7:30 in the morning, early. Your father comes in, sits on your bed, puts his hand on your knee and says, ‘ There has been an accident.’ He couldn’t believe it.”
“You write in the book,” Cooper said, “Dad didn’t hug me. He wasn’t very good at showing emotion under normal circumstances. But his hand came down on my knee again and he said, ‘It’s going to be okay.’ But after that, nothing was right for a long time.'”
“No, nothing, nothing was right,” Harry said.
Harry writes in “Spare” about how he responded in the days and years after his mother, Princess Diana, died in 1997. He told Cooper he didn’t believe Diana was dead.
“For a long time, I just refused to accept that she was…she was gone,” Harry said. “Partly, you know, she would never do this to us, but also partly, maybe this is all part of a plan.”
“Did you really think,” Cooper asked, “that maybe she’d decided to disappear for a while?”
“For a while, and after she called us and we went to meet her, yes,” said Harry, who was 12 when his mother died.
Harry says that he sought help from a therapist seven years ago, and reveals that he also tried more experimental treatments to try to deal with the pain he still feels from his mother’s death.
“You write in the book on psychedelics,” Cooper said. “Ayahuasca, psilocybin, mushrooms. In fact, they were important to you.”
“I would never recommend people do this recreationally,” Harry said. “But by doing it with the right people, if you’re dealing with a great deal of loss or grief or trauma, then these things have a way of working as medicine.”
“They showed you something,” Cooper asked. “What did they show you?”
“For me, they cleaned the windshield, the windshield, the misery of the loss,” said Harry. “They took away that idea that she had in her head that—that my mother—that she needed to cry to show my mother that she missed her. When in reality the only thing she wanted was for me to be happy.
Prince Harry was in London last September for a charity event when the palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II was under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
“I asked my brother: I said, ‘What are your plans? How are you and Kate going to get up there?’ And then a couple of hours later, all the family members who live in the Windsor and Ascot area got on a plane together,” Harry said. “A plane with 12, 14, maybe 16 seats.”
“Weren’t you invited on that plane?” Cooper asked.
“I wasn’t invited,” Harry said.
When Harry arrived at Balmoral alone, the queen was dead.
Harry writes that when he introduced Meghan Markle to his family in 2016, his father initially liked her. But his brother, Prince William, was skeptical.
Others in the family, Harry told Cooper, were also restless.
“From the beginning, before they even had a chance to meet her,” Harry said. “And the UK press jumped on it. And here we are.”
In his book, Prince Harry’s portrayal of his stepmother, Camilla, now the Queen Consort, is perhaps the most critical. She married then-Prince Charles in 2005, though the two had been in an on-and-off romantic relationship for decades. Princess Diana referred to Camilla as the “third party” in her marriage, and Prince Harry hasn’t forgotten that.
The tabloids portrayed her as “the villain,” Harry told Cooper. “She was the third person in her marriage. She needed to rehabilitate her image.”
“You and your brother directly asked your dad not to marry Camilla?” Cooper asked.
“Yes,” Harry said. “We didn’t think it was necessary. We thought it was going to cause more harm than good, and if he was with his person now, that, surely that’s enough. Why go that far when it’s not necessarily necessary? We wanted him to be happy. And we saw how happy he was with her. So at that point, I was, ‘OK.'”
“It was an accumulation of frustration, I think, on his part. It was at a time when people in his office were saying certain things to him,” Harry said. “And at the same time, he was consuming a lot of the tabloids, a lot of stories. And he had some issues, which weren’t based in reality. And I was defending my wife. And he was coming for my wife. She wasn’t there. at the time, but through the things he was saying. I was defending myself. And we went from a bedroom to the kitchen. And his frustrations were building, and building, and building. He was yelling. at me. I was yelling at him. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t nice at all. And it snapped. And it knocked me to the ground.”
“He hit you?” Cooper asked.
“He knocked me over. I landed in the dog bowl,” Harry said. “I cut my back. I didn’t know it at the time. But, yeah, he… he apologized afterwards. It was quite an unpleasant experience.”
Although Harry and William seemed inseparable to the outside world growing up, the two have lived separate lives since their mother’s death.
“Even when you were at the same school, in high school,” Cooper told Harry, “your brother told you, ‘Pretend we don’t know each other.'”
“Yeah, and at the time it hurt. I couldn’t figure it out. I thought, ‘What do you mean? We’re at the same school now,'” Harry said. “Like, ‘I haven’t seen you in a while, now we can hang out together.'” He says, ‘No, no, no, when we’re at school we don’t know each other.’ And I took it personally. But yeah, you’re absolutely right, you hit the nail on the head. We had a very similar traumatic experience, and then we dealt with it in two very different ways.”
60 Minutes has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment. Palace representatives demanded that before we consider commenting we provide them with our report before it airs, something 60 Minutes does not do.
CBS Mornings will have more of Anderson Cooper’s 60 Minutes interview with Prince Harry on Monday.