Prince Harry has accused his brother, Prince William, of physically attacking him during an argument over his marriage to Meghan, according to news outlets that obtained copies of Harry’s much-anticipated memoir.
British newspaper The Guardian first reported the allegation, saying it had obtained an advance copy of the book, “Spare,” which is due to be published Tuesday. Despite intense efforts to keep the book under wraps, the news agency Reuters and other media outlets were also able to obtain copies after it went on sale days early in Spain.
Harry says in the book that William “knocked him to the floor” during an argument at the Sussexes’ London home in 2019 as the brothers’ relationship spiraled, the news outlets report.
The forthcoming book looks set to escalate Harry and Meghan’s feud with the British royal family, as the couple seeks to present their side of a story pitting celebrity against the centuries-old institution.
NBC News has not yet obtained or seen a copy of the book. Representatives for Harry declined to comment on the record; the publisher, Penguin Random House, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The title of the book is an apparent reference to Harry being a royal “spare,” not the first in line to the throne. William, Prince of Wales, is the next in line to their father, King Charles III.
According to The Guardian, the book describes “intensely private scenes and conversations” that cover everything from Harry’s early childhood to his marriage to the former actress Meghan Markle. This includes details on Harry’s relationship with his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997, his father and his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Kensington Palace, which represents William, and Buckingham Palace, which represents Charles, declined to comment on the allegations made in the book.
The published extracts focus on the alleged attack in Harry and Meghan’s former London home at Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace in 2019.
Harry reportedly says in the book that William had complained about Meghan and called her “difficult,” “rude” and “abrasive.”
The confrontation then escalated with the brothers yelling and insulting each other, the book recounts according to the news outlets. Harry reportedly says that he was scared of his brother, who was furious and following him around the house. Harry writes that William then grabbed him by the collar and ripped his necklace before knocking him to the floor, the published extracts say.
“I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed,” Harry writes in the published passages of the book. Harry then reportedly told his brother to leave, which he did after initially urging Harry to hit him back, according to the news outlets.
William later returned and apologized, the news outlets report, though the extract says that he suggested Harry not tell Meghan about the alleged altercation.
“‘You mean that you attacked me?’ Harry writes that he responded, according to the news outlets. “‘I didn’t attack you, Harold,’” he reportedly recounts William calling back.
Harry writes that he initially only spoke to a therapist about the alleged incident, according to the published excerpts. But when Meghan noticed “scrapes and bruises” on his back, he told her what had happened, The Guardian quotes the book as saying.
A pair of interviews with Harry are set to be broadcast on ITV News in the United Kingdom and CBS’ "60 Minutes" in the United States this weekend ahead of the book’s release.
In a new trailer released Thursday by ITV, Harry rejects the accusation that he has breached the privacy of his family members, saying “that would be the accusation from people who don’t understand or don’t want to believe that my family have been briefing the press.”
Asked if he will attend his father’s coronation, Harry says that a lot can happen between now and then: “The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they are willing to sit down and talk about it.”
The book follows the release of a six-part Netflix documentary series last month that illustrated just how acrimonious the couple’s split from the family has been, focusing on their 2020 announcement that they would step back from royal duties.
It all comes at an awkward time for the monarchy, months after Elizabeth’s death and the ascension of Charles as the new king.
In the Netflix series, the couple took direct aim at the family members, accusing them of actively fueling negative media coverage that they said helped drive Meghan to suicidal thoughts and led the couple to leave the country. Harry also said William had screamed at him during a crisis meeting.
The palace has declined to comment on the allegations in the Netflix series.
The couple first outlined their side of the story in their bombshell interview with the media mogul Oprah Winfrey, accusing members of the family of racism.
William denied that the family is racist in public comments at the time, and the palace said in a statement that the allegations were “concerning” and that “while some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”