Prince Harry never imagined he’d be left to fend for himself when it came to a security detail for his family, especially after his uncle Prince Andrew was permitted to keep his despite being in the midst of a sexual assault scandal, he reportedly writes in his new book.
In a portion of his forthcoming memoir, Spare, obtained by Us Weekly, the Duke of Sussex recalls that when he and his wife, Meghan Markle, decided to move to America after stepping down from their positions as senior royals in 2020, she expressed fears that they would be left unprotected, and he reassured her, “Never. Not in this climate of hate. Not after what happened to my mother [Princess Diana]. Also, not in the wake of my Uncle Andrew.” He goes on to say in the excerpt that his uncle “was embroiled in a shameful scandal, accused of the sexual assault of a young woman and no one had so much suggested that he lose his security. Whatever grievances people had against us, sex crimes weren’t on the list.” Following the move, however, Harry and Meghan did lose their royal security detail, which, in the prince’s opinion, was a refusal by the palace to perform “its implicit promise” and “obligation” to them.
In January 2022, Prince Andrew was stripped of his military affiliations and royal patronages over accusations of sexual assault involving a then 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre, who was a victim in Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking ring. The Duke of York has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and Giuffre’s lawsuit against him was settled out of court in February 2022.
The same month that Andrew was stripped of his titles, Harry issued a statement regarding the palace’s decision to remove his security detail. “Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats,” the statement read. “While his role within the Institution has changed, his profile as a member of the royal family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.” He added that he and his wife’s personally funded security team could not “replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK.”
To compound matters, Harry also shares in his new book that he suffers from agoraphobia and panic attacks, which made the public duties of royal life all the more difficult and terrifying, something he says his brother, Prince William, once mocked him for, according to the excerpt from Us Weekly. “I was an agoraphobe. Which was nearly impossible given my public role. After one speech, which couldn’t be avoided or canceled, and during which I’d nearly fainted, Willy came up to me backstage. Laughing,” the duke writes. “Him of all people. He’d been present for my very first panic attack. With [Princess] Kate. We were driving out to a polo match in Gloucestershire, in their Range Rover. I was in the back and Willy peered at me in the rearview. He saw me sweating, red-faced…. He’d told me that day or soon after that I needed help. And now he was teasing me? I couldn’t imagine how he could be so insensitive.”
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