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Prince Harry says Prince William told him to "pretend we don't know each other" in high school

Harry on his relationship with Prince William
Prince Harry says William told him to “pretend we don’t know each other” in school | 60 Minutes 02:01

"Spare," the title of Prince Harry's new memoir, is a nod to his backup role in the line of succession. Harry's brother, Prince William, is the Heir, while Harry is a Spare. 

In their 60 Minutes interview, Anderson Cooper asked Harry about some of the deeply personal stories he shares about his brother in the new book.

"You write about a contentious meeting you had with him in 2021," Cooper said. "You said, 'I looked at Willy, really looked at him maybe for the first time since we were boys. I took it all in, his familiar scowl, which had always been his default in dealings with me, his alarming baldness, more advanced than my own, his famous resemblance to Mummy which was fading with time, with age.' That's pretty cutting."

"I don't see it as cutting at all," Harry said. "You know, my brother and I love each other. I love him deeply. There has been a lot of pain between the two of us, especially the last six years. None of anything that I've written, anything that I've included is ever intended to hurt my family. But it does give a full picture of the situation as we were growing up, and also squashes this idea that somehow my wife was the one that destroyed the relationship between these two brothers."

Though Harry and William appeared inseparable to the outside world growing up, the two have lived separate lives since their mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in 1997.

"Even when you were in the same school, in high school," Cooper said to Harry, "Your brother told you, 'Pretend we don't know each other.'"

"Yeah, and at the time it hurt. I couldn't make sense of it. I was like, 'What do you mean? We're now at the same school,'" Harry said. "Like, 'I haven't seen you for ages, now we get to hang out together.' He's like, 'No, no, no, when we're at school we don't know each other.' And I took that personally. But yes, you're absolutely right, you hit the nail on the head. Like, we had a very similar traumatic experience, and then we— we dealt with it two very different ways."

"William had tried to talk to you occasionally about your mom," Cooper said to Harry, "but you, as a child you could not— you couldn't respond."

"For me, it was never a case of, 'I— I don't want to talk about it with you,'" Harry said. "I just don't know how to talk about it. I never ever thought that maybe talking about it with my brother or with anybody else at that point would be therapeutic."

60 Minutes reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment. Palace representatives demanded that before considering commenting we provide them with our report prior to it airing, which is something 60 Minutes does not do.

Prince Harry: The 60 Minutes Interview 26:59
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