Charles III and William, despite the shock of Harry’s memories, were undaunted

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London (AFP) – King Charles III and his heir William pulled no punches in their first public appearance on Thursday since the publication of Harry’s memoirs, a brutal opening for the British monarchy, which has enjoyed a meteoric start at bookstores.

“Are you planning to comment on Harry’s book one day?” A reporter who came to visit a hospital in Liverpool, northwest England, called William.

The Prince of Wales did not react at all, he greeted the public with a smile with his wife Kate.

Equally true to Britain’s famous Second World War slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” Charles III shrugged off the scandal when he appeared to meet the public near Balmoral.

It was in this Scottish castle that Elizabeth II died in September, where she informed her children William and Harry of their mother Diana’s death in Paris in 1997, a scene recounted in so much uncompromising detail in The Spare. “).

In these memoirs, Prince Harry, who has been exiled in California since 2020, shows no mercy to anyone, although he claims that he does not want to harm anyone and wishes for reconciliation: neither himself, during his adolescence marked by drugs and alcohol, nor his father, King III Neither did Charles, his brother William, his stepmother and now consort Camilla, nor his sister-in-law Kate.

His “favorite brother and best enemy” is the most criticized. William, who has been described as having a temper, never liked his wife Meghan, whom he considered “ill-mannered and aggressive”, and in 2019 threw Harry down in the dog bowl during an argument.

Buckingham Palace is keeping quiet about the revelations, which is unfortunate as Charles III’s coronation on May 6 approaches.

But the press reported, citing anonymous sources, the Windsors’ displeasure, with several tabloids saying on Thursday that Harry and Meghan were no longer welcome at the event, with a global audience already overshadowed by the estrangement.

A source told the Daily Mail: “The family is expecting Harry and Meghan to find an excuse not to come.”

New prints in France

In the UK, the prince is often portrayed as a spoiled child, and only 24% of Britons now have a favorable opinion of the Duke of Sussex, according to a YouGov poll following the publication of the memoir.

With his wife Meghan, they are now no more popular than Prince Andrew, brother of Charles III, who was kicked out of the monarchy after a sex scandal.

Only 21% of Brits think Harry’s main motivation is to tell his side of the story, as he claims, while 41% think it’s money.

“It seems like a way to make money and keep talking about them in the press (Harry and Meghan, editor’s note),” laments Shannon Simons, an employee of the Liverpool hospital visited by William and Kate, interviewed by AFP.

On the other hand, her co-star Stacey Oats sympathizes with the Californian couple: “They’re a little more normal for the youngest, and the royals are a little old-fashioned.”

“It’s pretty sad what they’re going through. I don’t think Harry understood what his mum was going through,” the 35-year-old carer continued.

Despite the hostility of a large part of the population, the memoir sold more than 1.4 million copies in English in the UK, USA and Canada on its first day, according to Penguin Random House.

This is unheard of for an essay published by this publishing giant.

The French translation, which had a circulation of 210,000 copies, is the subject of a new printing of 130,000 copies, Fayard publications told AFP.

Prince Harry’s book The Substitute was launched at Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York on January 10, 2023. © ANGELA WEISS / AFP

The publisher says that demand from booksellers in 2020 was about 20% higher than for “Promised Land,” the first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoir.

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