Prince Harry admits leaks of his memoir have been 'hurtful and challenging'

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Prince Harry has admitted the early leaks from his memoir Spare have been "hurtful and challenging".

The British royal released his autobiography Spare on Tuesday, several days after the press began leaking stories from the book, which accidentally went on sale early in Spain.

During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night, Harry said he is glad people are now able to read the context behind all of the sensational headlines.

"After spending two years focused on context, what I'm going to share, how I'm going to share it and being able to piece it all together, they (the press) intentionally choose to strip away all the context and take individual segments of my life, my story and every experience I've had and turn it into a salacious headline," he commented. "The last few days have been hurtful and challenging, not being able to do anything about those leaks you refer to."

He agreed with Colbert when the host suggested there was an active campaign by the British press to "undermine" his book and called the suggestion that he boasted about killing 25 people while serving in Afghanistan the "most dangerous" of the out-of-context snippets.

"I made a choice to share it because having spent two decades working with veterans all around the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and be able to give space to others to be able to share their experiences without any shame," the 38-year-old explained. "And my whole goal and my attempt with sharing that detail is to reduce the number of suicides (among veterans)."

Harry then concurred with Colbert that the U.K. press published that story to hurt him in a "meaningful" area of his life.

"Without question, it's not just an area they know is most meaningful but it is what has defined my life... I found a refuge there, I found my purpose," he replied. "For me, that was an amazing place to be, an amazing community. I still am part of that community so they will do everything that can to try and disrupt that."

During the show, Harry drank tequila with the host and took part in a sketch poking fun at his royal status. In the skit, the father-of-two turned into a corridor backstage and was greeted by Colbert and trumpeters and insisted the fanfare was "not needed". However, Colbert revealed the greeting wasn't for him as Tom Hanks walked around the corner.