Prince Harry made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week to speak about his new memoir, SPARE, where he took the time to shut down one “dangerous lie”. The royal was keen to explain that, in his opinion, he never “boasted” about killing people.
In case you’ve been living under a rock recently, Harry’s book was released worldwide this week (10 January) and quickly became the UK’s fastest-selling non-fiction book. However, copies of the book were leaked in advance and published early in Spain, which caused a stir in media reporting and plenty of tea-spilling.
During his most recent TV appearance, Prince Harry took the opportunity to address how he had no control over leaked copies, and that the press had taken words from his memoir out of context before anyone else could read it for themselves.
“Without a doubt, the most dangerous lie that they [the media] have told is that I somehow boasted about the number of people that I killed in Afghanistan,” Harry said on The Late Show.
In his memoir, Harry wrote about his time serving as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, claiming he took the lives of 25 Taliban troopers. “So, my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” he wrote.
However the Duke of Sussex claims that he wasn’t “boasting” about the number of people he killed, and has warned against this being a “very dangerous” spin. The royal told Stephen Colbert that this reference to his life had been taken out of context: “I should say, if I heard anyone boasting about that kind of thing, I would be angry. But it’s a lie.”
Harry explains that now the book is officially on shelves, people can read it and finally see the real context. “It’s really troubling and very disturbing that they can get away with it – Because they had the context. It wasn’t like ‘here’s just one line’ – they had the whole section, they ripped it away and just said ‘here it is, he’s boasting on this’.”
The Prince explains to Colbert how dangerous these beliefs and leaked premature reports have been. “My words are not dangerous, but the spin of my words are very dangerous.”
When Colbert asked if it was “dangerous” because Harry was now an “increased target,” Harry said it was “a choice that they’ve made.”
Further defending himself, Harry explained to Colbert that “the reason why I decided to share this [detail] in my book” was to “reduce the number of suicides” in the soldier and veteran communities. “I made a choice to share it because having spent nearly two decades working with veterans all around the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and to give space to others to be able to share their experiences without any shame.
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