Royal Family Sets Up a “War Room” to Deal with Fallout from Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’

Prince William wanted to speak out against the book, but King Charles nixed that idea.

King Charles and Prince William
(Image credit: Getty)

The fallout is already so massive over the leaked contents of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare—which hasn’t even been released in full yet (that happens Tuesday)—that the royal family has set up a “war room” to deal with the blowback from the book, Page Six reports. (In addition to the book itself, Harry will appear in interviews with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ITV’s Tom Bradby tonight; he’ll also be on Good Morning America with Michael Strahan tomorrow and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday.)

“The royal family’s senior advisers set up a de facto ‘war room’ to deal with any potential fallout from Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir,” the outlet reports. “Top staff even discussed the situation at Sandringham Estate, where the royal family gathered to celebrate their first Christmas without Queen Elizabeth.”

The outlet continues “insiders say a plan was drawn up to deal with the explosive revelations” from the book and the four planned interviews. The royal family and their staffs “racked their brains to come up with every possible story that Harry would include in his tome—and were said to be well aware he would recount his fight with William, where he claims that his brother knocked him into a dog bowl during a fight over Meghan Markle,” Page Six reports.

“There were undoubtedly fears about what Harry was going to write, and in particular they were worried about the highly personal moments of their lives being retold,” an insider tells the outlet. “The King wanted to move ahead with the traditional ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude and follow in the Queen’s famous footsteps of ‘never complain, never explain,’ but the Prince of Wales argued that perhaps the family should, in fact, go on the offensive and release a statement, much in the same way he said, ‘We are very much not a racist family.’ But he was overruled by his father.”

The Daily Telegraph also confirmed the Palace was on a “war footing” ahead of Spare’s release Tuesday, and, despite initially wanting to speak out, The Sunday Times (opens in new tab) reports that William is aware that he and the royal family have to keep mum.

“He [William] won’t retaliate—he never would—because he’s dignified and unbelievably loyal,” a friend of both brothers tells the outlet. “William is a sitting duck because Harry knows he isn’t going to retaliate. How many shots can you take at a sitting duck? It’s cruel, cowardly, and so sad for William to keep taking the punches. He’s keeping quiet for the good of his family and the country.”

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.