Julie Burchill Julie Burchill

Prince Harry’s book is a gift to the world

(Photo: Getty)

And still it keeps on coming. We had barely absorbed the first wave of revelations – jewellery mashed, dog bowls smashed, a brother trashed – before the new tsunami of tattle related to Prince Harry’s imminent book Spare broke over our fevered faces. Dissing duchesses getting aerated over hormones, teenage deflowerings in desolate fields, cocaine ingested by noble noses, accusations of ginger bastardy, attempted derailing of putative wicked stepmothers and maternal approval from beyond the grave for the 16-toilets lifestyle ­– the burbling stream of confession never stops. Sometimes it feels as though Prince Harry is using the world’s media as his therapy couch – and sometimes it’s like having a drunk crying on your shoulder and telling you his life story in a bar. Though serious-minded types may turn their backs with a moue of distaste, speaking as someone who has been a hack since she was too young to vote, I can’t get enough of this sort of rubbish.

If this was many other countries, the brothers might well have shot each other. As it is, some dry goods got damaged

And neither, it seems, can the Guardian, who helpfully opened the floodgates yesterday when one ‘Martin Pengelly in New York’ obtained a copy ‘amid stringent pre-launch security around the book’. ‘Spare is a remarkable volume… Harry is unsparing in his recounting of intensely private scenes and conversations in which the altercation between the two princes forms a startling passage.’ The brotherly bust-up is camper than I imagined – more Bette Davis and Joan Crawford than Elizabeth I and Bloody Mary – while William’s parting shot to a prostrate Harry made me imagine an unwritten Smith’s song: ‘Harold, as you lay there on the dog bowl looking feckless/Who could blame me if I’d felt like ripping off your necklace?/But your fall was accidental as in kitchenette we barrelled/I don’t love you anymore – but I didn’t attack you, Harold.’

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