A jarring new book about Prince Harry takes a piercing look inside the palace walls to show the struggles he had growing up in the public eye — particularly, according to writer Penny Junor, as a result of the unpredictable actions of his late mother, Princess Diana, who even launched death threats toward her rivals.
At one time, Diana was so consumed with jealously toward Camilla Parker Bowles, she called the woman at her rural home in the dead of night to taunt her, "I’ve sent someone to kill you … they’re outside in the garden … look out of the window; can you see them?"
In her book, Junor writes, “While their nannies could keep them occupied and the protection officers could keep them safe, no one could protect them from the emotional extremes of their mother.”
Junor’s Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son takes a never-seen-before glimpse into Harry’s tumultuous upbringing, a timeframe which included his parents’ public separation linked to scandalous affairs which, despite their handlers’ best efforts, the boys could not be shielded from.
Harry, Junor writes, “had to endure his parents’ very bitter divorce, the revelation of their affairs and even their most intimate secrets, from Diana’s eating disorder and self-harming to Charles’ excruciatingly embarrassing phone conversations with” Camilla, including the royal’s infamous revelation that he wanted to be reincarnated as her tampon.
"Diana didn’t attempt to hide her dalliances — or her emotions — from her children,” Junor wrote, noting that “by the late Eighties and early Nineties, when Harry was still very young and impressionable …. Diana confided in her boys and sought comfort from them, even though they were still so young."
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Junor wrote that as “a lot has been written about his parents’ marriage and why it failed, but the facts need to be reiterated because it affected Harry deeply,” as “the man he is today is a product of that broken home and all that he heard and felt during his childhood."
Compounding matters, Junor writes that Diana "expected a young Harry to comfort her as she ricocheted from one terrifying emotional outburst to the next” during the tumultuous timeframe, in which Junor claims a paranoid princess made the aforementioned death threats to Bowles via telephone; and would fire nannies out of jealousy that they’d connected with her sons emotionally.
"She loved her boys more than anyone else on earth — but she wanted them to love her better than anyone else, too,” according to Junor, adding that Diana "wanted 100 percent of them, in the same way that she had wanted 100 percent of Charles, to the exclusion of all others.”
Junor wrote that Diana’s love for her sons "was almost obsessive, and it was possessive,” as “one of her favorite phrases was: ‘Who loves you most?’
"The real problem was that Diana had never been properly mothered herself and therefore didn’t know how to be a mother,” the author wrote. "She behaved more like a big sister to William and Harry — at times, the nannies must have felt as though they had three children to look after."