‘Serious error’ in Harry’s memoir raises question of accuracy

Prince Harry: Spare becomes fastest selling non-fiction book

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In ‘Spare’, Harry writes of his experience of receiving the sad news of the passing of his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, in 2002. The account has been torn apart by royal commentators for being factually incorrect, leading to questions over the fact-checking of the book.

Prince Harry claimed: “At Eton, while studying, I took a call. I wish I could remember whose voice was at the other end; a courtier’s, I believe.

“I recall that it was just before Easter, the weather was bright and warm, light slanting through my window, filled with vivid colours.

“Your Royal Highness, the Queen Mother has died.”

However, reports from the time have thrown this account into question as the seventeen-year-old prince was not in the UK when the Queen Mother died.

A statement from Buckingham Palace on March 30, 2002, read: “The Queen, with the greatest sadness, has asked for the following announcement to be made immediately: Her beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth, died peacefully in her sleep this afternoon.

“Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had become increasingly frail in recent weeks following her bad cough and chest infection over Christmas.

“Her condition deteriorated this morning and her doctors were called. Queen Elizabeth died peacefully in her sleep at 3:15pm at Royal Lodge.”

At the time, King Charles, then the Prince of Wales, Prince William, and Prince Harry were skiing in Switzerland.

The family were enjoying an Easter break in Klosters when the Queen Mother died at Windsor.

The Daily Mail reported at the time: “A jest carrying the Prince of Wales and Princes William and Harry touched down at RAF Northolt at lunchtime today as they made their way to Windsor.”

Photographs published in the papers at the time show the trio arriving back in the UK the day after her passing.

A report by the BBC in 2002 said: “William and Harry [were] away skiing in Klosters when the 101-year-old died in her sleep.”

Meanwhile, the spokeswoman for Charles issued a statement from Switzerland saying: “He [Charles] is devastated. His only wish is to get home as soon as he can.”

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Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told GB News: “This is a serious error in a hugely controversial book.

“That Harry is clearly wrong in his recollection of the facts as to where he was when the Queen Mother died leaves doubt as to how closely this book has been fact-checked.

“One wonders how many other factual errors are to be found within its pages.”

Commentators and GB News reporters were clear to mention that there is no suggestion that Prince Harry deliberately included the inaccuracy in his book and that it could be a “honest mistake”. has approached the Duke of Sussex for comment.

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