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Some of the most fascinating aspects of Royal Family life in Spare

Prince Harry labelled ‘petulant and privileged’ by Paul Burrell

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In Prince Harry’s new book, Spare, ghostwritten by J. R. Moehringer, the Duke of Sussex makes a number of explosive revelations and accusations about his family, in particular about Prince William. The 38-year-old also gives insight into what life is like as a member of the Royal Family, including things like a clothing allowance and how some members refrain from physical affection. Here, Express.co.uk takes a look at nine of the most fascinating secrets set out in the book.

Newspapers laid out each day 

Harry explores the relationship between the Royal Family and the tabloid media, and describes how the royals have a vested interest in who has made the front cover of each paper. As a result, newspapers are laid out in “pretty much every single palace”, he explains.

In a picture from 2013 of the Queen shaking hands with the then Prime Minister David Cameron at Balmoral Castle, a pile of newspapers such as The Times, The Telegraph, and The Mirror can be seen as well as magazines such as Hello! and Majesty.

“Zero tolerance” on physical contact 

Harry describes how as a Royal, they were taught to ensure there was a “buffer zone” between them and “the rest of Creation”. This filtered its way into the Firm as there was “distance” within the family itself as well.

He writes: “No matter how much you might love someone, you could never cross that chasm between, say, monarch and child. Or Heir and Spare. Physically, but also emotionally.”

The older generation, he explains, maintained a “nearly zero-tolerance prohibition on all physical contact” with there being only “light touching of cheeks” on special occasions. In fact, he says, there were no hugs, kisses, or pats.

Harry added he “couldn’t imagine any circumstance” under which he could hug the Queen.

“Free for all” at Christmas

Unlike most, the Royal Family opens their Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, keeping with the German tradition. Each family member stands by their “mound” of gifts before “suddenly” opening them all at the same time, pulling bows and tearing wrapping paper, in what Harry described as a “free-for-all”.

Royals “almost never” carry money

Harry describes being a Royal as like living in a “surreal state” akin to a never-ending “Truman Show”, a reference to the 1998 film starring Jim Carrey. Not only did he hardly ever have money on him, but house keys either.

The Duke also told how he had never owned a car and “almost never” travelled on the London Underground. Prior to his stepping down in 2020, he had also never ordered anything online, nor received an Amazon delivery.

Nights at Highgrove 

Harry talks of his teenage years, spending hours playing the video game Halo under the username BillandBaz. At the Highgrove residence in Gloucestershire, deep in the basement that was once a bomb shelter, he and William spent many of their teenage years in “Club H” – which stood for Highgrove, not Harry.

The boys’ lair was decked with a Persian rug, Moroccan sofas, an electric dartboard, a stereo system, and a well-stocked drinks trolley. The brothers would invite around 15 friends around at a time for “not-so-innocent drinking” of rum or vodka “usually in tumblers”, and “snogging”.

Club H was Harry’s place of escape, both for when he wanted to “act out” and for moments of solitude.

Nicknames

The Netflix docu-series, released late last year, revealed that Harry and Meghan refer to each other as “M” and “H”. Harry’s memoir has shown that like many other families, the Firm use pet names for each other.

Throughout the book, Harry refers to his older brother as “Willy” and he in turn is called “Harold”. Harry fondly referred to his great-grandmother, the Queen mother, as “Gan-gan”.

Clothing allowance 

The Royals receive a clothing allowance each year but Harry revealed that this was strictly for formal wear such as suits, ties, and ceremonial outfits.

For his casual wear, the Duke revealed that he enjoyed hunting for bargains in the discount shop, TK Maxx, particularly from brands like Gap or J Crew during its once-a-year sale.

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The Queen’s salad dressing

While spending their summers out of the spotlight at Balmoral, the Royal Family enjoyed having barbeques, which was one of Prince Philip’s many “passions”.

Although the Duke of Edinburgh could cook up a mean spaghetti bolognese on the hot coals, the Queen’s “specialty” was making the salad dressing.

Baths at Balmoral 

An oddity of Balmoral Castle revealed in Harry’s memoir was the water which perturbed a number of guests. Many would raise the alarm as something appeared to be wrong with the water in the loo which was brown and resembled a “weak tea”.

However, Harry said his father would put the guests at ease with a smile, explaining that the water was both “filtered and sweetened” with Scottish peat.

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