Prince Harry gets candid in a new biography

By Sam Gillette
May 03, 2018 12:01 PM
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In a new book, Harry: A Biography of a Prince, journalist Angela Levin reveals the candid, wide-ranging conversations she has had with an extraordinary interview subject: Prince Harry himself.

Not only does the royal, 33, share details about his relationship with his soon-to-be-wife Meghan Markle, 36, he also explains how important it is that he remain connected to his memories of his mother Princess Diana.

“It comforts him to believe that Diana is still somehow in touch and aware of what he does, especially when it involves causes she cared about,” Levin writes. ” ‘I instinctively know what my mother would like me to do,’ he said.”

Shortly after his engagement to Meghan was announced, Prince Harry reflected on how his mother would feel about the news.

“They’d be thick as thieves, without question,” he said. “I think [my mother] would be over the moon, jumping up and down, so excited for me. But I think she would have been best friends with Meghan.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Alexi Lubomirski/REX/Shutterstock

Beyond delving into the impact of his mother’s death, the biography (out May 3) also reveals the reasons behind Harry’s rebellion as a teen, his struggle to balance his personal issues with his public image and his desire to forge a new path.

See below for more of the best highlights:

Harry is an expert hugger.

The Prince told Levin that he’s good at hugs, just like his mom. “Everyone needs a hug now and again, and it just so happens that I’m very good with hugs,” he said to the author. He added that the ability would have made Princess Diana “smile with pride.”

Princess Diana and Prince Harry
Georges De Keerle/Getty

He wouldn’t have chosen to be royalty, but he’s determined to use his platform for good.

“If you’re born into it, as we were, I think it’s normal to feel as though you don’t really want it,” he told Levin. “We don’t want to be just a bunch of celebrities, but instead use our role for good.” Not only has Prince Harry dedicated his time to charities focused on issues like AIDS awareness and mental health, more recently he and Meghan Markle requested that their wedding guests make donations to charities in lieu of gifts.

He is in a rush to make an impact.

“I want to make something of my life,” he told Levin. “I now feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [Prince] George and [Princess] Charlotte take over and I’ve got to make the most of it.”

He had a surprising reaction to the news of his parents’ separation.

Levin writes that when Princess Diana told her sons that she and their father were separating, William “burst into tears.” Harry, in contrast, told his mother, “I hope you’ll both be happier now.” He also wanted to know if there was anything he could do to make his parents happy again, according to the book.

Prince Harry
David Moir/Getty

Prince Harry may have matured, but he’s still “naughty.”

As a young man, Harry earned a reputation as a royal rebel, partying too hard and making tabloid headlines for bad behavior — including an infamous game of strip billiards in Vegas. After he joined the British Army he found purpose and discipline, but he can still relate with people who are struggling. “I sometimes still feel like I am living in a gold fish bowl, but I now manage it better,” he told Levin. “I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.”