Prince Harry set the record straight about those reports suggesting he “boasted” about killing 25 people in Afghanistan as he chatted to Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s “The Late Show”.
Harry’s much-talked about memoir Spare was officially released this week, but had accidentally gone on sale in Spain early.
Along with some publications getting their hands on excerpts ahead of the release as well, Harry claimed some of his words were taken out of context.
The Duke of Sussex told Colbert, “The last few days have been hurtful and challenging, and not being able to do anything about those leaks that you refer to.
“Without a doubt, the most dangerous lie that they have told is that I somehow boasted about the number of people that I killed in Afghanistan,” he added.
"Without a doubt, the most dangerous lie that they have told, is that I somehow boasted about the number of people I killed in Afghanistan." — Prince Harry tells #Colbert, adding that his "words are not dangerous," but the spin on his "words are very dangerous." #Spare pic.twitter.com/FnjEZ0QnQl
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) January 10, 2023
Harry continued, “If I heard anyone boasting about that kind of thing, I would be angry. But it’s a lie. And hopefully now that the book is out, people will be able to see the context. It’s really troubling and very disturbing that they can get away with it. They had the context. It wasn’t like, ‘Here’s just one line.’ They had the whole section, they ripped it away and just said, ‘Here it is. He’s boasting on this.’ … And that’s dangerous.”
The Duke, who stepped back from the Royal Family alongside his wife Meghan Markle in March 2020, insisted, “My words are not dangerous, but the spin of my words are very dangerous.”
Colbert questioned whether it was “dangerous” because it meant that him and his loved ones could then be an “increased target,” to which Harry replied, “And that is a choice they’ve made.”
The host then pointed out that this wasn’t “new information,” mentioning an old Reuters article that stated Harry had killed people while in the British Army.
Harry commented, “Almost 10 years to the day. My face was splattered all over the front pages because someone asked me a question, while I was still in Afghanistan, if I had killed anybody from an attack helicopter, and I said yes.”
He said, “I think the most important thing here is, not only the context, but the reason why I decided to share this in my book. To the vets here and to the civilians here — which may feel as though this is slightly a weird conversation to have, especially on this show of all shows — I made a choice to share it because having spent nearly two decades working with veterans all around the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and to be able to give space to others to be able to share their experiences without any shame.”
Harry then concluded, “My whole goal and my attempt with sharing that detail is to reduce the number of suicides.”