Britain's Prince Harry's autobiography 'Spare' displayed at Waterstones bookstore, in London
Britain's Prince Harry's autobiography 'Spare' displayed at Waterstones bookstore, in London Reuters

Royal author Andrew Morton contradicted Prince Harry's claim in his memoir that he was brought into the world to become his brother's "spare." He recalled how the late Princess Diana referred to her second son as a "backup" to support Prince William.

The biographer shared that the late Princess of Wales told him in tapes for his 1992 book "Diana: Her True Story" that King Charles III had wanted a daughter for their second child.

In one of the recorded tapes, the late princess revealed how her husband was so disappointed to learn that they were having a son again. He was so disappointed that he was still talking about it with his mother-in-law three months after Prince Harry's christening in December 1984.

"Charles went to talk to my mother at Harry's christening and said: 'We were so disappointed—we thought it would be a girl,'" Princess Diana said in the tapes.

Morton explained to Newsweek that King Charles III had a "sentimental attachment to having a girl as many fathers do." He said, "The way it was put to me was that it was in that light. And she (Princess Diana) would kind of tease him that if they made their marriage work maybe she could have a girl in the future. A third child."

The author added that the late princess had considered Prince Harry not as a spare but as a "backup," saying that "she always made it clear in the tapes and conversations" with him or with her friend James Colthurst that her second son "was a backup in the nicest possible way, so it wasn't about him being an organ donor but a friend and supporter to William. She wanted him to be a wingman, not a hitman."

In his memoir, the Duke of Sussex wrote that he was the "spare" while Prince William was the "heir." He said, "This was shorthand often used by Pa and Mummy and Grandpa. And even Granny. The 'Heir and the Spare'—there was no judgment about it, but also no ambiguity."

He continued that he "was the shadow, the support, the Plan B" and that he "was brought into the world in case something happened" to his older brother. He "was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion, and, if necessary, a spare part. Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow."

Prince Harry wrote, "This was all made explicitly clear to me from the start of life's journey and regularly reinforced thereafter." He shared that he was 20 years old when he heard the story about what his father allegedly told his mother on the day of his birth, "Wonderful! Now you've given me an Heir and a Spare—my work is done."

Despite not having what he wished for, Princess Diana revealed in the tapes that King Charles III was a dedicated father to his sons and "loved the nursery life and couldn't wait to get back and do the bottle and everything. He was very good, he always came back and fed the baby."

As for Prince Harry, Princess Diana told her biographer that King Charles III "was absolutely amazed and he adores him." She also believed that they "had two boys for a reason" as she shared that they "were the only people in the family to have two boys. The rest of the family had a boy and a girl" and they "were the first to change" that. She knew then that "fate played a hand there."

Morton said that King Charles III was a loving father "right up until he wasn't" and that "he always made time to come back for bath time" for his sons. He shared that Princess Diana made sure that her husband gave their children "an emotionally warmer childhood than he had" but "obviously, it was not as warm as Harry would have liked."