Facial hair was once a topic of heated conversation between Prince Harry and Prince William, according to the Duke of Sussex’s upcoming autobiography, Spare. Speaking to ITV‘s Tom Bradby before its release, the British royal discussed the contents of the book, with the topic of his beard being one of them.
Before marrying Meghan Markle, Prince Harry had to seek Queen Elizabeth II’s permission to sport his beard for the wedding. “She was amenable, William was not,” Bradby says in a voiceover for the televised interview. The Duke of Sussex writes that while he got the “green light” from his grandmother, Prince William was “bristled” by it, and told his younger brother that he had put the Queen in an “uncomfortable position,” as she “had no choice but to say yes.” Prince Harry replied that the Queen “can speak for herself,” and went on to write: “At one point he actually ordered me, as the ‘heir’ speaking to the ‘spare,’ to shave.” According to the Duke, his brother later confessed that he was “bitter” that he “wasn’t allowed” to keep his own “full beard” after also serving in the military. “He hated the idea of me enjoying a perk he’d been denied,” Harry writes.
In conversation with Bradby, Prince Harry describes his facial hair “as almost like a shield to my anxiety,” and feared that his wife-to-be would not have recognized him if he had been beardless at the altar. “I would feel very, very different without my beard, and that’s hard for people to understand who’ve never grown a beard, but hopefully those beard people out there will go ‘Yeah, no, I fully get that, I can understand,'” he says.
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