Pictures place Prince Harry in Switzerland when Queen Mother died – NOT Eton as he recalls

Recollections DO vary! New questions over Prince Harry’s ability to recall facts – as his book describes call he received at Eton on a warm spring day telling him the Queen Mother had died… when in fact he was away skiing with Charles and William

  • Prince Harry’s reliability has been called into question over ‘inaccuracy’ in Spare 
  • He recalls in vivid detail learning of the Queen Mother’s death at Eton in 2002 
  • But pictures appear to place him in Switzerland with his brother and father
  • Critics are now questioning how Harry’s recollection can be trusted throughout

Prince Harry’s reliability has been called into question after new information was unearthed which appears to discredit his recollection of learning the Queen Mother had died.

In his memoir, Spare, the Duke of Sussex wrote in painstaking detail of the call he received while at Eton, telling him his grandmother had died on March 30, 2002.

He writes: ‘At Eton, while studying, I took the call. I wish I could remember whose voice was at the other end; a courtier’s I believe. I recall that it was just before Easter, the weather bright and warm, light slanting through my window, filled with vivid colours.’ 

But resurfaced photographs appear to place the prince in Klosters, Switzerland, the weekend the Queen Mother died.

Harry posed alongside his brother William and father Charles in a media call on March 29, having recently shrugged off a bout of glandular fever in time to hit the slopes.

Resurfaced photographs appear to place the prince in Klosters, Switzerland, the weekend the Queen Mother died

Resurfaced photographs appear to place the prince in Klosters, Switzerland, the weekend the Queen Mother died

Harry posed alongside his brother William and father Charles in a media call on March 29, having recently shrugged off a bout of glandular fever in time to hit the slopes

Harry posed alongside his brother William and father Charles in a media call on March 29, having recently shrugged off a bout of glandular fever in time to hit the slopes

The trio leaned against a rock, laughed with one another and even put their arms around each other in the pictures

The trio leaned against a rock, laughed with one another and even put their arms around each other in the pictures

It was his first public appearance after admitting to smoking cannabis and drinking underage, BBC reported at the time.

Prince Harry reportedly told the gathered crowd he was on doctors orders to ‘take it easy’ on the slopes, and appeared jovial by all accounts. 

The trio leaned against a rock, laughed with one another and even put their arms around each other in the pictures. 

Three friends from Eton were said to have accompanied the boys on the trip.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline: ‘It seems from the evidence, that he was undoubtedly in Klosters at when the Queen Mother died.’

‘This portrait of being at Eton, ”the weather bright and warm, light slanting… vivid colours” is therefore inaccurate.’

Princes William and Harry and their father Prince Charles with The Queen Mother during celebrations to mark her 101st birthday August 4, 2001

Princes William and Harry and their father Prince Charles with The Queen Mother during celebrations to mark her 101st birthday August 4, 2001

Pictured: Prince William (L), his father Prince Charles (C) and Prince Harry (R) leave Northolt RAF airbase, west London on 31 March 2002 after reportedly cutting short their skiing holiday in the wake of the Queen Mother's death

Pictured: Prince William (L), his father Prince Charles (C) and Prince Harry (R) leave Northolt RAF airbase, west London on 31 March 2002 after reportedly cutting short their skiing holiday in the wake of the Queen Mother’s death

Prince Harry sits in a car as he and his brother, Prince William and his father, Prince Charles head for home from a skiing trip in Klosters

Prince Harry sits in a car as he and his brother, Prince William and his father, Prince Charles head for home from a skiing trip in Klosters

Mr Fitzwilliams, quoting the Queen herself, noted it is possible that ‘some recollections may vary‘, but described this as ‘a serious mistake’.

‘Errors such as this cast doubt on the veracity of other details. If you hire a ghost writer and don’t fact-check properly, this is what can happen.

‘The book is so hugely controversial that he cannot afford mistakes such as this. Much of the appeal of the prose is in the descriptive passages. However, are there other inaccuracies? A mistake like this poses this question.’

Prince Harry's memoir hit the shelves today

Prince Harry’s memoir hit the shelves today

Buckingham Palace issued a statement on March 30, 2002 which read: ‘The Queen, with the greatest sadness, has asked for the following announcement to be made immediately: Her beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth, died peacefully in her sleep this afternoon.

‘Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had become increasingly frail in recent weeks following her bad cough and chest infection over Christmas.’ 

King Charles, the then Prince of Wales, issued a statement through his own spokesperson later that day which revealed at least he was still in Klosters.

It read: ‘He [Charles] is devastated. His only wish is to get home as soon as he can.’

A jet carrying Charles and both of his sons reportedly arrived back in the UK the next day, having received special permission from the Queen for the trio to travel together.

The apparent inconsistency has raised concerns among fans and critics alike, who have asked whether his recollection for the remainder of the memoir are to be trusted.

In Spare, Harry himself acknowledged his memory suffered after the death of his mother, an issue he put down to being a defence mechanism. 

Similarly, Harry wrote in the memoir he received an Xbox from his mother, Diana, in 1997 as a gift for his 13th birthday.

Copies of Harry's memoir Spare stacked at Foyles bookshop in London. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline there are now valid concerns over Harry's recollection throughout the book

Copies of Harry’s memoir Spare stacked at Foyles bookshop in London. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline there are now valid concerns over Harry’s recollection throughout the book 

The first Xbox console was not available for purchase until late 2001, sparking further questions as to whether Harry could have possibly received one several years earlier.

But others have given him the benefit of the doubt, noting it is likely he was simply referring to a different type of gaming device, like a PlayStation, which was first released in 1994.

The late Queen Elizabeth famously issued a withering assessment of the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they alleged someone in the fold asked what colour Archie’s skin might be.

Some 36 hours after the extraordinary interview, the Queen said she was ‘saddened by the claims’ but that ‘some recollections may vary’. 

The phrase is now somewhat synonymous with the couple, and much of the criticism surrounding Harry’s latest media blitz – and the memoir itself – surrounds whether the Duke of Sussex has accurately recalled incidents.

Prince William is reportedly devastated by the allegations levelled against his family. Pictured together at the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana in 2021

Prince William is reportedly devastated by the allegations levelled against his family. Pictured together at the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana in 2021

It is unclear where Harry’s relationship with his father stands following the onslaught of bombshells he has revealed this week.

Sources say King Charles is saddened by the saga but unlikely to publicly comment on any of the points that Harry has raised.

Harry, meanwhile, has said on multiple occasions he is open to reconciliation with his family, but there are conditions. 

Speaking to ITV‘s News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby, Harry said he’d be open to reconciliation and even returning to a partial royal role, on the condition he could have ‘frank’ conversations with his family which would stay private. 

‘I don’t know whether they’ll be watching this [interview] or not, but, what they have to say to me and what I have to say to them will be in private, and I hope it can stay that way,’ he said, noting he doesn’t want ‘frank discussions [to] leak out’. 

The comments have been labelled ironic given all the private moments Harry has shared in his memoir.

Read more about Harry’s bombshell autobiography:

Prince Harry shares VERY intimate tale about having sex with Meghan Markle at Soho House in the early days of their relationship

Harry and Meghan ‘will be invited to coronation of King Charles but are not expected to attend’  

Prince Harry claims he grew up knowing he was born in case his brother needed a kidney or a blood transfusion 

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