Dickie Arbiter asks Harry for apology over 'misattributed quote'

Late Queen’s ex-press secretary Dickie Arbiter demands public apology from Prince Harry after quote about giving the Sussexes ‘no mercy’ was apparently misattributed to him in Duke’s book Spare

  • The Queen’s former press secretary has called for an apology over Spare
  • Dickie Arbiter, says a quote in Prince Harry’s memoir appears to be misattributed
  • The 82-year-old is not named, but says wording of passage identifies him

A former palace aide has demanded a public apology as he believes a quote from Prince Harry’s memoir appears to have been misattributed to him.

Dickie Arbiter, 82, was press secretary to the late Queen Elizabeth but he is not named in the Duke of Sussex’s Spare.

However he says a quote in the book could be interpreted as if it was from him, and would like the publisher to apologise.

In Spare, Prince Harry discusses the 2020 MailOnline article: ‘Make no mistake, it’s an insult’: Fleet Street’s jury say Meghan and Harry can expect ‘no mercy’ after their stunning decision to ‘go rogue’ and quit.

In which a panel of commentators called the ‘Fleet Street’s jury’ gave their thoughts on Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from royal duties.

Prince Harry wrote about his thoughts on the article, he said: ‘Among them was the Queen’s ex- press secretary, who concluded, with his fellow jurors, that we should here- after “expect no mercy”.

‘I shook my head. “No mercy”. The language of war?’

Dickie Arbiter, 82, former press secretary to the late Queen, wants an apology from the publisher of the Duke of Sussex’s memoir over a passage which he believes appears to misattribute a quote to him

The 82-year-old believes the quote ‘expect no mercy’ about Megxit appears to be attributed to him in Spare

Arbiter is the only former press secretary among the group and says that the wording will cause readers to think he said ‘expect no mercy’, when he did not.

The quote came from broadcaster and former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Sir Trevor Phillips.

Arbiter told The Times: ‘I think as a number of people have interpreted the quote as coming from me, when clearly it wasn’t, that an apology is in order.’

‘There are a number of errors in the book and future copies should be corrected.’

He said an acceptable form of ‘public apology’ from the publisher would be a post on social media as it would be seen widely.

Prince Harry’s ghostwriter has defended Spare from damaging claims of inaccuracy and historical errors, insisting ‘inadvertent mistakes’ are common in memoirs where ‘the line between memory and fact is blurry’.

Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir is full of startling claims – and some have questioned the historical accuracy of the facts presented. J.R. Moehringer (right), Harry’s ghostwriter, on Wednesday defended the book, saying memoirs are about the subject’s own view of events

J.R. Moehringer, who has also authored autobiographies for Andre Agassi and Nike co-founder Phil Knight, defended the book he was reportedly paid $1million to write.

Sharing an excerpt from Harry’s book, he emphasised that the prince himself admits at times that he is unsure of the accuracy all the details he shares, often saying this is due to trauma in his childhood. But in the same book he also insists: ‘It’s important that history has it right.’

Mr Moehringer tweeted Harry’s words: ‘Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory… there’s just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts.’ He also tweeted a quote from Mary Karr, author of The Art of Memoir, which said: ‘The line between memory and fact is blurry, between interpretation and fact. There are inadvertent mistakes of those kind out of the wazoo.’

Harry has been accused of a litany of factual errors, including claiming that he was descended from King Henry VI, saying he was given an Xbox before they were manufactured, and stating that Meghan’s father was bought a Mexico-London flight ticket on Air New Zealand, which does not fly that route.

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