To rapturous applause and chants of “Harry! Harry!”, the spare himself took to the stage of The Late Show last night for the last leg of his media tour to promote his new memoir.

Harry sat down on one of two seats by Colbert’s desk. “Is this the chair and the spare?” he quipped.

The song accompanying the Duke of Sussex’s entrance was Albert King’s wry bluesy musing on misfortune, Born Under a Bad Sign. The choice begs the question often asked of show’s host, Stephen Colbert: is it a piss-take?

Born under a bad sign

I was down before I began to grow

If it wasn’t for bad luck

I wouldn’t have no luck at all

Poor old “Haz”.

The interview started light but wasted no time in getting to the serious stuff, as Harry delved into the emotionally gory revelations in the book.

Two comments from the interview, in particular, have caught headline writers’ eyes.

The first is Harry’s denial that he boasted about killing 25 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, accusing the press of twisting his words. “My words are not dangerous but the spin of my words are [sic] very dangerous,” he said, as he suggested viewers buy the book to see for themselves, making the fair point that context was critical.

The second is that the royal family is “actively campaigning to undermine the book”. Asked if this was the case, Harry replied, “Of course. This is the other side of the story after 38 years. There is a lot in here that, you know, perhaps makes people feel uncomfortable and scared.” 

The chat, which ranged from his rift with William following the death of their mother to the “abuse and harassment” Meghan received at the hands of the British press, was pretty heavy-going. But at least we got a neat little skit involving Harry, Colbert, Tom Hanks and some royal trumpeters…

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