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Royal Confessions 2023: Prince William, Prince Harry spill secrets about their personal lives
December 25 2023, 08:00

The royal family tends to keep their private lives exactly that, private, but there were some big confessions made in 2023.

Prince William revealed in October that his favorite emoji is NSFW. Princess Eugenie was a guest on the "White Wine Question Time" podcast, hosted by Kate Thornton, in October, when she shared that royal family fans had approached her saying she looks better in person after seeing "terrifyingly ugly" paparazzi pictures of her.

Queen Elizabeth's childhood friend, Lady Anne Glenconner, recently weighed in on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's strained relationship with the royal family and said she feels "sad" for Harry. And of course, Prince Harry shared many secrets in his tell-all book ‘Spare.’


Here is a look at a few royal family members – and friends – who have shared their secrets with the public.

William said on the BBC Radio 1 show "Going Home" that his favorite emoji to use is the aubergine (eggplant), but he was advised not to use that one very often.

"I’ve been told not to say the aubergine, so I’ve got to pick something else," the future king of England said on Oct. 10. "It would have been the aubergine, but I’m saying now — because I’ve got to be all grown up — it’s the one where the eyes go up and down and the mouth’s out." 

He asked, "What’s that one? The slightly crazy one." 

William appeared on the show with his wife, Kate Middleton, to honor World Mental Health Day. 

Later, on an episode of the "Seven: Rob Burrow" podcast in December, William's cousin-in-law, Mike Tindall, revealed a secret nickname that he gave the Prince of Wales.

"The Prince of Wales is known to me as ‘One Pint Willy’ because he’s not the best of drinkers," Tindall said on the podcast. "Coming from a sport where it is built on the social aspect and a couple of beers being sunk quite often."

Tindall continued, "That is one I will definitely give away for the Prince of Wales. ‘One Pint Willy.’ It’s out there now. Sorry, sir!"

Tindall was joined by his wife – and William's cousin – Zara Tindall on the podcast. The couple married in 2011.

Princess Eugenie is no stranger to the public eye.

Having been in the spotlight since birth as the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, Eugenie has made countless appearances, and she has had even more photos taken of her. Now, she is revealing that some of those photos have had strangers approaching her to tell her that she looks "much better" in person.

Eugenie admitted that some photos of her and sister Princess Beatrice over the years may not have been the most flattering.

Speaking about her Instagram, she said, "I want people to know me because I think there's been so much misinformation and it's so easy to judge something when you read it in the paper or if you see a picture, like a terrifyingly ugly photo of us coming out of a bar or, you know, those action shots that people get — it's not the nicest photos."


"People come up to me sometimes and say, ‘Oh, you’re much better looking in real life,'" she continued, "and you're like, ‘Ah! Thanks!’ Is that a compliment? I don't know."

"So I do get nervous, but I wanted people to see the real me. And to know that I have a sense of humor," she explained on the "White Wine Question Time" podcast. 

Eugenie has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, where she posts regularly. Her feed includes both photos and information about her work as a member of the royal family, as well as more personal pictures.

The late monarch's longtime childhood friend had some things to say about Markle and Prince Harry's departure as senior members of the royal family in 2020.

The 91-year-old aristocrat was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret for three decades and served as a maid of honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953. During a recent appearance on the "Rosebud with Gyles Brandreth" podcast, she recalled that she had known the 39-year-old Duke of Sussex from the time he was a child, describing him as a "lovely little boy."

Glenconner went on to say that she believed that Markle, a former "Suits" star, thought that becoming a royal would be the same as life as a celebrity before she married Harry in May 2018.

"I think the thing about Meghan was, she had no idea what was expected of her really," Glenconner said. "I think she just thought it was sort of like being another actress, you know. Riding around in a golden coach and everything like that." 

She continued, "Actually, being a member of the royal family — a lot of it is extremely boring."

"A lot of it is meeting hundreds of thousands of people you are never going to meet again – always trying to say something interesting and nice," Glenconner added. "I think it is very sad, and I feel very sad for Harry."

The podcast episode took place during a live event at the Barnes Book Fest in London on Oct. 20. Glenconner's remarks about Harry and Markle came after an audience member asked her about the Sussexes. 

Relations between Harry and William became strained after the Sussexes announced that they were stepping down from their roles as senior royals in January 2020. The couple later moved to California with their children Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2.

Harry went on a press tour for his bombshell memoir, "Spare," in January. During the lead-up to the memoir's debut, Harry spoke to Anderson Cooper on "60 Minutes" and shared some confessions about his drug use and the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

When he was 20 years old, eight years after her death, Prince Harry requested the police report of his mother's fatal collision. 

Princess Diana was 36 years old when she died on Aug. 31, 1997, following a car collision in Paris. Diana, along with her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, were killed while being pursued by photographers in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel.


She was known as "The People's Princess" despite her disdain for the press and life in the spotlight, and divorced Charles in 1996.

"The files contained photographs of the crash scene. Why did you want to see it?," Cooper asked.

"Mainly proof," Harry said. "Proof that she was in the car. Proof that she was injured. And proof that the very paparazzi that chased her into the tunnel were the ones that were taking photographs – photographs of her lying half dead on the back seat of the car."

During the interview, Harry also mentioned that he sought out experimental therapeutic treatments to suppress "a lot of anger."


At one point, he "resorted to drinking heavily. Because I wanted to numb the feeling, or I wanted to distract myself from how … whatever I was thinking. And I would, you know, resort to drugs as well."

Harry admitted to smoking marijuana and using cocaine after feeling "hopeless and lost" in his 20s.

"There was this weight on my chest that I felt for so many years that I was never able to cry," he said. "So I was constantly trying to find a way to cry, but – in even sitting on my sofa and going over as many memories as I could muster up about my mum. And sometimes I watched videos online."

"Of your mom," Anderson said, to which Prince Harry agreed but admitted he still could not cry over Princess Diana's death.

"You write in the book about psychedelics, Ayahuasca, psilocybin, mushrooms," Anderson said.

"I would never recommend people to do this recreationally. But doing it with the right people if you are suffering from a huge amount of loss, grief or trauma, then these things have a way of working as a medicine," Prince Harry admitted.

"For me, they cleared the windscreen, the windshield, the misery of loss. They cleared away this idea that I had in my head that – that my mother, that I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her. When in fact, all she wanted was for me to be happy."