The Duke of Sussex called the Queen consort “the bad guy” and “dangerous” and spoke of bodies being “abandoned on the streets” during her image overhaul.

Harry launched his fiercest criticism of his stepmother in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes. The Duke wrote in his memoir Spare that Camilla “sacrificed me on her personal PR altar.”

He told interviewer Anderson Cooper: “She was the bad guy. She was a third person in the marriage. She had to fix her image.”

He added: “The need for her to fix her image … made her dangerous because of the connections she forged within the British press. And there was an open willingness on both sides to exchange information and leaving people or corpses on the road with a hierarchical family and with her on her way to the queen consort.

The duke writes in his memoirs how he and William begged the king not to marry Camilla, and he told Cooper: “We felt it was unnecessary. We thought it would do more harm than good.”

However, in his British interview with ITV on Sunday night, the Duke denied that he had spoken “disparagingly” about the Queen consort in his autobiography. Presenter Tom Bradby said: “I want to talk briefly about your stepmother and the press because you are very consistently sharp and suggest that you …”

Harry replied, “Destructive? … What, destructive?”

Bradby replied: “Well, as you say, ‘Your interests have been sacrificed on your PR altar,’ to quote, and you seem to be specifically referring to that. Now your people can say, well, it’s not a crime to have lunch with journalists.

Harry: “Well, I think the book is very clear about what happened.”

In an extract from his memoir, Harry says: “’We support you,’ we said, ‘We support Camilla,’ we said. “Please don’t marry her, just be together dad.” He didn’t answer.

But she answered. Immediately. Shortly after our private meetings with her, she started playing the long game. A campaign aimed at marriage and eventually the crown, with Father’s blessings we assumed.’

Camilla’s public image has changed dramatically over the years since she was chosen as the third person in the wedding of the then Prince and Princess of Wales due to her relationship with Charles. In a 1994 television interview with broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, Charles admitted to committing adultery, but only after his marriage had “broken down beyond repair”.

The following year, Diana revealed on the BBC Panorama documentary: ‘Well, there were three of us in this marriage so it was a bit busy’, a reference to Camilla. After Charles and Camilla divorced – and Diana died in 1997 – the appearance of the duchess as the prince’s longtime partner was part of a carefully planned public relations campaign led by heir apparent Mark Bolland.

Their first public appearance together was in 1999 outside the Ritz hotel in London, called Operation Ritz, where the crowd turned away waiting photographers. The former royal mistress, who married Charles in 2005 and has done charity work as a member of the royal family for more than 17 years, was confirmed by the late Queen as Queen Consort on the eve of Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in February 2022.