Harry slams royal family ‘zoo’
Prince Harry has lobbed another bomb at the royal family in a wide-ranging podcast interview in which he slammed Prince Charles's parenting and compared his life in London to being in a zoo.
Prince Harry spoke for more than 90 minutes on actor Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast about his family's "genetic pain", which he felt he had to move his own wife and child away from.
"I don't think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody," he said.
"But certainly when it comes to parenting, if I've experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I'm going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on, basically."
Prince Harry, who is expecting a second child with wife Meghan Markle, also opened up about how the couple had come to terms with her dislike of royal life.
He said that as their dissatisfaction built with life as working members of the royal family, Meghan had assured him: "You don't need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess."
"We got together and she was like: 'Wow, this is very different to what my friends at the beginning said it would be,'" Prince Harry said.
Prince Harry is currently promoting his new mental-health awareness project on Apple+, The Me You Can't See, which he co-produced with Oprah Winfrey.
The wide-ranging podcast, which was released Thursday morning in the US, covered a lot of ground, from the growth of "fake news", social media privacy and bias and the responsibility of public figures to encourage people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
He spoke lovingly about his mother, Princess Diana, saying her only concern had been to give him and brother Prince William "as normal a life as possible".
But he also shared his dissatisfaction with his father even as he admitted that Prince Charles had suffered in his own way as the future monarch.
"Suddenly I started to piece it together and go, 'OK, so this is where he went to school, this is what happened, I know this about his life, I also know that is connected to his parents so that means he's treated me the way he was treated, so how can I change that for my own kids,'" the Duke of Sussex explained.
"And here I am, I moved my whole family to the US.
"That wasn't the plan, but sometimes you've got make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first.
"It's a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway so we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say 'you know what, that happened to me, I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen to you.'"
The 36-year-old compared his former royal life to being "a mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo", referring to the dark 1990s satire about a man who is unaware his life is a reality TV show.
He said Meghan had advised him to start therapy early in their relationship because he was "hurting" and "angry" about things that were "out of my control".
"She could tell that I was hurting," he said.
"It's the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. Obviously in my early twenties, I was in the case of: 'I don't want this job, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mum, how am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family when I know it's going to happen again?'
"I've seen behind the curtain, I've seen the business model and seen how this whole operation works and I don't want to be part of this.
"Once I started doing therapy it was like the bubble was burst.
"I plucked my head out of the sand and gave it a good shake off and I was like: 'You're in this position of privilege, stop complaining and stop thinking you want something different - make this different - because you can't get out. How are you going to do these things differently, how are you going to make your mum proud and use this platform to really affect change'."
Since the couple moved to the US, Prince Harry said he had found his "spiritual home".
"My shoulders have dropped, so have hers, we can walk around feeling more free," he said.
He also opened up about his new life with celebrity neighbours such as Orlando Bloom and how the pair alerted each other about lurking paparazzos with texts to each other.
His work with the Invictus Games for wounded veterans and his mental health advocacy had also improved his state of mind.
"I'm feeling s**t, what am I going to do - I'm going to help my neighbour and have a really good day," he said.
Prince Harry also opened up about his earliest days with Meghan, saying the pair had met secretly in a supermarket to keep the relationship secret.
"The first time Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending we didn't know each other, texting each other from the other side of the aisles," he said. "There's people looking at me, giving me all these weird looks, and coming up to me and saying 'Hi'.
"I texted her saying 'Is this the right one', and she's like 'No you want parchment paper', and I'm like 'Where's the parchment paper?!."
He said the three worst "helpless" moments of his life had helped drive him to therapy.
The first was being "chased by papparrazi" in the back of a car with his mother, the second was when he was serving in Afghanistan in an apache helicopter and the third was when he and Meghan were struggling with her treatment by the London media.
Originally published as Harry slams royal family 'zoo'