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When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped away from royal life in early 2020, they initially stayed tight-lipped on their struggles within their family.
In recent months, however, they’ve begun to speak up much more – Harry in particular – both confirming and squashing rumors about his rifts with his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William.
News broke on Monday that the 36-year-old royal is set to publish a memoir next year, which will likely expand on what he’s shared about the family, most of which has come from his bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, as well as his appearance in his Apple TV+ series, “The Me You Can’t See.”
As the two continue to build their media empire, here’s a look at what Prince Harry has said about his royal relatives since stepping back from his duties to the crown.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties in March 2020.
(Photo by Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Oprah Interview
Harry and Markle, 39, didn’t speak out much about their decision to step down from royal life until nearly a year after doing so.
Lawsuits and a handful of public statements implied that they left due to intense media coverage and criticism of Markle.
However, in March 2021, the two sat down with Winfrey, 67, to share their experience in detail.
During the discussion, Harry told Winfrey that he felt trapped by royal life and was surprised that he was cut off financially and lost his security last year. He also said he felt his family did not support Markle
Harry admitted that he also “went to a very dark place” when Markle was feeling suicidal and was hesitant to speak up to his family about the issue.
He added that he’s “acutely aware” of the fact that his family is “scared” of the British tabloids turning on them and pointed out that some tabloids are chummy with the Crown.
The royal said that his relationship with his father has been damaged, that there’s “a lot to work through” and that he felt “really let down” by Charles.
Oprah Winfrey interviewe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
In response to a question from Winfrey, Harry said he wouldn’t have left royal life if not for his wife. He said their relationship revealed the strictures of royal life.
“I wouldn’t have been able to, because I myself was trapped,” Harry said. “I didn’t see a way out.
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped,” Harry said, before adding, “My father and my brother, they are trapped.”
Harry acknowledged that he does not have a close relationship presently with his brother William, who is heir to the throne after their father.
He also disputed rumors that he intentionally blindsided his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, with his decision to split. He suspects the rumors came from the institution.
“I’ve never blindsided my grandmother,” he said. “I have too much respect for her.”
“The Me You Can’t See”
Not long after the interview was broadcast, Apple TV+ released “The Me You Can’t See,” a series produced by and featuring appearances of Harry and Winfrey. It focused on mental health, which has played a big part in the royal’s life.
Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey also appeared in and produced ‘The Me You Can’t See’ on Apple TV+, during which, Harry spoke about his family.
During an episode of the show, Harry alleged that his family turned a blind eye when he reached out for help regarding media coverage and criticism of his relationship with Markle.
“I thought my family would help, but every single ask, request, warning, whatever, it is just got met with total silence, total neglect,” Harry revealed. “We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job. But Meghan was struggling.”
Additionally, he claimed that his family attempted to stop his royal exit.
“Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, ‘You can’t do this,’” Harry revealed. “And it’s like, ‘Well, how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?’ She [Markle] was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.”
He also opened up about how he was treated by Charles.
“My father used to say to me when I was younger … ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s going to be like that for you,’” the prince told Winfrey in an episode.
The father of two said Charles’ expectation for Harry and William to accept living under the same pressures as he did “doesn’t make sense.”
“Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids,” he added.
Harry has openly spoken about his father and brother.
(KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP via Getty Images)
In May, Harry appeared on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast and railed against his father’s parenting style and said that their strained father-son relationship came about due to Charles’ own upbringing.
“It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway,” he said. “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.'”
Furthermore, Harry said that his life was like “a mixture between ‘The Truman Show’ and being in a zoo” and even says that “childhood trauma” was behind his infamous “wild partying” days.
He also said that royal life led to him feeling like he was stuck “in a cage.”
Finally, he also shared that he wanted to back out of his royal duties beginning in his “early 20s,” squashing rumors that Markle prompted the major move.
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