Prince Harry: Host discusses Dax Shepard podcast appearance
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In an extraordinary 90-minute interview, the Duke of Sussex, already a father to Archie, two, and expecting a girl with wife Meghan, said he never wanted the “job”. Harry compared his Royal life to a reality show and being in a zoo. And he said his damaged childhood started generations earlier with the parenting of his own father and mother.
Speaking on the US podcast Armchair Expert with film star Dax Shepard, the Prince revealed he wanted to leave the Royal Family when he was in his 20s.
He said: “There is no blame. I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody.
“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.
“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, ‘That happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.’”
The sixth in line to the throne, who quit Royal duties last March, said: “It’s hard to do but for me it comes down to awareness.
“I never saw it, I never knew about it. And then 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?
“And here I am…I moved my whole family to the US. That wasn’t the plan but sometimes you’ve got to make decisions and put your family first – and put your mental health first.”
California-based Harry compared living under scrutiny as a member of the Royal Family to 1998 film The Truman Show and being an animal in a zoo. The movie stars Jim Carrey as a man who belatedly discovers his entire life is a reality TV show filmed for the entertainment of the public by hidden cameras.
Asked what it was like being in a tiny group of Royals watched by millions, Harry said: “Yep, it’s a mix between The Truman Show and living in a zoo.”
When Dax asked if he felt like he was in a cage, Harry said: “It’s the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early 20s and I was thinking, ‘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’.” He added: “I’ve seen behind the curtain, I’ve seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don’t want to be part of this.”
He said that now she understood the life of a Royal, Meghan, 39, would say: “You don’t need to be a princess. You can create the life that will be better than any princess.”
Harry also revealed she had given him a taste of normality soon after they started dating. The pair met up secretly in a London supermarket but pretended they did not know each other, texting across aisles.
He said: “There I am texting her whilst we’re shopping, asking if this is the right thing and she’s replying, ‘No, you want the parchment paper’. It was nice with a baseball cap on looking down at the floor, walking along the street and trying to stay incognito.”
The Duke, Meghan and Archie now live in Montecito, east of Santa Barbara.
The Duke told Dax, who is married to Frozen star Kristen Bell: “So living here now I can actually lift my head and I feel different. My shoulders have dropped – so have hers – you can walk around feeling a little bit more free.
“I can take Archie on the back of my bicycle. I would never have had the chance to do that.”
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