Prince Harry Always Wanted to Leave the Royal Family and Move to Africa

Katherine J Igoe
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

From Marie Claire

  • Before meeting Meghan, he still wanted out of the Royal Family—but he changed, apparently, after he met her.
  • She's not the only royal reporter who's reacted honestly to the news about Harry and Meghan.

Longtime royal reporter for the Daily Mail, Rebecca English, has penned a sweet-but-honest, thoughtful story about Prince Harry and his and Meghan Markle's decision to resign as senior royals. The whole thing is worth a read, but the most compelling piece of the story really adds to our understanding of Harry and who he was as a person even before he met Meghan. Truth is, he never felt comfortable in the Royal Family.

Harry kept tabs on media coverage.

English explained that Harry always had a keen interest in what the media was saying about him. "I became aware of someone looking over my shoulder...'Just wanted to see what you were saying about me,' [Harry] said with a cheeky grin. 'I always want to know what people are saying about me.'"

Later in the article, she remembers another anecdote: "'If it’s being said about me, then I want to know it,' he would say, pretending to hold a notebook and pen. 'One day I would really love to have my own newspaper column so I can write the truth and tell people what I think.'" An interesting point, considering how Harry and Meghan have a new, very specific media plan to tell their own narrative. And it won't include the small group of British royal reporters known as the rota.



He never wanted the limelight.

English explained that pundits are saying easygoing Harry will be missed, but "never be fooled for a second that he enjoyed it—or even wanted to be there. Rightly, his put-upon media advisers considered this all part of his 'training' as a senior royal, but it was clear to everyone concerned that it was an uphill battle."

Interestingly, "Until he settled down with Meghan, his biggest wish was to go off and live in Africa. 'I would love to just go and work as a tour guide, you know? Just go off into the bush and be me,' he would say." (Considering the move that Harry and Meghan are making a move to Canada, this decision also tracks.)

English made sure to point out: "And yet it could also be intensely irritating listening to a young man given every privilege in life, a young man who would never have the pressure of working for a living as the rest of us do...talk about his lot in this way." Which, I get.

He changed after he met Meghan.

English does remember the prince fondly, though, even referencing a time he called her personally to praise her professionalism and say he was thinking of her while her son was in the hospital. "Four months later he met his future wife. And the truth is, we have barely exchanged a word since...Are the two events connected? Who knows, but, of course, I suspect yes." Wow.

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