Prince Harry reveals he wanted to leave royal family in his 20s: ‘Look what it did to my mum’

·2 min read
<p>Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks onstage during Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California</p> (Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks onstage during Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California

(Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Prince Harry has revealed that he knew he wanted to leave the royal family as early as his 20s, saying the impact of the life on his late mother, Princess Diana, influenced his feelings.

In an appearance on Dax Shepard’s The Armchair Expert podcast, Harry said he quickly realised he didn’t want a job as a royal once he reached adulthood.

The comment came in response to a question asked by the host on what it felt like to visit places in the Commonwealth where people in “worse situations” had “more freedom” than he did.

“It’s the job, right? Grin and bear it, get on with it,” Harry said in response.

He added: “In my early 20s, it was a 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’.”

Harry said he thought he would never be able to “settle down” while he was in the role, fearing that history would repeat itself.

“How am I ever going to settle down, have a wife and a family, when I know that it’s going to happen again?” he recalled thinking.

“Because I know, I’ve seen behind the curtain. I’ve seen the business model, I know how the operation runs and how it works, and I don’t want to be a part of this.”

The 36-year-old has spoken out on several occasions regarding the impact of the sudden death of his mother, the Princess of Wales, when he was 12 years old.

During the podcast, he said that once he started “doing therapy” it was like a “bubble was burst”.

“I plucked my head out of the sand, gave it a good shake off, and I was like okay. You are in this position of privilege, stop complaining, stop thinking as though you want something different, make this different,” he said.

Harry explained that he thought he couldn’t “get out” of the role and instead asked himself: “How are you going to do this differently, how are you going to make your mum proud, how are you going to use this platform to really affect change and be able to give people that confidence to be able to change their own lives?”

The Duke of Sussex and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, stepped down from their positions as senior royals at the beginning of 2020, leaving the UK for Canada then the US.

Since leaving the UK, Harry accepted a new role at coaching and mental health company BetterUp as chief impact officer.

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