Prince Harry has revealed the “toxic” British press sparked his departure from royal life, saying the negative coverage of him and his family was “destroying” his mental health.
The Duke of Sussex told chat show host James Corden he and wife Meghan stepped back from their royal roles due to the “difficult environment” in the UK to move to the US.
Last week, Buckingham Palace confirmed the Sussexes had their royal patronages removed after informing the Queen they would not be returning as members of the royal family.
The decision came 11 months into a 12-month review agreed to by the Duke and Duchess and Buckingham Palace about their future roles.
The couple, who are expecting their second child later this year, shocked the royal family in March last year by stepping back from their roles and moving to the United States with their baby son Archie.
Harry, 36, said he was “never walking away” from his royal duties when questioned by Corden during a segment filmed on an open-top bus driving the streets of Los Angeles.
“It was stepping back, rather than stepping down,” he said.
“You know it was a really difficult environment, as I think a lot of people saw.”
“We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health.
“I was like, ‘This is toxic’.
“So I did what any husband, and what any father would do, is like, ‘I need to get my family out of here’.”
WATCH: Prince Harry admits to @JKCorden that he does watch @TheCrownNetflix but is “way more comfortable” with the show than he is with what been written about him “supposedly news” and his family by the British press 👇@latelateshow pic.twitter.com/6ITZaug3ZD
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) February 26, 2021
‘I will never walk away’
Prince Harry insisted he would continue to work on charitable projects and added that public service was his “life”.
“But we never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away,” he told Corden.
“I will always be contributing, but my life is public service, so wherever I am in the world it’s going to be the same thing.”
Harry and Meghan have had a fractious relationship with the British press and have stated they will have “zero engagement” with four newspapers they accuse of false and invasive coverage.
Earlier this month Meghan won a privacy claim against the tabloid paper Mail on Sunday and its publisher Associated Newspapers for publishing parts of a handwritten letter she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
When Meghan started the legal proceedings back in late 2019 Harry said he would not “be not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum”, a reference to the death of his mother Princess Diana, who was killed in a 1997 Paris car crash, whilst being pursued by paparazzi.
“Everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day, and that is not being me being paranoid,” he told an ITV documentary.
“That is just me not wanting a repeat of the past.”
In February Harry won an apology and substantial damages, which he donated to charity, from the Mail on Sunday newspaper over a story which falsely claimed he had turned his back on the military after his royal role finished.
Last week, it was announced that Prince Harry and Meghan would sit down with broadcaster Oprah Winfrey for an interview to be broadcast on US network CBS on March 7.
Winfrey will speak with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview covering everything from stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work, to how she is handling life under intense public pressure,” CBS said in a statement.
“Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family.”