Prince Harry has admitted he wanted to leave the royal family when he was in his 20s and has described royal life as a “mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo” in his latest shot at the monarchy.
In an interview with US podcaster Dax Shepard, the Duke of Sussex also spoke candidly about “genetic pain and suffering” passed on from his father Prince Charles, who he suggested suffered from his own parents, Prince Philip and the Queen.
Harry joined the The Armchair Expert podcast to discuss his own approach to mental health issues and “growing up with privilege”.
The podcast appearance comes two months after an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey – in which Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, accused the royal family of racism – and just a month after the death of his grandfather, Prince Philip.
Harry, who is expecting his second child with Meghan later this year, again took aim at Prince Charles, who he had accused of cutting him off emotionally and financially during the Oprah interview.
“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,” Harry told the podcast.
“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, ‘You know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you’.
“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’?'”
‘Grin and bear it’
Harry also opened up about his life as a working royal – a position he walked away from three months ago by informing the Queen of his and Meghan’s intentions to step down and relocate permanently to the US.
He compared it to “a mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo”, a reference to the 1998 film featuring Jim Carey, whose character is oblivious to the fact his life is filmed and constructed for a television show.
He also touched on the death of his mother, Princess Diana, as being part of the reason he wanted to leave royal life.
“It’s the job right?,” he said. “Grin and bear it, get on with it.
“I was in my early twenties 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?”
Prince Harry and Meghan have signed a deal with Netflix to produce several documentaries around the Invictus Games, which Harry help set up for wounded veterans to compete in sports.