Prince Albert 'Sympathized' with Prince Harry: 'Do What You Have to Do to Ensure Your Privacy'

"Sometimes you just have to ignore it and move on," the Monaco royal tells PEOPLE

Prince Albert understands Prince Harry‘s complaints about media coverage and has offered some personal advice, the Monaco royal tells PEOPLE in an exclusive new interview.

Acknowledging Harry’s legal action and candid comments in a recent documentary, Albert tells PEOPLE, “I completely understand his reasons.”

Attending the World Cup Rugby final in Japan on November 2, Albert met briefly with Harry in private, where he says he expressed “my support and my sympathy.”

“He has said he feels ‘bullied,’ and I can understand and sympathized with him over that,” says Monaco’s sovereign, 61. At the same time, he adds, “We didn’t talk about it that much, because we talked about environment-related issues — and the rugby too — but I sympathized with him, saying, ‘Just do what you have to do to ensure your privacy.’ ”

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a> and <a href="" data-inlink="true">Meghan Markle</a>, Prince Albert II
Karwai Tang/WireImage. Inset: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Stressing “it wasn’t a long conversation, though,” he explains the counsel he offered expressed his own belief that “sometimes you just have to ignore it and move on. Sometimes you can ignore whoever is out there that’s being too inquisitive or too hard on you.”

rince Harry, Duke of Sussex; Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Prince Albert and Prince Harry in Japan at the Rugby World Cup on November 2, 2019. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The best thing, suggests the prince — who has previously applauded Harry and Meghan’s media relations — “is not to pay attention.”

The royal dad maintains, “you have to protect your personal life, your family and their intimacy as much as possible, whenever possible. Especially when you’re a public figure with appearances to attend. Of course, that’s harder to do than to say.

Princess Charlene, Prince Albert and their children Jacques and Gabriella in November. Arnold Jerocki/Getty

“And it’s especially difficult with the British press, which is so inquisitive, so harsh. Not only on the royal family but on other celebrities and other public figures as well.”

Discussing the couple with PEOPLE in July 2017, Albert expressed his admiration and concern.

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“Bringing anyone into royal circles is a pretty tough act,” he said at the time. “Especially in the British royal family, which is scrutinized by the press as no one’s been. ” At the time, he said “the couple seem to be having a good deal of success so far,” he said, though cautioning “sooner or later, [they would] have to face the full onslaught.”

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