17 Times Prince Harry Opened Up About Royal Life

Prince Harry has long been candid about the pitfalls of growing up in the public eye 

01 of 17

On How His Life as a Royal Affects People Around Him

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Karwai Tang/WireImage

"Obviously, it is part of my life. It's something that's part of the baggage that comes with me and [then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy] understands that, and my friends understand that as well. I think it's fair to say that is something that comes with me, but also the lies isn't something that comes with me. That is something that I probably shouldn't be talking about, but it's something that happens. I suppose that is the media in general. There's truth and there's lies and unfortunately, I can't get the truth across because I don't have my own column in the paper."

—in an interview on his 21st birthday in 2005

02 of 17

On Reading Stories About Himself

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. Samir Hussein/WireImage

"My father always says, 'Don't read it' ... Of course I read it. If there's a story and something's being written about me I want to know what's being said. All it does is just upset me and anger me."

—in a 2013 news interview from his army base

03 of 17

On Hugging Over Handshakes

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. Joe Giddins - WPA Pool/Getty

"Being in the prince role, you've gotta shake hands. I would choose hugging over shaking hands most of the time ... with people that I know, just before anyone gets any ideas."

—on Good Morning America in 2016

04 of 17

On Using His Title for Good

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Matt Cardy/Getty

"Despite the fact that I always wanted to be Captain Wales – treated the same, in the same uniform as everybody else — I think there was that acceptance: the power that the name has."

—to Good Morning America in 2016

05 of 17

On the Press

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP via Getty

"[Press reports] still upset me and I still read them. Why? I do not know, but I have to read them just for peace of mind, just to know what they've written ... It's not really a case of dealing with it. I don't know if you can deal with it, you just get on with it."

—in an interview on his 21st birthday in 2005

06 of 17

On Making the Big Decision to Start a New Life

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Chris Jackson/Getty

"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always gotten in right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option."

—in January 2020, after announcing that he and Meghan Markle were stepping back from their roles as senior members of the royal family

07 of 17

On Stepping Back from Senior Royal Duties

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Chris Jackson/Getty

"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible ... I've accepted this knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope that helps you understand what it had come to. That I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life. I was born into this life and it is a great honor to serve my country and the Queen."

—in January 2020, after announcing that he and Meghan Markle were stepping back from their roles as senior members of the royal family

08 of 17

On Not 'Walking Away'

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Kevin Winter/Getty

"It was never walking away. It was stepping back rather than stepping down. We all know what the British press can be like. It was destroying my mental health. I was like, this is toxic."

—on The Late Late Show With James Corden

09 of 17

On Continuing to Do Public Service

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty

"My life is always going to be about public service. Meghan signed up for that. And the two of us enjoy doing that. As far as I'm concerned, whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away. I will always be contributing. My life is public service, so where I am in the world, it is going to be the same thing."

—on The Late Late Show With James Corden

10 of 17

On The Crown vs. Real Life

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
John Phillips/Getty

"They don't pretend to be news. It's fictional. But ... it gives you a rough idea about what the lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that."

"I am way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself. It's the difference between, that is obviously fiction, take it how you will, but this is being reported as fact because you are supposedly news. I have a real issue with that."

—on The Late Late Show With James Corden

11 of 17

On Feeling 'Trapped'

Prince harry and Megan and Oprah
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey. Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

"I didn't see a way out. I was trapped but I didn't know I was trapped. Trapped within the system like the rest of my family. My father and my brother are trapped. They don't get to leave and I have huge compassion for that."

—to Oprah Winfrey

12 of 17

On How He Felt in His Early 20s

prince harry, princess diana
Prince Harry and Princess Diana. John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty

"It's the job, right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early 20s 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?"

—on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast

13 of 17

On Seeing 'Behind the Curtain'

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty

"I've seen behind the curtain, I've seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don't want to be part of this."

—on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast

14 of 17

On Feeling Like He Was 'in a Zoo'

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

"It's a mix between The Truman Show and being in a zoo ... I think the biggest issue for me was that being born into it, you inherit the risk that comes with it ... without choice."

—on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast

15 of 17

On No Longer Being Afraid of the U.K. Press

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty

"When you realize that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, at that point — I guess I have to thank the U.K. press at this point — because it got so bad so quickly. Then you have to acknowledge that fear and go, 'Actually, I'm no longer scared of you. I'm no longer scared of doing or saying what you want me to do or say.'"

—on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast

16 of 17

On Grinning and Bearing It

prince harry
Prince Harry. Karwai Tang/WireImage

"This is something I was told for many years: 'It's just the way that it is. You have to accept that they are going to write X, Y, Z about you.' It's like, 'But what if it's not true?' And it's like, 'Well, just don't show them that you care because if you show them that you care, then they're gonna do it more and more and more.' It's like, 'So basically, you're screwed. Like, there's absolutely no way out of this.'"

—on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast

17 of 17

On How Therapy Helped Him

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Chris Jackson/Getty

"Once I started doing therapy, suddenly it was like, the bubble was burst. I plucked my head out of the sand and gave it a good shake off and I was like, 'You're in this position of privilege, stop complaining and stop thinking you want something different — make this — because you can't get out,'" he explained. "How are you going to do these things differently, how are you going to make your mum proud and use this platform to really affect change?"

—on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast

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