Prince Harry Says Men in the Royal Family Feel 'Urge' to Marry Women Who 'Fit the Mold'

In the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, the Duke of Sussex said there's a "difference between making decisions with your head or your heart"

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 06 Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala at New York Hilton on December 06, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala

Prince Harry's decision to marry Meghan Markle was made with his heart.

In the first episode of the couple's Netflix docuseries, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reflected on the early days of their romance and their quick connection. Meghan — an American actress who had been married before — was not the typical royal bride-to-be.

"I think for so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mold, as opposed to somebody who you are perhaps destined to be with," Harry said.

"The difference between making decisions with your head or your heart," Prince Harry continued, thinking of his mother Princess Diana. "And my mom certainly made most of her decisions, if not all of them, from her heart. And I am my mother's son."

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the long Walk at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022 in Windsor, England. Crowds have gathered and tributes left at the gates of Windsor Castle to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at Balmoral Castle on 8 September, 2022. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince Harry reflected on his mother in the show, saying that he didn't have "any early memories" of Princess Diana, who died when he was 12.

"The majority of my memories are being swarmed by paparazzi," he continued. "Rarely would we have a holiday without someone with a camera jumping out of a bush. Within the family, the system, the advice is always 'don't react, don't feed into it.' "

He added there was always public pressure "with its fair share of drama, stress, and also tears and witnessing those tears. I always see it on my mom's face. And I guess those are the moments when I thought, okay, hang on. Maybe what am I? Who am I? What am I part of?"

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales at home in Kensington Palace with their sons Prince William and Prince Harry
Tim Graham Photo Library

Elsewhere in the series, Prince Harry said that his family was "incredibly impressed" with Meghan when they first met her.

"I think they were surprised," he said. "Maybe surprised that a ginger could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman."

"But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning. 'Oh, she's an American actress — this won't last,' " he added.

Meghan agreed that as their relationship blossomed, "the actress thing was the biggest problem, funny enough."

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) walks with his mother Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex also had to adjust to both cultural differences in the U.K. and protocol within the royal family. Meghan described her first time meeting Kate Middleton when the now-Princess of Wales came over for dinner with Prince William.

"I remember I was in ripped jeans and barefoot," Meghan said. "Like I was a hugger, always been a hugger. I didn't realize that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits."

"I guess I'd start to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside, carried through on the inside," she continued. "There is a forward-facing way of being and then you close the door and you relax now. But that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me."

"It's so funny if I look back at it now because now I know so much," Meghan added. "And I'm so glad I didn't then because I could just authentically be myself without so much preparedness."

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

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Meghan also admitted to performing an over-the-top curtsy the first time she met Prince Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.

"And I remember we were in the car and we were driving up, and he's like, 'You know how to curtsy, right?' And I just thought it was a joke," Meghan, 41, deadpanned.

"How do you explain that to people?" Prince Harry, 38, added. "How do you explain that you bow to your grandmother and that you would need to curtsy? Especially to an American. That's weird."

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