"I think he is heartbroken by the situation with his family," journalist Tom Bradby says of Prince Harry

By Erin Hill
January 15, 2021 05:09 PM
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in South Africa.
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's friend, journalist and author Tom Bradby, is speaking out about the couple's exit from royal life following his candid 2019 documentary on their African tour.

In an upcoming appearance on ITV's Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, airing on Sunday, Bradby says, "It was a very psychologically complex project because they were clearly in a difficult position and weren't feeling great and I realized the extent of that the more I was there."

Bradby toured southern Africa with the royal couple for their emotional documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. He memorably asked Meghan "how she'd found the last year," to which she replied, "It is a very real thing to be going through. Thank you for asking — because not many have."

When asked if he thinks Harry and Meghan seem any happier since they moved to California earlier this year, Bradby says, "I think they are feeling better, yes…So are they unhappy? No, I think they are content, the things they are doing they are quite excited by. I think he is heartbroken by the situation with his family, you don't necessarily need to have knowledge to know that, but I think it is true."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attending the Commonwealth Day Service in the U.K. in March 2020.
| Credit: Shutterstock

He also discussed the distance between Harry and his brother Prince William.

"The situation with the family clearly isn't ideal and it has been a very difficult year for them all," he says, adding, "But are they unhappy out there? No, I don't think that's right, I think they are pretty happy actually, but I think they wrestle with their position in life, I think they all do. I think William does too, I don't think he finds it easy."

In January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced their groundbreaking decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.

"I think the whole thing has just been incredibly painful, that is obvious to everyone. It is painful all round, painful for everyone, difficult to manage. Effectively they have just decided to completely leave the royal family, that has never been done - I mean, you could go back to the Duke of Windsor but that was in very different circumstances  - it's never been done voluntarily before and no one still is absolutely clear how it is going to work," Bradby continues.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty

"There are still a lot of hurt feelings on all sides and it's very difficult…I think the public desperately wants them to be okay and everyone to be happy and clearly that hasn't been the situation over the past year. It is not a very easy or comfortable situation, I don't think it was ever going to be an easy or comfortable situation."

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He concludes, "You have got to remember this isn't just a family, it's a firm. They are in the business of public service on a very elevated, exposed platform and to some extent, they are all locked in it together. And that creates lots of tensions that people perhaps do see relatively clearly from the outside, but at the same time they are trying to be a family and I am always acutely conscious of that and how complicated and frankly difficult it is."