Family comes first. Prince Harry revealed how his concern over Meghan Markle‘s life — and memories of Princess Diana‘s death — inspired his royal exit.
“I never want to be in that position — part of the reason why we are here now — I never ever want to be in that position,” Harry, 38, said during his ITV interview on Sunday, January 8, referring to his mother’s death in 1997 following a car crash. “I don’t want history to repeat itself. I do not want to be a single dad. And I certainly don’t want my children to have a life without a mother or a father.”
The Duke of Sussex, who shares 3-year-old Archie and 19-month-old Lili, with Meghan, 41, made headlines in 2020 when they announced their plans to step away from their roles in the royal family. One year later, they confirmed that the decision was made permanent and moved to California ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Following conversations with the duke, the queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the royal family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service,” Buckingham Palace wrote in a statement in February 2021. “The honorary military appointments and royal patronages held by the duke and duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty before being redistributed among working members of the royal family.”
The couple, who exchanged vows in 2018, opened up about the shocking shake-up in a tell-all interview on CBS. “I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped,” Harry said in March 2021. “Trapped within the system like the rest of the family. My father [King Charles III] and my brother are trapped. They don’t get to leave and I have huge compassion for that.”
Meghan, for her part, candidly discussed how the British press affected her mental health, revealed she struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. “I just didn’t see a solution. I would sit up at night, and I was just, like, I don’t understand how all of this is being churned out,” the Suits alum said at the time. “I realized that it was all happening just because I was breathing. I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered.”
While filming their Netflix docuseries, Harry and Meghan also addressed the racism directed at the Duchess of Sussex during her time in the U.K.
“The direction from the palace was: don’t say anything. But what people need to understand is, as far as a lot of the family were concerned, everything that she was being put through, they had been put through as well,” the BetterUp CIO detailed in December 2022. “So, it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family were like, ‘My wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she be protected?’”
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