Prince Harry Showed He's Done With the Royals With These 4 Words, Source Says
"That is a definitive sign that he's no longer interested in being a royal," an insider said.
Prince Harry lobbed what could very well be the final grenade decimating what little connection was left between him and the Royal Family. On May 13, Harry was a guest on the Armchair Expert podcast co-hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. It was his second bombshell interview in a matter of weeks—following, of course, his and Duchess Meghan's sit-down with Oprah Winfrey. During the course of the wide-ranging 90-minute conversation with Shepard and Padman, Harry described his life as a royal as "a mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo." He also said four words that could very well be the end of his relationship with his family.
With one statement in particular, Harry, who was on the podcast to promote his Apple TV+ series with Winfrey (The Me You Can't See, which premieres later this month), annihilated whatever was left of his tenuous relationship with Prince Charles. "He's treated me the way that he was treated," Harry said. But then, he took it one step further by discussing the cycle of "genetic pain and suffering" passed down to Charles, thus criticizing Queen Elizabeth and the late Prince Philip's parenting style.
"There's a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on," he said. "Suddenly I started to piece it together and go, 'OK, so this is where he went to school, this is what happened, I know this about his life, I also know that is connected to his parents so that means he's treated me the way he was treated, so how can I change that for my own kids?'"
Harry concluded that "we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say, 'You know what? That happened to me, I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen to you.'"
The prince's light bulb moment resulted in a decision that would forever change his life and the lives of his wife and children. "And here I am, I moved my whole family to the U.S.—that wasn't the plan but sometimes you've got make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first."
A royal source told Best Life, "This was a long time coming. In many ways, the podcast was more incendiary than the Oprah interview. It was Harry's opinions. Meghan wasn't there. Harry actually said royal life was like being in the zoo. He outright criticized his father, grandmother, and grandfather. He's cut the cord and is now making millions working with top American companies. There is no turning back after this and he doesn't seem to care."
Read on to find out why it's clear that Harry is "no longer interested in being a royal," as one insider said.
Business outside of royal life has proven quite lucrative for Harry and Meghan
On the podcast, Harry told Shepard of royal life: "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."
Since moving to California, both Harry and Meghan have proven to be quick studies with a very different business model, amassing a portfolio of high-profile multi-million dollar deals with major U.S.-based companies. They are producing content for Netflix; Harry has a new job as Chief Impact Officer for the start-up BetterUp; and Meghan has written a new children's book. The couple also have a reported $25 million deal with Spotify for their own Archewell Audio channel.
"Harry has gotten his first taste of financial independence American-style," said an insider. "There is no chance he'd ever give that up now. It's not the royal way, but it is the right way for him now."
Last week, Harry and Meghan also announced on the Archewell Foundation website that they had struck a "multi-year global partnership" with Proctor & Gamble (P&G) "based on shared values" that aims to "elevate the voices of adolescent girls to ensure their point of view and lived experience is heard at the tables where decisions are made."
P&G is the same company then-11-year-old Megan wrote a letter to in response to a sexist Ivory dish soap commercial, prompting the company to change its voiceover from "Women are fighting greasy pots and pans" to "People are fighting greasy pots and pans." Now, Archewell's partnership with the company Meghan challenged 28 years ago "will put a priority focus on gender equity," according to the official statement.
Harry has become an A-list celebrity in America.
Neither Buckingham Palace nor Clarence House have commented on Harry's latest stunning comments on the Armchair Expert podcast, but another Palace source revealed the Royal Family, particularly Charles and Prince William, feel "deeply upset and frustrated" that Harry continues to talk publicly about the family and "indulge in a non-stop airing of grievances" about them.
Despite everything that's happened, Daily Mail's Dan Wootton has reported that a royal source told him that Charles is still hopeful for a reconciliation with Harry, but knows now it will take years. That is, if Harry wants that to happen.
"Harry has crossed the Rubicon," said a royal insider. "He has shed his royal persona and has become a Hollywood celebrity whose brand depends on being accessible and empathetic. He feels he is holding the Royal Family accountable. Americans love when celebrities talk about their struggles and he's certainly done a lot of that and will continue to do so. That is a definitive sign that he's no longer interested in being a royal."
Harry said he has been looking for a way out of royal life for years.
On the Armchair Expert podcast, Harry said that he started to think about leaving royal life long before he'd even met Meghan. His fear of history repeating itself had been causing the prince a great deal of mental anguish for years. "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,'" he said. "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?"
Contrary to the ongoing narrative that Meghan was the one behind the Sussexes' move to California, Harry said it was his idea to quit royal life to protect his wife and son. In the podcast, he revealed she fully supported his decision to leave the U.K. "My wife had the most amazing explanation," he said. "You don't need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess."
It was, however, the Duchess of Sussex who encouraged her husband to go to therapy to understand why he felt like he was "in a cage" while fulfilling royal duties and to deal with the causes of his unresolved anger.
Harry now realizes his wild side when he was younger was because of the trauma he suffered.
The prince, who admitted to experimenting with marijuana and excessive drinking, attributed his "wild partying" in his younger days (which included his infamous episode of playing naked billiards in Las Vegas) to what he referred to as "childhood trauma." At the time, he didn't connect the two.
"Look how many other people do that, as well. They wouldn't necessarily have their awareness at the time. I certainly didn't have the awareness when I was going wild," Harry said on the podcast. "Like, 'Why am I actually doing this?' In the moment, it's like, 'Well, why not? I'm in my 20s. This is what I'm supposed to do, isn't it?'"
Harry reportedly gave up smoking and drinking when Meghan was pregnant with the couple's first child and is said to have embraced the California lifestyle of yoga, eating organic, and taking walks on the beach. "In addition to being quite lucrative for him, Harry's leaving royal life has been healthy for him and he knows it," says a source. "What's not to love?"
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Harry is able to better protect his family from unwanted attention in the U.S.
As early as Jan. 2019, Harry's concern for his wife and unborn child became all-consuming. A friend of his told Best Life at the time, "The prince has been quite concerned for Meghan's safety and there is talk that's gotten to be something of an obsession with him." The insider continued, "He's also been a bit short with the people around [them] and taken charge in a way he hadn't done before."
In California, inside their $14.7 million mansion, the duke and duchess have plenty of space to enjoy life away from the cameras. The Sussexes have released few official images of Archie (often with his face obscured) and are able to control their narrative via the Archewell website and other carefully curated appearances.
Harry said on the Armchair Expert podcast that he can lead a more relaxed and independent existence in the U.S. "So living here now I can actually lift my head and I feel different," he said. "My shoulders have dropped, so have [Meghan's]. You can walk around feeling a little bit more free. I can take Archie on the back of my bicycle, I would never have had the chance to do that."