Prince Harry reveals he felt ‘trapped’ in the royal family in Oprah interview

Lizzie Edmonds and Martin Bentham
·5-min read
<p>Harry has spoken about feeling “trapped” in the royal family</p> (PA)

Harry has spoken about feeling “trapped” in the royal family


The Duke of Sussex claimed he felt “really let down” by Prince Charles and that his father stopped taking his calls, as he made a series of explosive allegations surrounding his stepping down as a senior royal.

Harry said “a lack of support and a lack of understanding” had led to his and Meghan’s departure for a new life abroad, and that he was disappointed by Charles’s response because he “knows what pain feels like”.

He also admitted that the rift in his relationship with his brother William continues and said he felt that he, his brother and their father were “trapped” in the royal family.

Harry revealed that he had not expected the taxpayer-funded security protection for him and his wife to be halted once they quit as senior royals, but insisted that he did not “blindside” the Queen in announcing their departure and would never do so because he has “too much respect for her”.

Being “let down” by Charles

Harry said that the breakdown in relations with his father occurred while he was in Canada seeking to plan his exit abroad.

“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, Archie’s his grandson,” he said.

“But at the same time, I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship. But they only know what they know, or what they’re told.”

Harry added that while in Canada he had “three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls” — and that this came as Charles asked for his plans to be put “in writing”.

PA Wire
PA Wire

“I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out on the 7th of January.”

Asked why his father had stopped taking his calls, Harry said: “Because I took that point I’d took matters into my own hands.

“It was, like, I needed to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody. It’s really sad that it’s got to this point.

“But I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s and for Archie’s as well, because I could see where this was headed.”

The rift with William

The cooling of the close friendship between Harry and William was already known but the Duke of Sussex confirmed that the brothers remain distant. “The relationship is space at the moment,” Harry said, “and time heals all things, hopefully”.

He added: “I love William to bits, he’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together, we have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.”

Being “trapped” as a royal

Harry said he felt “trapped” while in the royal family, and his father and brother are also “trapped” and that it was only through Meghan that he was able to escape. “I myself was trapped. I didn’t see a way out. I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped,” he said, adding that he was “trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are”.

“My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave,” he said. He said he had “huge compassion for that”. Asked by Oprah Winfrey what his mother, Diana, would say if she were alive, Harry said: “I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad.”

Being “saved” by Meghan

Asked in the interview, if Meghan had “saved” him, Harry said: “Yes, without question. There was a bigger purpose, there was other forces at play, I think, throughout this whole process. I am the last person to think... but it’s undeniable, when these things have happened, where the overlap is. So, yeah, without question she saved me.”

Shock at losing taxpayer-funded security

Harry said it was “shock” to learn that the security protection provided to him by the Met was being halted because of his quitting as a senior royal. Gripping Meghan’s hand, he said: “Their justification was a change in status.

“I pushed back and said is there a change of threat or risk? Eventually, I got the confirmation that no, the risk hasn’t changed but due to our change of status — we would no longer be ‘official’ members of the royal family.” I was born into this position. I inherited the risk. So that was a shock to me.”

Respect for the Queen

Asked by Winfrey “did you blindside the Queen?” with the announcement that he and Meghan were standing down, Harry replied: “No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.”

Asked where that story came from, Harry said: “I hazard a guess that it probably could have come from within the institution.”

The couple’s Netflix and Spotify deals

Harry claimed that the need to pay for his family’s security had prompted the couple’s decision to sign commercial deals with Netflix and Spotify, reputedly worth many millions of dollars.

“I’ve got what my mum left me, and without that we would not have been able to do this,” he said.

“During Covid, the suggestion by a friend was, ‘What about streamers?’ So, there were all sorts of different options. And look, from my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to keep my family safe.”

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