Speaking in the tell-all interview that aired on CBS on Sunday, Harry said he longed for the public support of his family, particularly during a time when his wife Meghan faced scrutiny from the British tabloids.
“There was a way of doing this, but for us, for this union, and the specifics around her race, there was an opportunity, many opportunities, for my family to show some public support,” he said, referencing the press coverage of his wife.
He pointed to how in 2019, 72 British lawmakers came together to condemn the “colonial” coverage the press had directed at Meghan, but felt his family hadn’t done enough to join them.
“No one in my family said anything in those two years,” he said, before describing what he saw as a mutually reliant relationship between the tabloids and the Crown.
The alleged lack of support was especially disappointing from his father, leaving Harry feeling “really let down” because Prince Charles had gone through “something similar” during his marriage with Princess Diana.
“He know what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson,” Harry said, “but at the same time, I of course, I will always love him. I think 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. I’ve tried to educate them through the process that I’ve been educated.”
He explained his decision to step back from his royal position was due to a “lack of support, and a lack of understanding,” both from his family and from the UK press.
“I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, for my wife’s, and for Archie’s as well, because I could see where this was headed,” Harry added, an apparent reference to the turbulent life of his mother, Princess Diana, who faced heavy scrutiny in the media and at times chafed at the norms expected from a member of the royal family.
The prince also suggested his family members like Prince William and Prince Charles might suffer from similar feelings, but weren’t able to act on them.
Asked if he would have left the family if he hadn’t met his wife, Harry replied: ‘I wouldn’t have been able to, because I myself was trapped, as well. I didn’t see a way out. You know, I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped.
‘But the moment that I met meg, and then our worlds sort of collided in the most amazing of ways ... 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. And I have huge compassion for that.”
Harry also acknowledged during the interview that he had only spoken with his father twice about his eventual decision to step back from the royal family “before he stopped taking my calls”.
But the prince dismissed the suggestion that the couple’s decision to leave the UK had “blindsided” the Queen.
“I would never blindside my grandmother,” Harry said during the sit-down, “I respect her too much.
The Independent has reached out to the royal family for comment.