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'Pain and suffering': Prince Harry blasts Charles in shock new interview

·Features and Health Editor
·5-min read

Prince Harry has made extraordinary claims against his father Prince Charles, in a new interview about his decision to leave the royal family - something he suggests he had been wanting to do since his 20s.

Speaking candidly on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, the Duke of Sussex said he felt Charles handed down a "cycle of genetic pain and suffering" to him, which prompted his decision to leave the UK with wife Meghan Markle and son Archie.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry has claimed his father handed down a 'cycle of pain and suffering'. Photo: Getty

"It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway," Harry said, opening up about how he wanted to leave royal life since his “early 20s” because of "what it did to my mum".

"So 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," he added.

Harry went on to say he started to 'piece together' the 'cycle' - pointing out he felt the way he was treated when he was a child, was likely the same way his father was treated by his parents, the Queen and Prince Philip.

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"I never saw it, I never knew about it, and then 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?'" he told Dax.

"And here I am, I moved my whole family to the US, that wasn’t the plan but sometimes you’ve got to make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first."

prince harry with prince william and prince charles
William and Harry's relationship with Prince Charles remains 'strained'. Photo: Getty

Harry, 36, was speaking on the podcast to promote his new documentary series with Oprah Winfrey, called The Me You Can't See, which is about mental health issues.

He reflected on his own struggles, describing his life as a royal as “a mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo”, and talked about how therapy burst the bubble for him about his own life.

"It’s the job, right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. 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?

"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."

He suggested it was a conversation with Meghan that led to him getting therapy, saying: "Once I did therapy, it was like the bubble was burst. I was like, OK, you're in this position of privilege, stop thinking as though you want something different, make this different, because you can't get out.

"How are you going to make this different, how are you going to make your mum proud? How are you going to use this platform to effect change and give people confidence to change their lives?

"Looking back I realise helping other people helped me."

harry and meghan
Harry and Meghan left the UK in 2020. Photo: Getty

Harry and Meghan moved from Canada into Tyler Perry's mansion in California when they arrived in the US in March 2020, just before the border closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

They moved to Santa Barbara in the summer of 2020 after buying their own home, and now live there with son Archie, their dogs, and a flock of rescue chickens.

During the same interview, the prince said that despite the move to escape royal life, it was a "feeding frenzy" of paparazzi when he arrived in LA with Meghan, and revealed he was told to "stay inside" because it was the safest place.

"The helicopters, the drones, the paparazzi cutting the fence, it was madness," he said.

"The response was, 'well, what do you expect if you live in LA?'

"Well, first of all, we didn't mean to live in LA, this is a staging area before we find a house. But how sad, if you live in LA and you're a well-known figure, you just have to accept it?"

He added: "There's no public interest in you taking your kids for a walk down the beach. That's not news."

But Harry stressed he doesn’t regret the relocation, telling Dax Shepard that family life has been a lot easier since making the move.

"So living here now I can actually lift my head and I feel different," he said. 

"My shoulders have dropped, so have hers, 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."

Additional reporting by Rebecca Taylor.

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