Prince Harry Is Pulling No Punches & Says Prince Charles Raised Him With ‘Pain And Suffering’

Prince Harry Prince Charles

Just when we thought he was done, Prince Harry has doubled down on telling all about his life as a member of the Royal Family, appearing on Dax Shepard‘s podcast Armchair Expert to share some thoughts and feelings about his upbringing.

I’m all for this content, but I did think that the Oprah interview might be the first and last we heard of it. To me, it felt like he and wife Meghan Markle dished out the goss we craved and then moved on, never to speak of it again. But apparently, Harry is not done sharing.

Harry took to the podcast this week for a frank discussion around mental health, touching on both his own struggles and those of his father Prince Charles. As a parent himself now, Harry shares with Dax that he’s done a lot of reflecting on his own childhood and how he can be a better father to his son Archie, 2, and to his soon-to-be-born daughter.

The 36-year-old said in the podcast: “I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on.”

Harry muses that his own father’s painful upbringing most probably informed his own. “It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway,” he added. “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’.

Dax Shepard, Armchair Expert producer Monica Padman, and Prince Harry. Credit: Armchair Expert

Expanding on Prince Charles’ formative years — which we have seen fictionalised glimpses of on The Crown and fuck, that seemed miserable enough — Harry says: “I never saw [his childhood], 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?’.”

Harry also discusses his decision to distance himself from the Royal Family, calling his old life a “mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo”, explaining that the tragic death of his mum Princess Diana was not something he wanted to relive — a sentiment he also shared during the chat with Oprah.

“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’.

“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.”

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Meghan and Harry in January 2020. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas – WPA Pool/Getty Images

In the Armchair Expert episode, Prince Harry tells Dax Shepard that he has no regrets about his decision to relocate to the US, saying: “Living here now I can actually lift my head and I feel different. 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 [before].”

The mental health-themed chat comes off the back of the announcement that Harry is teaming up with Oprah for a brand-new Apple TV+ show called The Me You Can’t See, a docuseries which will explore mental health and emotional wellbeing. It premieres on May 21.