Prince Harry Had Reportedly Previously Hinted at Leaving the Royal Family in an Interview from 2017
Prince Harry's decision to leave his royal life had been a long and well thought out decision he had hinted at hoping to pursue in past interviews.
On Wednesday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the world, and even the monarchy when they announced that would be stepping back as a senior member of the royal family.
In a statement on the Sussex Royal Instagram page, the couple said they were leaving their royal life in favor of trying to secure financial independence and balancing their lives between England and North America.
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Reportedly, the Queen and the rest of the royal family were caught off guard and upset by the announcement. However, Harry's aspirations have been something he has hinted at in past interviews.
In 2017, he sat down for a candid interview with the Daily Mail and admitted that he once "wanted out" of the royal family and had hoped to live a normal life.
Harry opened up to the Daily Mail, a week after he had faced backlash for a controversial interview with Newsweek, in which he said he believed if given the free choice, no one in the royal family would want to accept the crown.
Harry said after serving time in the army, it gave him the kind of normalcy, which made him want to leave his royal life. But at the time, his loyalty to the Queen made him rethink the decision.
In 2007, he served ten weeks at an army base in Afghanistan but had to leave for safety reasons after his location was discovered. Harry said he was upset over having to leave, and that led to him drinking and partying a lot because he "didn't want to grow up."
The experience was his escape and left him wishing he was not a prince and was "just Harry." After going through a wild phase, he said Prince William helped him get the professional help he needed to reassess his life again
A poignant moment for Prince Harry in Huambo, who has visited the same street Princess Diana walked through as a minefield 22 years ago. If it wasn’t for that impactful 1997 trip (and her efforts that followed), the area would not be the vibrant community that exists today🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/PAl86ZsFg8— Omid Scobie (@scobie) September 27, 2019
At the time of the interview, Harry, who was dating Meghan, spoke about his plans and the hopes he had for his children, he revealed:
"I am determined to have a relatively normal life and if I am lucky enough to have children they can have one too. We don't want to be just a bunch of celebrities but instead use our role for good."
Harry's struggle to find a certain level of normalcy for his family could finally come true. In his 2017 interview, he expressed his desire to preserve the monarchy but said he did not want it to remain the way it has been under the Queen's rule.
In the meantime, after the Queen announced that the Palace is working with the couple to discuss "complicated issues." It is reported that she has followed up with an emergency meeting with senior members of the royal family.