Prince Harry Reveals He Stepped Away from Royal Role Because “Toxic” Press Was “Destroying” His Mental Health

As a fairly new member of the Los Angeles community, there’s still much of the city that Prince Harry is yet to see. So when James Corden invited him on to Thursday’s episode of The Late Late Show, there was only one thing on Corden’s mind for the pair to do—an open-top bus tour.

For the Duke of Sussex, the experience was a first, and Harry admitted to host and friend Corden that he “was not really allowed” to sightsee in this way when living in the U.K.

But as Corden made sure the prince felt at home—by serving tea and crumpets, naturally— it didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to more pressing issues, including the Sussexes’ decision to step away from their royal roles last year.

“We all know what the British press can be like. And it was destroying my mental health. This is toxic,” he said during the 17-minute segment. “So I did what any husband and father would do—I need to get my family out of here.”

Referring to the Queen’s decision to refuse the couple a hybrid part-time working model, he added, “But we never walked away—and as far as I’m concerned, what decisions are made on that side—I will never walk away. I will always be contributing—my life is public service—so wherever I am in the world it is going to be the same thing.”

Harry added he was “trying to bring some compassion and try to make people happy and try to change the world in any small way we can.”

The TV appearance, which was filmed earlier this month and was the duke’s first interview since moving to the U.S., also saw the pair discuss some lighter topics, including whether Harry watches The Crown (he does!). “They don’t pretend to be news—it’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth,” he said. “Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle—the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else—what can come from that.”

He continued, “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself. Because it’s the difference between fiction, take it how you will, but this is being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”

The prince also opened up about wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and how he knew she was the one by their second date. “It wasn’t so much where we went but the fact we hit it off with each other, and we were just so comfortable in each other’s company,” he said. “Dating me or any member of the Royal Family is kind of flipped upside down. All the dates become dinners or watching the TV or chatting at home.”

He added that the pair—who got engaged just over a year after meeting—were able to spend “an enormous time” getting to know each other without other distractions, saying it was “an amazing thing … We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”

Naturally as a proud father, it didn’t take long before the subject turned to Archie, who Harry called “hysterical.” “He has the most amazing personality and is already putting three or four words together, he’s already singing songs,” he said, adding that his son’s first word was “crocodile.”

And after talking about Zoom calls with the Queen and Prince Philip (who apparently shuts the laptop physically when they finish video call), Harry shared the surprise detail that his grandmother bought Archie a waffle-maker for Christmas.

“My grandmother asked us what Archie wanted for Christmas, and Meg said a waffle-maker. So she sent a waffle-maker for Archie!” he smiled, adding that he and Meghan often make “beautiful, organic” waffle mix for breakfast with berries and syrup.

Elsewhere in the show, James Corden and Prince Harry took each other on at L.A.’s Spartan Race Obstacle Course, stopped at the house used for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (complete with being tested for his knowledge of the show’s iconic rap intro), and even Duchess Meghan made a cameo via FaceTime to husband “Haz.”

Watch the full clip above.

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