Prince Harry revealed he and Meghan Markle 'stepped back' from the Royal family after 'toxic' media destroyed their mental health.
“I did what any husband and father would do – I was like ‘I need to get my family out of here.'” Prince Harry spoke to TV host James Corden in his first interview since he and Meghan confirmed they wouldn’t be returning to life as working royals.
Last year the couple stepped away as working members of the Royal Family in a bid to earn salaries for their work as well as to secure privacy for themselves and their 21-month-old son, Archie.
They were criticised for wanting to “have their cake and eat it”. Many expressed disappointment in Harry “walking away” from his public service duties.
However, in a surprise interview with The Late Late Show‘s James Corden, Harry revealed that they made the decision to walk away for the sake of their mental health.
“It was a really difficult environment” he explained during the interview which took place on an open-air bus as they toured LA. “We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health. I was like ‘this is toxic”
His wife Meghan has also received backlash on all fronts when it comes to her attitude to privacy – many critics describe her interviews about their need for privacy as hypocritic and attention-seeking.
Why can’t they have their cake and eat it?
This week the couple spoke about the experience and decision to step back to the queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey, who also attended the couple’s wedding. But the important distinction is that Meghan and Harry are not trying to control the media, an impossible task, they are simply trying to control the narrative.
Harry grew up seeing how the spotlight blinded his mother Diana. The media made up their own narrative and ran with it, something that affected him deeply. Meghan has been the target of racist abuse, negative media attention and indicated in an interview during their time in Africa that she was struggling to cope with the intrusion.
They are dead right to walk away from a toxic environment. They were never going to change anything, always going to be scrutinised, Meghan would always be compared to her sister-in-law Kate Middleton, and Harry to William. It was an impossible situation and others may not have been as brave as to put their mental health first and to step away.
Relinquishing their roles, as excruciating as that may be for someone like Harry, was their only option. According to the most recent statement from the couple referring to their commitment to public service, it seems as if they still want to continue to use their roles to make a difference in the world.
It’s time we realised that they are not just magazine fodder and that being in the public eye doesn’t mean we have every right to every part of them.
Why can’t they have their cake and eat it? Why does there always have to be a Quid pro quo? Let the begrudgers look elsewhere for their happy to unhappy ratio obsession. Harry and Meghan did what they had to do. Why can’t we leave them alone and simply take them as they come?