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Prince Harry Talks Nude Vegas Photos, Wanting To Quit The Royal Family In His Early 20s, Mental Health & MORE On Armchair Expert

prince harry : opens up about mental health on armchair expert podcast

Prince Harry is an open book these days!

The Sussexes’ interview with Oprah marked a new era for America’s favorite ex-royals. Meghan Markle and her husband are now pursuing their own passions without worrying about protocol. For Harry, that includes another Oprah team-up, a new AppleTV+ series about mental health called The Me You Can’t See.

Related: Royal Staffer Who Accused Meg Of Bullying QUITS Will & Kate’s Foundation

Continuing on his mission to raise awareness about mental health, the Duke sat down with Dax Shepard for his Armchair Expert podcast, and no subject was off the table. Sorry, Winfrey, but the public figure had wayyy more to share in this candid convo with Kristen Bell’s husband.

Check out some highlights from their wide-ranging conversation (below):

Nude pics & hard partying

When the actor complimented his princely physique in the pics, he admitted they were taken “a few weeks before [he] went to Afghanistan.” Harry joked:

“I’m sure, you’re constantly looking for other people to go, sort of balance out your own behavior, right? It’s relatable!”

Though he’s able to look back in amusement, Prince William’s brother connected “wild partying” with “childhood trauma.” Relating to Dax’s own experience of addiction, he observed:

“For you it was your upbringing and everything that happened to you — the trauma, pain and suffering. All of a sudden you find yourself doing a s**tload of drugs and partying hard. Look how many other people do that as well. They wouldn’t have the awareness at the time. I certainly wouldn’t have had the awareness when I was going wild. It’s like why am I actually doing this? In the moment its like, this is fun. I’m in my 20s — it’s what you’re supposed to do.”

When he first wanted to quit the Royal Family

Much of Harry’s trauma came from the fishbowl of royal life, which he really resonated when Dax called it as “a mix between The Truman Show and living in a zoo.” He reflected:

“I think the biggest issue for me was that being born into it you inherit the risk that comes with it — you inherit every element of it without choice. And because of the way that the UK media are, they feel an ownership over you, literally — like a full-on ownership — and then they give the impression to some, well most, of their readers that that is the case. But I think it’s a really dangerous place to be if you don’t have a choice. But then of course people, quite rightly, will turn around and go, ‘So what if you didn’t have a choice? It was privilege.'”

He added:

“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.”

The 36-year-old shared additional thoughts on wanting to feel safe from the paparazzi, especially in terms of son Archie. Even calling it a “rabid feeding frenzy,” the former royal explained:

“So, what is our human right as an individual and as a family?… What? Because of public interest?”

Taking control of his mental health

So how did Harry regain control of his life and mental health? He explained:

“It was a conversation that I had with my now wife. And she saw it. She saw it straight away. She could tell that I was hurting and that some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry and it would make my blood boil. You have that fire… It’s not a temper, it’s a fire. I’ve never screamed. I’ve never shouted. For me, the best way of letting out the aggression is through boxing. But for me, prior to meeting Meghan, it was very much a case of certainly, connected to the media, that anger and frustration of this is so unjust. Not, by the way, just about me but all this stuff that I was seeing.”

He continued:

“Helplessness, that’s my biggest Achilles heel. The three major times I felt completely helpless: one when I was a kid in the back of the car with my mum [Princess Diana] being chased by paparazzi, two was in Afghanistan in an Apache helicopter, and then the third one was with my wife. Those were the moments in my life where yeah, feeling helpless hurts. It really hurts.”

Thankfully, the Suits alum encouraged him to visit a mental health professional. He remarked:

“[Once] I started doing therapy it was like the bubble was burst. I plucked my head out of the sand and gave it a good shake off and I was like, You’re in this position of privilege, stop complaining and stop thinking you want something different — make this different — because you can’t get out. How are you going to do these things differently, how are you going to make your mum proud and use this platform to really affect change?”

Parenting & Prince Charles

Exploring his own mental health also meant taking a step back and looking at how he was raised. The expecting father contemplated:

“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 [Prince Charles] or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically. It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway 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.'”

Related: Expert Says Harry & Meghan’s Baby Girl Will Be ‘Great Unifier’ For Royal Family!

He added:

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

Life with Meghan then & now

Elsewhere in the interview, the military vet recalled an early date with his future wife. He shared:

“The first time Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending we didn’t know each other, texting each other from the other side of the aisles. There’s people looking at me, giving me all these weird looks, and coming up to me and saying ‘hi.’ I texted her saying ‘Is this the right one,’ and she said ‘No you want parchment paper,’ and I’m like ‘Where’s the parchment paper?!’  So, it was nice. I had a baseball cap on, looking down at the floor, don’t know how many times you’ve done that when walking down the street trying to stay incognito. It’s like, ‘Whoa, signpost! Oh, someone’s dog!’ It’s amazing how much chewing gum you see. … It’s a mess!”

LOLz. How sweet that they managed to have a cute date under such unique (and difficult) circumstances. Things have changed a lot for the couple since then, Harry said:

“Living here now, I can actually lift my head and actually I feel different. My shoulders have dropped, so has hers and you can walk around feeling a little bit more free. I get to take Archie on the back of my bicycle.”

SO heartwarming!

As for William, there were no slip-ups there, though at one point the dad did speak about not having “blinders” fully installed when it came to being a royal. We can’t help but think he was saying his older brother does… Is it too much for us to think “brainwashed” would be accurate?

Anyway, we’re so glad Harry is in a better place with his mental health now and stepping up to help others. We appreciate him sharing his story!

[Image via WENN/Avalon]

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May 13, 2021 09:06am PDT