Prince Harry says his life is ‘like Truman Show’ in the royal family in candid podcast interview 


Prince Harry today revealed that when he and Meghan first started dating they ‘pretended they didn’t know each other’ in the supermarket and secretly texted each other items for their shopping list from across the aisles.

The Duke of Sussex told Dax Shepard’s ‘Armchair Expert’ show that they tried to stay ‘incognito’ during his wife’s first trip to stay with him in London in 2016, where he lived at Kensington Palace. 

Harry also compared his life as a mixture of The Truman Show – when Jim Carrey’s character discovers his life is a TV show – and being an animal at the zoo as he discussed his mental health and listeners insisted he is developing an american twang to his British accent.

The 36-year-old, is currently living in his $14million Californian mansion with his wife and son, said he was born into extraordinary privilege but hinted that he believes this has changed since he quit with Meghan last year, saying: ‘You may start in one place but you can change in time’. 

His wife also told him of her experience of royal life: ‘You don’t need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess’, adding: ‘We got together and she was like ‘wow, this is very different to what my friends at the beginning said it would be’.’

During the 90-minute interview Mr Shepard, who is married to Frozen star Kristen Bell, asked him if he had done ‘mundane things’, such as going to the supermarket.

He said: ‘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?!’.

He added: ‘I had baseball cap on, looking down at the floor, trying to stay incognito. It’s amazing how much chewing gum you see, it’s a mess’.

Harry did not say which supermarket he visited but in November 2016, Meghan was spotted leaving a Whole Foods store in West London, just a few hundred yards from Kensington Palace. Harry was also a regular, although the high-end food shop is unlikely to have much chewing gum stuck to its floors.

The Duke appearance on ‘Armchair Expert’, hosted by Shepard and Monica Padman, may be linked to its move to Spotify from July. Harry and Meghan have signed a multi-million dollar deal with the streaming firm for their own Archewell Audio channel. 

Harry took part in another bombshell interview, which also revealed:  

  • Prince Harry says he was ‘more free’ since his move to LA with Meghan, who he says encouraged him to have therapy because he would get ‘angry’ about things he couldn’t control. He said: ‘She could tell that I was hurting’;   
  • Meghan advised him: ‘You don’t need to be a princess, you can create your own life better than any princess’
  • He suffered ‘vile and toxic abuse’ by trolls, saying he tries to have ‘compassion’ for them but this is ‘really hard when you’re on the receiving end’;
  • Duke knew in his 20s that he ‘didn’t want the job’ of being a full time royal, also speaking about infamous incident of playing naked billiards in Las Vegas before serving in Afghanistan; 
  • When asked if people he met on royal trips to poorer areas ‘had more freedom than he did’, he said: ”It’s the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was thinking I don’t want this job, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be doing this’;

Prince Harry, 36, has compared his life to the Jim Carrey film The Truman Show in a new interview with a podcast that has been bought up by Spotify, 

Meghan Markle wass pictured at Whole Foods store on Kensington High Street when she was staying with Harry at his palace

Meghan Markle wass pictured at Whole Foods store on Kensington High Street when she was staying with Harry at his palace

Dax Shepard, who is married to actress Kristen Bell, runs the popular podcasts that interviews

Dax Shepard, who is married to actress Kristen Bell, runs the popular podcasts that interviews 

In the interview the Duke says compares his life to the film where every second of a man’s life is scrutinised, filmed, controlled and broadcast to the world.

Harry, pictured in Chelsea, London, said his life was like being in The Truman Show

Harry, pictured in Chelsea, London, said his life was like being in The Truman Show

Discussing how his mental health struggles were dealt with when he was a child, he said: ‘[I was told] You need help. As a case of, not weakness but ‘I don’t know how to deal with this. You’re unhinged, you’re not very well, go and seek help.”

He said it had caused him to ‘object and run away’, saying: ‘Everyone of us will try to find some way to mask the actual feeling and try to feel different than how we actually feel.’

He said as a child he had ‘rejected’ the feelings, saying he had pretended he felt ‘fine.’       

At the start of the discussion, Harry explained: ‘I didn’t realise it was an interview. Was I nervous? No I wasn’t so much nervous but I guess on this particular subject around mental health.

‘For me, unfortunately in today’s world it’s quite a sensitive subject, not just for people who are sharing, but ultimately the subject matter itself it has to be handled with care.

‘When it ends up getting weaponised by certain people you can’t predict it. It doesn’t worry me anymore.’

Later, he also said he and Meghan Markle first met up in a supermarket – and ‘pretended’ they didn’t know each other to avoid attracting attention. 

During the interview, he also said he and Meghan Markle first met up in a supermarket - and 'pretended' they didn't know each other to avoid attracting attention

During the interview, he also said he and Meghan Markle first met up in a supermarket – and ‘pretended’ they didn’t know each other to avoid attracting attention 

Elsewhere in the interview, Harry said he had been on the end of ‘vile, toxic abuse’ online, saying he asked himself about trolls: ‘What made you want to come at me like that, when clearly we’ve never met?’ 

He called hatred a ‘form of project’ which came from ‘unresolved pain’, saying: ‘ultimately there’s a source to it.’   

He added that there was ‘certain corners of the media’ who questioned ‘if he is privileged how could he be suffering’.

He said: ‘[People say] How bad can it be?  You had people running around and doing this and that…

‘I was born into privilege but it gave me a front row seat – my education was not in school but was in meeting people across the Commonwealth.’ 

Harry said: ‘I know people are looking at me saying, you’re a prince, you’re from a palace, where’s your crown and where’s your cape?

‘The reality is, meeting people from all around the world puts it into context.’

He said he doesn’t see sharing his mental health struggles as ‘complaining’, and said he was determined to ‘have a positive impact on somebody’s life.’

He explained: ‘You have to listen to your body, otherwise you’re just cruising around with your fingers in your ears, ‘lalalaa.”

He said: ‘To me it’s so fascinating to hear of someone’s struggles…and then tracing it back to, what happened to you, not what is wrong with you.’ 

Prince Harry went on to speak about the pressures he felt as a royal living in the UK, saying: ‘Just because I’m a well known person, I can’t go outside.

‘It’s really really sad and their argument is from the paparazzi and everyone else, if you’re in a public space it’s absolutely fine for us to do.

‘So what is our human right, as an individual and a family if you’re saying from the moment we step out of our house, that it’s open season and free game – what, because of public interest?

‘There’s no public interest in you taking your kids for a walk down the beach.  Nothing, it’s not news. This is my issue with it, news should stay is news. 

‘What is happening in today’s world is that news has been hijacked and used to commercially benefit a small group of people, so this sort of rabid, feeding frenzy, and going back to the kids point, it’s absolutely true, these kids don’t get a choice, they don’t get a say in it and if it becomes any worse, then what you’re basically accepting is, anyone with a talent… let’s punish people who have got a talent and have literally worked their asses off to get to a point where yes they’re making money, their fans are contributing that but they’re bringing entertainment value to society.’

It comes after a royal expert claimed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are competing in a ‘petty transatlantic popularity contest’ with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Duncan Larcombe, author of Prince Harry: The Inside Story, said Prince Harry and Meghan are ‘playing into the cult of celebrity’ after stepping back from royal duty last year. 

He said it was a ‘complete change’ from the era of Prince Philip who maintained the focus should be ‘on the causes’ and ‘not on the royals.’

Speaking to The Sun, Duncan said: ‘William and Kate are quite clear they need to do more to sell themselves as a couple, family and personalities.

He continued to say there had been a noticeable change in the way the couple interact on recent appearances.

He added: ‘Things like their anniversary video, that is a deliberate charm offensive to sell them as personalities as well as people who are going to be the king and queen.’ 

It comes after brand experts said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had ‘refreshed’ their digital approach by revamping their Instagram and launching a YouTube channel to create a ‘warm and inviting’ image.

Last week, Prince William and Kate changed their username from ‘Kensington Royal’ to the more informal ‘Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’ and  updated their profile picture to a candid snap taken on a visit to Ireland last year. 

Duncan said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to 'play into the cult of celebrity' had prompted Kate Middleton and Prince William to start a 'charm offensive' (pictured together0

Duncan said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to ‘play into the cult of celebrity’ had prompted Kate Middleton and Prince William to start a ‘charm offensive’ (pictured together0 

It comes after brand experts said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had 'refreshed' their digital approach by revamping their Instagram and launching a YouTube channel to create a 'warm and inviting' image

It comes after brand experts said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had ‘refreshed’ their digital approach by revamping their Instagram and launching a YouTube channel to create a ‘warm and inviting’ image

Meanwhile Nick Ede said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are 'very brand heavy and personality light' with content

Meanwhile Nick Ede said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘very brand heavy and personality light’ with content 

The couple also launched a YouTube channel just days after they treated royal fans to an intimate family video showing them enjoying time at the beach with their children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three.

It’s all part of a strategy by the Cambridges to modernise how the royal family connects with a tech-savvy audience, while sharing just enough of their lives to satisfy fans, without sacrificing their children’s privacy. 

It comes in sharp contrast to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s approach, who have ditched all their social media channels in favour of sharing content on paid-for platforms like Netflix and Spotify.

Brand expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL the change in the digital output for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave ‘a really lovely glimpse into the lives of our future King and Queen’, while he said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘very brand heavy and personality light’ with content that feels like ‘advertising’. 

Kate and William’s new profile picture on Instagram and Twitter shows a candid photo shows the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their arms around each other on a walk along Howth Cliff, near Dublin, in March 2020. 

And yesterday the couple launched their own YouTube channel – also using the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge username – by sharing a slick promotional video. 

The 25-second clip starts with the couple sitting on a sofa in Anmer Hall, Norfolk, with William turning to Kate to say: ‘By the way you need to be careful what you say now because these guys are filming everything.

The flashy video went on to show various clips from engagements over the years, including Kate launching her Early Years survey last February and the couple visiting Pakistan in October 2019.

It also reveals candid moments from the couple, including a behind-the-scenes outtakes from this year’s St Patrick’s Day video in which Kate tells William: ‘You don’t need to roll your Rs.’ 

The Cambridges’ YouTube channel has more than 1.1million subscribers less than 24 hours after being announced. They have 12.8million Instagram followers.  

Nick explained: ‘I think that its really refreshing to see the new digital approach that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made. 

‘They know they the need to keep up with the relentless developments and use of social media. 

‘Their use of imagery and YouTube and all social channels is warm and inviting and gives us a really lovely glimpse into their lives.

‘It allows us to see how our future king and queen interact with each other, their children, their dog and so on.’

He continued: ‘They are still revealing the traditional sides of the royal family which is something we all love to see but by stepping up their game in talking to the public via Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.’  

‘They are allowing us to know they care about us and the things that matter to those around us, as well as themselves and their own family.’

Nick said there were huge differences between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry and Meghan ditched their social media channels Instagram and Twitter after stepping down from royal duty last year. 

Unlike the Cambridges, who have regularly shared photographs of their children on birthdays and other occasions, the couple haven’t allowed royal fans a glimpse of Archie since last year.   

The couple, who said they wanted to become financially independent from the royal family, have since gone on to sign big multimillion pound contracts with paid for services like Netflix and Spotify.

Nick explained: ‘Kate and Will’s channels are in stark contrast to those created by the team behind the Sussex brand.

‘The Sussexes have gone for commercial partnerships which are very brand heavy and personality light.

‘They are more about using the huge platforms of Netflix, Apple + and Spotify to get their messages across to millions of people but in a far more slick way, that often feel like adverts rather than from the heart.’  



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