PRINCE HARRY and Prince William have both fought against the tradition of the ‘stiff upper lip’ in recent years but a royal aide reportedly wanted the brothers to stop “baring their souls” so they could focus on their royal duties instead, according to an unearthed biography.
Harry shocked royal fans with his recent ITV documentary, ‘Harry and Meghan: An African Journey’ released last month, where he admitted he still struggles to cope with grief after his mother Princess Diana’s death in 1997. His wife Meghan Markle also revealed in an intimate interview that she had “tried to adopt a British stiff upper lip” but had come to the conclusion that it was actually quite “damaging”. Harry was later reduced to tears when he discussed fatherhood and his wife’s pregnancy at the October WellChild Awards. Both Harry and William have tried to continue the positive legacy Diana left behind, where she was known for connecting with the general public – so much so she was even dubbed the ‘People’s Princess’.
However, as Angela Levin revealed in her 2018 biography, ‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince’, not everyone in the royal household was happy with this emotional approach.
The biographer explained: “Not surprisingly some courtiers have shown concern about both Harry’s and William’s frankness in newspaper and television interviews, particularly around the twentieth anniversary of their mother’s death in August 2017.”
The two royals released a BBC documentary called ‘Diana, 7 days’ to look back on the decades which had passed since their mother’s death.
They explained how they struggled to balance public expectation with their own sorrow and even how the Queen “felt very torn” between being grandmother and monarch.
Prince William and Prince Harry (Image: Getty)
Harry with Meghan and William with Kate at Trooping the Colour (Image: Getty)
The brothers also launched their well-known ‘Heads Together’ campaign with William’s wife, Kate Middleton, to “remove the stigma around mental health” and “change the national conversation on mental wellbeing” in 2016.
However, Ms Levin said: “[Courtiers] fear their openness will make it even harder to protect their privacy in future.”
One aide told Ms Levin: “We’ve had a lot of baring of souls recently.
“There comes a point when you fell ‘come on – time to crack on with your duties’.
Princess Diana with Harry and William (Image: Getty)
“Some worry that they are over-encouraging the media.”
During their 2019 ITV documentary Harry and Meghan did admit they were struggling with the pressures of life in the public eye, with the Duchess of Sussex even saying she was currently “existing” rather than “living”.
Still, the Duke of Sussex’s idea of what ‘The Firm’ should look like appears to differ drastically from the more traditional figures within the Royal Family.
Ms Levin said: “His vision includes the young royals’ right to an ‘ordinary life’ where their duty to each other and their children may come before or alongside their duty to the nation.
William and Harry with Kate Middleton during their Heads Together campaign (Image: Getty)
Harry looked tearful during his speech at the WellChild Awards (Image: Getty)
“This is known to concern the Queen, who, insides say, has quietly told both Harry and William to think first of the nation’s needs rather than of their own.
“It will, he hopes, also see a final farewell to the stiff upper lip that has been an ingrained part of his grandparents’ and father’s generation.”
She even said Harry is “on an emotional crusade to get people to express their feelings rather than bottle the way”.
Even through more minor acts, such as his public displays of affection with Meghan, the Duke of Sussex is rebelling against tradition.
Yet, as Ms Levin said: “A former aide intimated that Prince Charles might feel rather disappointed that he was not brought up to do the same thing.”
Meghan and Harry on their royal Africa tour recently (Image: Getty)
As the latest series of Netflix’s ’The Crown’ emphasised, Charles is believed to be more emotional than either of his parents.
In her 2015 biography ‘Charles: the Heart of a King’, Catherine Mayer wrote: “[The Queen] gives little away and with her husband has created a family culture that prizes restraint and approves of stoicism.”
Charles on the other hand “never learned to wear a mask as his mother does”.
Harry and Meghan are currently taking a break from royal duties. Commentators believe they are “burnt out” and looking to spend some family time together”.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK