MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have been insisting on ever-tighter privacy in their new family life together – however the Duke of Sussex has a long history of protecting his privacy and wanting to stay out of the royal spotlight.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry have been fiercely protective of their private life, especially after the birth of their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May. Their decision to keep details of Archie’s christening private, coupled with their projected relocation to Africa, have divided royal fans and commentators. One royal expert has even claimed that Harry “wants to be more like Zara and Mike Tindall”, as they have more freedom in their royal lives.
However, the Duke of Sussex has a history of wanting to stay out of the royal spotlight, well before he met his future bride in 2016.
Speaking in 2008, when he was in Afghanistan as an officer in the Army, Harry said: “I don’t want to sit around in Windsor.
“But I generally don’t like England that much and, you know, it’s nice to be away from all the press and the papers.”
The prince has also spent a good deal of time in Botswana, where he took Meghan on a romantic holiday at the start of their relationship.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Image: Getty)
Prince Harry pictured in 2008 (Image: Getty)
Prince Harry and Prince William have spent time together in Botswana (Image: Getty)
The prince’s friend Roger Dunmore, who ran a safari camp that Harry visited, also spoke about the prince’s dreams of escaping royal life.
He told royal author Katie Nicholl: “I think he once said, ‘You know, if I could have it another way, I think I’d be a safari guide in Africa.’”
In 2017, Harry confessed that his ten-year career in the Army was an “escape” from royal life, and that he had considered giving up his title.
The prince told the Mail on Sunday that the time he spent in the Army – when he was “just Harry” – was “the best escape I’ve ever had”.
He said: “I felt I wanted out [of the Royal Family] but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself.”
Royal biographer Penny Junor commented: “I think there was a real danger at one time that Harry might turn his back on his royal life and his royal responsibilities and go and live somewhere quietly.”
However, his grandmother the Queen intervened and persuaded Harry not to give up his royal duties.
Harry’s insistence on privacy in his life also came to the fore in 2016 when he released a privacy statement in support of his then-girlfriend Meghan, which “surprised” royal aides.
According to Ms Nicholl in her 2017 book “Harry: Life, Loss, and Love”: “Staff at Clarence House were said to be surprised by the overtly personal nature of the statement, as well as its timing.
“It was one of the most powerfully- worded public defences of privacy any member of the Royal Family had ever issued.”
Prince Harry’s office issued a statement that read in part: “Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.
“It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms Markle should be subjected to such a storm.
“He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK