Prince Harry surprised royal watchers last week when he made an appearance on the Late Late Show. He spent an afternoon on the top of a tour bus travelling around LA with his friend and presenter James Corden, discussing both light-hearted elements of royal life and the serious reasons why he left the royal frontline. This candid interview was heavily criticised, as it seemed to be at odds with Harry’s determination to live a private life.
This latest public appearance aired shortly after the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had also recorded an “intimate” conversation with talk show host, Oprah Winfrey.
This 90-minute chat will see the TV legend Oprah quiz Meghan on their royal exit and life in the public eye, before Harry joins the pair to discuss their plans for the future.
The Sussexes also declared just days before that they were expecting their second child, and released a choreographed, black and white image.
Once again, this interview and photoshoot triggered extensive backlash over the couple’s new PR strategy, which seems to contradict their previous attempts to spurn the royal rota and the media in general.
Presenter Piers Morgan even sarcastically dubbed the couple “the Duke and Duchess of Privacy” over their latest PR decisions when he was hosting Good Morning Britain.
He also claimed their behaviour was “beyond parody”.
Prince Harry during his appearance on the Late Late Show with James Corden
Harry speaking to James Corden in his latest public appearance
However, an unearthed interview with Angela Levin could illuminate Harry’s thinking behind this latest string of appearances.
He told the royal biographer back in 2017 that he is in a rush “to make something of my life”.
He admitted: “I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s] children take over and I’ve got to make the most of it.”
When Harry was born, he was third-in-line to the throne.
But, as his brother Prince William had children, the Duke of Sussex was pushed further and further down the line of the succession.
He is now at sixth-in-line and unlikely to ever inherit the crown.
However, as he told Ms Levin, it is not that he wants to be the monarch himself.
Harry said he had a “small window” before William’s children took centre stage
Meghan and Harry in Spotify’s recent promo video
He explained: “We are involved in modernising the British monarchy.
“We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people.
“Is there any one of the Royal Family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
Instead, Harry claimed in the interview that he was keen to utilise his royal status for his humanitarian work.
He even agreed with a source close to him, who told Ms Levin: “The one thing they [Harry, William and Kate] don’t want is to be seen as a group of celebrities.”
Even though he and Meghan now live in the celebrity hotspot of California and have already utilised their A-lister contact book to promote their new podcast, Harry pushed back against the idea that he was outside of the royal fold during his informal conversation with Mr Corden.
He said: “I will never walk away, I will always be contributing. My life is public service.”
Meghan’s second pregnancy was announced this month
Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry will air in March
He added that his decision to leave the Royal Family “was never walking away” but “stepping back rather than stepping down”.
Co-author of Finding Freedom and royal commentator, Omid Scobie, tweeted in defence of the couple’s PR strategy recently, too.
He explained: “I don’t know how many times this needs to be said but seeing as it comes up in my mentions every day, let’s do this again: Privacy means freedom from *unauthorised* intrusion.
“It is the right to choose what you share with others and what you don’t. That’s it!”
Harry and Meghan are said to have big plans for the next year, after launching their new venture Archewell in January, and so are likely to hit the headlines repeatedly.
The couple now have historical, megawatts deals with two streaming giants — Netflix and Spotify — under their belts.
They are expected to release more episodes for their podcast, Archewell Audio, and to reveal what they have been working on for their Archewell Productions.
Netflix’s co-CEO even claimed last year that he thought the Sussexes show would be some of the most watched of the year.
A source told Vanity Fair that the pair had been disappointed they were not able to be “on the ground” much last year due to the pandemic.
However, royal commentator Katie Nicholl claimed: “We will see more of them and in a different way to how we saw them as working royals.
“It will be more in line with who they are and the way they want to operate from now on.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK