Prince Harry Says 'Pain and Suffering' Are Part of Life as a Royal

Prince Harry gave a frank and emotional interview to Dax Shepard.
Prince Harry sat down with Dax Shepard and the crew of "Armchair Expert." .Armchair Expert/Twitter

Prince Harry, in a far-ranging podcast interview with Dax Shepard, says therapy helped him deal with mental health issues and that Meghan Markle was the one who encouraged him to seek counseling.

Prince Harry gave a frank and emotional interview to Dax Shepard in a 90-minute conversation that touched on the royal's mental health problems and his recently found fatherhood.

It was his first sit-down interview since he and his wife Meghan spoke to Oprah Winfrey.

"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 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," he said, adding that parents should be trying to stop that happening.

In the newest episode of Dax Shepard and Monica Padman's podcast "Armchair Expert," released Thursday, Prince Harry compared his royal life to being in a zoo and the movie "The Truman Show," in which a man unknowingly lives his life on a reality TV show.

Being born into the royal family means "you inherit every element of it without choice," he said. The British press, he said, "feel an ownership over you."

In his 20s, Prince Harry was in turmoil about his role as a royal. His thinking at the time was, "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 that it's going to happen again?

"I've seen behind the curtain, I've seen the business model. I know how this operation runs and how it works, I don't want to be part of this," he said.

He began therapy, he said, at the urging of the woman who would become his wife. He also spoke of their early courtship.

"The first time that Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London pretending as though we didn't know each other," he said. 

He later sought counseling with her encouragement, saying his feelings of "helplessness" were his "biggest, sort of, Achilles heel." 

"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. It would make my blood boil," he said. 

Moving to California with Meghan and their 2-year-old son, Archie, has helped him enormously, he said. The couple are expecting a baby daughter.

"So living here now, I can actually lift my head and I feel different, my shoulders have dropped, so have hers, you can walk around feeling a little bit more free. I can take Archie on the back of my bicycle ... I would never have had the chance to do that," in Britain, he said.

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