Prince Harry says LA life was a 'feeding frenzy of paparazzi...madness'

·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read
INGLEWOOD, CA - MAY 02: Prince Harry gives remarks at the Vax Live concert at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, May 2, 2021 in Inglewood, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Harry at the Vax Live concert at SoFi Stadium in May 2021. The royal said LA has been a feeding frenzy. (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Prince Harry has said it was a "feeding frenzy" of paparazzi when he arrived in Los Angeles with Meghan Markle, and revealed he was told "stay inside" because it was the safest place.

Harry and Meghan moved from Canada into Tyler Perry's mansion in California when they arrived in the US in March 2020, just before the border closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In a podcast with Dax Shepard, Harry revealed security guards told them the safest place to stay out of the cameras' sights was inside.

He said: "Now living here, it's a feeding frenzy here. We spent the first three and a half months living at Tyler Perry's house - he let us stay.

"The helicopters, the drones, the paparazzi cutting the fence, it was madness.

"The response was, 'well, what do you expect if you live in LA?'

"Well, first of all, we didn't mean to live in LA, this is a staging area before we find a house. But how sad, if you live in LA and you're a well-known figure, you just have to accept it?"

He added: "There's no public interest in you taking your kids for a walk down the beach. That's not news."

Harry said he'd received a message from Orlando Bloom who is his neighbour, who had sent him a picture of a paparazzo lying down in a car in their road, to take covert pictures of passing celebrities.

Read more: How Prince Harry became a mental health champion

Harry and Meghan moved to Santa Barbara in the summer of 2020 after buying their own home, and now live there with son Archie, their dogs, and a flock of rescue chickens.

They have been quick to take legal action against paparazzi when pictures of their son have emerged, including against unknown photographers when images apparently taken in public were offered to news desks. The couple said the pictures had actually been snapped in Perry's garden, and revealed that Archie had not left the home.

Harry, 36, was speaking on the podcast to promote his new documentary series with Oprah Winfrey, called The Me You Can't See, which is about mental health issues.

He reflected on his own struggles and talked about how therapy burst the bubble for him about his own life.

Watch: The Sussexes land partnership with Procter & Gamble

Talking about his job as a senior royal he explained that in his early 20s he thought: "'It's the job', you know, but it was a case of 'I don't want to be here, I don't want to do this job, look what it did to my mum – how am I ever going to settle down and have a family when I know that it's going to happen again? I've seen behind the curtain, I know the business model, I know how this works. I don't want to be part of this'.

"Once I did therapy, it was like the bubble was burst," he went on. "I was like, OK, you're in this position of privilege, stop thinking as though you want something different, make this different, because you can't get out.

"How are you going to make this different, how are you going to make your mum proud? How are you going to use this platform to effect change and give people confidence to change their lives?"

He added: "Looking back I realise helping other people helped me."

He cited the example of setting up the Invictus Games, because he knew sport would help people, adding "then I realised healing other people healed me".

Meghan referred to 'The Firm' as she sat down to talk to Oprah about life in the royal family. (CBS)
Harry and Meghan during their interview with Oprah Winfrey which aired in March. (CBS)

Read more: Harry and Meghan's close friend Gayle King to host TV special on the Queen

In the podcast he also suggested it was a conversation with Meghan that led to him getting therapy, though he has previously credited his brother Prince William with pushing him to seek counselling help. 

In 2017, he told the journalist Bryony Gordon that William had told him what he was feeling was "not normal" and urged him to get help.

Harry's documentary project with Winfrey was first announced in 2019, but was finally given a release date this week, as they announced the five part series would be available on Apple TV from 21 May.

The Briton and the American will "guide honest discussions about mental health and emotional well-being while opening up about their mental health journeys and struggles".

There are several high profile guests on the programme including Glenn Close and Lady Gaga.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd is available to stream now.

Watch: Apple TV+ to stream Oprah and Prince Harry’s mental health docuseries

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