Prince Harry has opened up about why he and wife, Meghan Markle, moved to California with their son, Archie, in a new podcast all about mental health. Reflecting back on his childhood, the Duke of Sussex said that he experienced "pain and suffering", alluding to it possibly being due to Prince Charles' parenting style, and that he was keen to break the cycle for his own children.
Speaking to hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, Harry said there was no blame but that as he became older, he understood how Charles' school days and own upbringing could have impacted on family life.
"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," Harry said. "I'm going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on, basically."
He added, "It's a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway so we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say 'You know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn't happen to you'."
Harry continued on to say that it took him a while to reflect on his father's childhood and come to certain conclusions, "It's hard to do but for me it comes down to awareness. I never saw it, I never knew about it, and then suddenly I started to piece it together and go 'OK, so this is where he [Prince Charles] went to school, this is what happened'. I know this about his life, I also know that is connected to his parents, so that means he's treated me the way he was treated... so how can I change that for my own kids?"
The royal added that he never intended to move to America, but that it felt like a necessary step to take in order to carve out a better life for Archie and Meghan, and to protect his own mental health.
"And here I am, I moved my whole family to the US, that wasn’t the plan but sometimes you’ve got make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first," he shared.
Speaking about how different life is now, Prince Harry recalled that during his early days of dating Meghan they would visit supermarkets and wear baseballs caps, to try and be incognito – something he's enjoying have to do less often in his new life.
He also said that living in California has afforded him more freedom when it comes to parenting, "Living here [in Los Angeles] 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."
Harry and Meghan are currently looking forward to expanding their family, with a baby girl due in the coming weeks.
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