London June 22 (TNS): Being the monarch is a tough job, but someone has to do it, even if reluctantly. In an interview to Newsweek magazine, Prince Harry has suggested that none of the royal family actually wants the throne.
“We are involved in modernising the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he said.
“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.”
In an interview with Newsweek magazine about his life and the future of the monarchy, the 32-year-old said several times that he longed to be something other than Prince Harry.
But he was also conscious of the ability of his status to help him make a difference, he said. “I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s children Prince George and Princess Charlotte] take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it,” he said in the interview at Kensington Palace.
Harry also spoke about walking behind his mother’s coffin as a 12-year-old and said no child “should be asked to do that under any circumstances”.
In 1997, he joined his father, the Prince of Wales, his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, 15-year-old brother Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and uncle, Earl Spencer, in a funeral procession through the streets of London for Diana, Princess of Wales.
The sons of Diana, Princess of Wales, her brother and her former husband, the Prince of Wales, walk behind her coffin as the funeral procession approaches Westminster Abbey. Photograph: Adam Butler/PA
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” he said. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
He praised his mother for helping to show him an “ordinary life”, adding that he did his own shopping. “People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live,” he said.
The prince, who is dating US actress Meghan Markle, added that if he were to have children they would have an ordinary life, saying: “Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping. But it’s a tricky balancing act. We don’t want to dilute the magic … The British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”
Harry spoke frankly of his desire, along with his brother William and his wife Catherine, to bring the monarchy into the 21st century.
“The monarchy is a force for good and we want to carry on the positive atmosphere that the Queen has achieved for over 60 years, but we won’t be trying to fill her boots,” he said.
Harry has been praised by mental health charities for revealing he went for counselling, admitting that he did not process his grief over the death of his mother – who was killed in a car crash 20 years ago this year – until he was in his late 20s.
“My search began when I was in my mid-20s,” he said. “I needed to fix the mistakes I was making.” He has previously admitted that his grief lead him to two years of “total chaos” and that he had been very close to a breakdown on several occasions. He sought professional help, on his brother’s advice, when he was 28.
“My mother died when I was very young. I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good. I am now fired up and energised and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh,” he said.
“I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better. I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.”