Straight-talking Today host Karl Stefanovic has unleashed on Prince Harry after the royal complained about his privileged life in another self-serving interview.
Stefanovic, 46, blasted the Duke of Sussex for ‘whining about his childhood’ despite literally growing up in a palace – and then sensationally claimed the prince ‘looked happier’ during his partying years before his met wife Meghan Markle.
The Nine presenter, who has been called Australia’s answer to Piers Morgan, called out Harry while discussing his appearance on Dax Shepard’s ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast on Thursday – during which the prince, 36, made a series of damaging claims about his family and the ‘genetic pain’ he’d supposedly been subjected to.
‘Give it a rest, bro’: Straight-talking Today host Karl Stefanovic has unleashed on Prince Harry after the royal complained about his privileged life in another self-serving interview
The segment began with Stefanovic pointing out that Meghan and Harry, who have a hostile relationship with the British press, had chosen Los Angeles – the paparazzi capital of the world – as the place to raise their young family.
‘Good that he got away from the prying press in the UK,’ he said wryly.
When Stefanovic’s co-host Allison Langdon said ‘you have got to take the mental health stuff seriously’, he clarified that he did take mental health seriously, but still felt that Harry needed a reality check.
‘Of course, Ally, but I’m just saying it’s ridiculous how he keeps whining about his childhood. He grew up in privilege – in a palace,’ he said.
‘I mean, just give it a rest, bro.’
Not holding back: Stefanovic, 46, blasted the Duke of Sussex (right) for ‘whining about his childhood’ despite literally growing up in a palace – and then sensationally claimed the prince ‘looked happier’ during his partying years before his met wife Meghan Markle (left)
As the Today show broadcast various photos from Harry’s twenties – when he was known for his partying and rebellious nature, in contrast to his strait-laced older brother, Prince William – Stefanovic couldn’t resist taking another swipe.
‘He looked happier, too, when he was partying in Vegas, I’m just saying,’ he remarked, hinting the prince has lost some of his joie de vivre since marrying American actress Meghan.
‘He did look pretty happy there, didn’t he?’ replied Langdon.
Prince Harry on Thursday today blasted his father Prince Charles’ parenting as he poured his heart out to a U.S. mental health podcast and said he’d moved to California with his family to ‘break the cycle’ of ‘pain’ he suffered as a member of the Royal Family – and needed to ‘change that for my own kids’.
Harry also admitted he first wanted to quit The Firm in his ‘early twenties’ because of ‘what it did to my mum’ and revealed that his wife, 39, had encouraged him to have therapy and had herself now concluded: ‘You don’t need to be a princess.’
Harry’s extraordinary attack on the Royal Family, two months after accusing them of racism towards his two-year-old son Archie, came as he appeared on Dax Shepard’s ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast in another big Hollywood moment for the Duke. The show promoted his Apple TV+ mental health series with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can’t See, which premieres next Friday – and it was also promoted in a tweet by Dax today.
Harry, who is expecting a daughter with Meghan this summer, suggested that Prince Charles had ‘suffered’ because of his upbringing by the Queen and Prince Philip, and that the Prince of Wales had then ‘treated me the way he was treated’, calling it ‘genetic pain’.
At a glance: What did Harry say in the podcast?
- Harry compared living under scrutiny as a member of the Royal Family to the film The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey as a man oblivious to the fact that his entire life is a TV show, and to being an animal in a zoo.
- Speaking about Prince Charles, Harry said: ‘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.
- The Duke said he met up with his future wife Meghan in a supermarket in the early days of their relationship and they pretended not to know each other.
- Harry told how he quit as a senior royal with Meghan last year to put his family and mental health ‘first’.
- The 36-year-old royal put ‘wild partying’ in his youth down to ‘childhood trauma’ – and started therapy after Meghan ‘saw he was angry’
- The Duke said he was born into extraordinary privilege but hinted that he believes this has changed since he quit with Meghan
- Harry revealed Meghan told him of her experience of royal life: ‘You don’t need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess.’
During the wide-ranging interview lasting 90 minutes, Harry – who appears to have developed an American twang to his British accent since leaving the UK – said: ‘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 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’.’
He added: ‘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 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’. 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.’
The Duke called royal life ‘a mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo’ and said he quit last year to put his family and mental health ‘first’. He also put ‘wild partying’ in his youth down to ‘childhood trauma’, having previously admitted experimenting with cannabis and drinking to excess, and joked about the time he played naked billiards at a party in Las Vegas.
The podcast saw both men share their experiences of past trauma – and Dax, who is married to Frozen star Kristen Bell, spoke about his own addiction to smoking crack and alcohol. Harry asked him what it was like to take a ‘s***load’ of drugs when he was young after suffering sexual abuse as a child – while also speaking about his own experience of ‘pain’ as a senior royal.
Harry asked him if he had ‘an awareness’ whether his abuse of drink and cocaine was fuelled by his childhood, saying: ‘For you it was your upbringing and everything that happened to you – the trauma, pain and suffering. All of a sudden you find yourself doing a s***load of drugs and partying hard’.
The Duke described how he started therapy after Meghan ‘saw he was angry’, and when asked if he felt ‘in a cage’ while in royal duties, he said: ‘It’s the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early twenties and I was thinking 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 it’s going to happen again’.
He added that his frame of mind was: ‘I’ve seen behind the curtain, I’ve seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don’t want to be part of this’, before revealing he had therapy after meeting Meghan, which ‘burst’ a bubble and he decided to ‘stop complaining’.
He added: ‘So 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.’
Baring his soul, 36-year-old Harry, who is currently living in his $14million Californian mansion with his wife and son, said he was born into extraordinary privilege but hinted that he believes this has changed since he quit with Meghan last year, comparing it to Oprah Winfrey’s humble beginnings. He said: ‘I truly believe you can move along the spectrum as well, wherever you were born you may start in one place but that will change over time’.
The prince also revealed his wife told him of her experience of royal life: ‘You don’t need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess’, adding: ‘We got together and she was like ‘wow, this is very different to what my friends at the beginning said it would be’.’
Harry had agreed to support Dax’s popular podcast about mental health and ‘the messiness of being human’, including addiction – with his appearance also possibly linked to the podcast’s move to Spotify in July announced just hours earlier, because the Sussexes have also signed a multi-million dollar deal with the streaming firm.
As the podcast was released today, Harry’s father Charles visited a cancer research centre in London to learn how Covid-19 has affected its funding, while his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton spent the day in Wolverhampton to learn about projects supporting the wellbeing of the city’s young people.
As Harry took part in another bombshell interview, two months after the Oprah chat on CBS, he also revealed:
- Harry says he was ‘more free’ since his move to LA with Meghan, who he says encouraged him to have therapy because he would get ‘angry’ about things he couldn’t control. He said: ‘She could tell that I was hurting’;
- Meghan advised him: ‘You don’t need to be a princess, you can create your own life better than any princess’
- He suffered ‘vile and toxic abuse’ by trolls, saying he tries to have ‘compassion’ for them but this is ‘really hard when you’re on the receiving end’;
- Harry spoke of ‘going wild’ as he chatted with the Hollywood star about their own drugs and alcohol problems;
- Duke knew in his 20s that he ‘didn’t want the job’ of being a full time royal, also speaking about infamous incident of playing naked billiards in Las Vegas before serving in Afghanistan;
- When asked if people he met on royal trips to poorer areas ‘had more freedom than he did’, he said: ‘It’s the job right? You grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was thinking I don’t want this job, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be doing this’;
Duties: Prince Charles was pictured on Thursday meeting Oscar Coulson-Starley, 11, and mother Danni Starley, 45, from Kent, England, during a visit to the the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre in London, 21 years after he formally opened the research centre
Business as usual? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laughed during a gardening session at The Way Youth Zone in Wolverhampton, England, on Thursday
Prince Harry talks about ‘going wild’ in his youth in frank discussion about Dax Shepard doing ‘s*** loads of drugs’ and ‘partying hard’ on podcast
Prince Harry has spoken of ‘going wild’ as he chatted with a Hollywood star about their own drugs and alcohol problems.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, was speaking on actor Dax Shepard’s ‘Armchair Expert’ mental health podcast when he made the remarks. Harry was quizzing the star – who is married to Frozen actress Kristen Bell – about the American’s substance use in high school.
The Royal asked him about Shepard’s ‘awareness’ of what sparked his path towards drugs as a teenager. Harry told him: ‘For you it was your upbringing and everything that happened to you – the trauma, pain and suffering. All of a sudden you find yourself doing a s***load of drugs and partying hard.
‘Look how many other people do that as well. They wouldn’t have the awareness at the time. I certainly wouldn’t have had the awareness when I was going wild. It’s like why am I actually doing this? In the moment its like, this is fun. I’m in my 20s – it’s what you’re supposed to do.’
Harry himself has been linked to smoking cannabis and drinking. A recent Channel 5 documentary called Prince Harry: The Troubled Prince featured broadcaster Daisy McAndrew.
She told the programme: ‘You can really understand how a lonely, privileged unhappy Prince would end up drinking and partying and taking cannabis to fill those hours and hang out with people he thought really liked or even loved him.’
Prince Charles is known to have taken the young Duke aged 16 to a residential centre for drug users for a visit after finding out.
Reformed users at Peckham’s Featherstone Lodge warned him their addictions had started with drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis.
The Duke of Sussex confided in Dax that he was so desperate to hide his relationship with Meghan Markle when she stayed at Kensington Palace for the first time in 2016, that they went ‘incognito’ to the supermarket and ‘pretended we didn’t know each other’, texting shopping list items from different aisles.
Speaking with a slight American twang to his British accent, Harry said his life was like The Truman Show – when Jim Carrey’s character discovers his life is a TV drama.
Dax asked him if he had done ‘mundane things’, such as going to the supermarket.
He said: ‘The first time Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending we didn’t know each other, texting each other from the other side of the aisles. There’s people looking at me, giving me all these weird looks, and coming up to me and saying ‘hi’. I texted her saying ‘is this the right one’, and she said ‘no you want parchment paper’, and I’m like ‘where’s the parchment paper?!’.
He added: ‘I had baseball cap on, looking down at the floor, trying to stay incognito. It’s amazing how much chewing gum you see, it’s a mess’.
Harry did not say which supermarket he visited but in November 2016, Meghan was spotted leaving a Whole Foods store in West London, just a few hundred yards from Kensington Palace. Harry was also a regular, although the high-end food shop is unlikely to have much chewing gum stuck to its floors.
The Duke appearance on ‘Armchair Expert’, hosted by Shepard and Monica Padman, may be linked to its move to Spotify from July. Harry and Meghan have signed a multi-million dollar deal with the streaming firm for their own Archewell Audio channel.
Harry admitted that he was a privileged, but that this can change, pointing to the rise of the couple’s friend Oprah Winfrey, who interviewed them earlier this year.
He said: ‘If Oprah is at one end, I am on the other based on my privilege and upbringing and Oprah’s at the opposite end, then every single one of us is somewhere along there’.
But he added: ‘By the way I truly believe you can move along the spectrum as well, wherever you were born you may start in one place but that will change over time’.
In the interview the Duke says compares his life to the film where every second of a man’s life is scrutinised, filmed, controlled and broadcast to the world.
Discussing how his mental health struggles were dealt with when he was a child, he said: ‘[I was told] You need help. As a case of, not weakness but ‘I don’t know how to deal with this. You’re unhinged, you’re not very well, go and seek help’.
He said it had caused him to ‘object and run away’, saying: ‘Everyone of us will try to find some way to mask the actual feeling and try to feel different than how we actually feel.’
He said as a child he had ‘rejected’ the feelings, saying he had pretended he felt ‘fine.’
Before the family rift: Prince Charles, Prince Philip and Prince Harry are pictured during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in London on June 3, 2012
Family: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are shown here with their son Archie during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019
Lineage: The Queen and Princess Diana, Harry’s mother, are pictured together in 1989
Star: Dax Shepard, who is married to actress Kristen Bell, runs the popular Armchair Expert podcast that interviews stars in America. It’s been bought by Spotify, the audio streaming company that has also done a deal with the Sussexes. Pictured in May 2008