Prince Harry has compared his life to the Jim Carrey film The Truman Show in a new interview.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, who is currently living in his $14 million Californian mansion having stepped back from royal duty, was speaking to Dax Shepard on a podcast called Armchair Expert.
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.’
Prince Harry, 36, has compared his life to the Jim Carrey film The Truman Show in a new interview
During the interview, he also said he and Meghan Markle first met up in a supermarket – and ‘pretended’ they didn’t know each other to avoid attracting attention.
He said that the couple did their best to stay ‘incognito’ during their first date.
He said: ‘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?!’
‘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!
During the interview, he also said he and Meghan Markle first met up in a supermarket – and ‘pretended’ they didn’t know each other to avoid attracting attention
‘Living here now I can actually lift my head and actually I feel different, my shoulders have dropped, so has hers, you can walk around feeling a little bit more free.
‘I can take Archie on the back of my bicycle. I never had the chance to do that.’
Elsewhere in the interview, he said he had been on the end of ‘vile, toxic abuse’ online, saying he asked himself about trolls: ‘What made you want to come at me like that, when clearly we’ve never met?’
He called hatred a ‘form of project’ which came from ‘unresolved pain’, saying: ‘ultimately there’s a source to it.’
He added that there was ‘certain corners of the media’ who questioned ‘if he is privileged how could he be suffering’.
He said: ‘[People say] How bad can it be? You had people running around and doing this and that…
‘I was born into privilege but it gave me a front row seat – my education was not in school but was in meeting people across the Commonwealth.’
Harry said: ‘I know people are looking at me saying, you’re a prince, you’re from a palace, where’s your crown and where’s your cape?
‘The reality is, meeting people from all around the world puts it into context.’
He said he doesn’t see sharing his mental health struggles as ‘complaining’, and said he was determined to ‘have a positive impact on somebody’s life.’
Duncan Larcombe, author of Prince Harry: The Inside Story, said Prince Harry and Meghan are ‘playing into the cult of celebrity’ after stepping back from royal duty last year.
He said it was a ‘complete change’ from the era of Prince Philip who maintained the focus should be ‘on the causes’ and ‘not on the royals.’
Speaking to The Sun, Duncan said: ‘William and Kate are quite clear they need to do more to sell themselves as a couple, family and personalities.
He continued to say there had been a noticeable change in the way the couple interact on recent appearances.
He added: ‘Things like their anniversary video, that is a deliberate charm offensive to sell them as personalities as well as people who are going to be the king and queen.’
It comes after brand experts said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had ‘refreshed’ their digital approach by revamping their Instagram and launching a YouTube channel to create a ‘warm and inviting’ image.
Last week, Prince William and Kate changed their username from ‘Kensington Royal’ to the more informal ‘Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’ and updated their profile picture to a candid snap taken on a visit to Ireland last year.
Duncan said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to ‘play into the cult of celebrity’ had prompted Kate Middleton and Prince William to start a ‘charm offensive’ (pictured together0
The couple also launched a YouTube channel just days after they treated royal fans to an intimate family video showing them enjoying time at the beach with their children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three.
It’s all part of a strategy by the Cambridges to modernise how the royal family connects with a tech-savvy audience, while sharing just enough of their lives to satisfy fans, without sacrificing their children’s privacy.
Brand expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL the change in the digital output for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave ‘a really lovely glimpse into the lives of our future King and Queen’, while he said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘very brand heavy and personality light’ with content that feels like ‘advertising’.
It comes after brand experts said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had ‘refreshed’ their digital approach by revamping their Instagram and launching a YouTube channel to create a ‘warm and inviting’ image
Kate and William’s new profile picture on Instagram and Twitter shows a candid photo shows the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their arms around each other on a walk along Howth Cliff, near Dublin, in March 2020.
And yesterday the couple launched their own YouTube channel – also using the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge username – by sharing a slick promotional video.
The 25-second clip starts with the couple sitting on a sofa in Anmer Hall, Norfolk, with William turning to Kate to say: ‘By the way you need to be careful what you say now because these guys are filming everything.
The flashy video went on to show various clips from engagements over the years, including Kate launching her Early Years survey last February and the couple visiting Pakistan in October 2019.
Meanwhile Nick Ede said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘very brand heavy and personality light’ with content
Nick said Prince Harry and Meghan have focused on a digital output which was ‘like an advert’ and opted to work with big paid-for content brands like Netflix and Spotify
It also reveals candid moments from the couple, including a behind-the-scenes outtakes from this year’s St Patrick’s Day video in which Kate tells William: ‘You don’t need to roll your Rs.’
The Cambridges’ YouTube channel has more than 1.1million subscribers less than 24 hours after being announced. They have 12.8million Instagram followers.
Nick explained: ‘I think that its really refreshing to see the new digital approach that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made.
‘They know they the need to keep up with the relentless developments and use of social media.
Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave their Instagram account a revamp. Pictured, their Instagram profile today (top) and recently (bottom), featuring their old details
‘Their use of imagery and YouTube and all social channels is warm and inviting and gives us a really lovely glimpse into their lives.
‘It allows us to see how our future king and queen interact with each other, their children, their dog and so on.’
He continued: ‘They are still revealing the traditional sides of the royal family which is something we all love to see but by stepping up their game in talking to the public via Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.’
‘They are allowing us to know they care about us and the things that matter to those around us, as well as themselves and their own family.’
The branding expert said Prince William and Kate were ‘stepping up their game in talking to the public’ with their new YouTube channel and revamped Instagram
Nick said there were huge differences between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Harry and Meghan ditched their social media channels Instagram and Twitter after stepping down from royal duty last year.
Unlike the Cambridges, who have regularly shared photographs of their children on birthdays and other occasions, the couple haven’t allowed royal fans a glimpse of Archie since last year.
Earlier this month, the couple shared a video as they played in the garden with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, which Nick said ‘allowed the public to know they care about us’
The couple, who said they wanted to become financially independent from the royal family, have since gone on to sign big multimillion pound contracts with paid for services like Netflix and Spotify.
Nick explained: ‘Kate and Will’s channels are in stark contrast to those created by the team behind the Sussex brand.
‘The Sussexes have gone for commercial partnerships which are very brand heavy and personality light.
‘They are more about using the huge platforms of Netflix, Apple + and Spotify to get their messages across to millions of people but in a far more slick way, that often feel like adverts rather than from the heart.’