Prince Harry was a guest on the latest episode of Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert, and he opened up about mental health and the toll that being a member of the Royal Family took on him. He explained that being a royal felt like "a mix between The Truman Show," a 1998 film starring Jim Carrey about a man who finds out that his life is a reality show, "and being in a zoo." Royal expert Katie Nicholl spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the effect the latest interview has had on the frayed relationships Harry has with the rest of his family.
"I think the problem with the podcast and the things Harry has said -- particularly about the institution, feeling like he was in The Truman Show, feeling like he was in a zoo -- it has echoes of what he said on Oprah, that he, and his brother, and his father feel trapped by the institution," Nicholl explained. "It may be how Harry feels, but I don't think it's how William and Charles feel."
In the interview, Harry also expressed a desire to raise his children differently than he was raised. "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 that I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on," Harry explained. According to Nicholl, these particular comments rubbed the Royal Family and many UK residents the wrong way. "Prince Harry prefaced what he said with saying that he wasn't trying to point the finger. He didn't want this to be reduced to a blame game, but his comments are quite personal," Nicholl said. "He talks about a cycle of pain, he talks about genetic pain. The interpretation of that is that he wanted to break that cycle of pain that he recognized within his own family relationships."
"It does seem that this is yet another example of Prince Harry criticizing the royal family, in particular his father, who of course came under some fire in that Oprah interview," she explained. "... I think there is that sense again that he feels he's been let down by his father in this interview. That's going to be incredibly hurtful for the Prince of Wales." Nicholl also revealed that the warm feelings that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle receive in America aren't always reciprocated on the other side of the pond.
"I think it goes without saying that clearly some of the things that he has raised in this podcast have been hurtful to the royal family, I think particularly for the queen and Prince Charles, who are very private when it comes to their personal emotions," Nicholl continued. "This idea of Harry venting, airing publicly, his private grievances is going to be problematic." Nicholl continued, explaining that while she understood that Harry was passionate in his mission to discuss mental health, she was "surprised to hear how far he went with some of what he said, but... I think we should all be expecting to hear more of him about this conversation."
"It is something that he is passionate about. He clearly believes in it. He believes he can make a difference," Nicholl concluded. "I think, unfortunately for the royal family, Prince Harry is not afraid to draw on his own experience in order to relay the importance of mental health and get his message out."