Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step back as senior royals may not have won the support of all royal fans, but it would have most likely been backed by one important figure in their lives: the late Princess Diana. More than a year after the couple sent shockwaves through the globe with the announcement that they would retire as working royals, the late princess' former voice coach Stewart Pearce exclusively discussed with PopCulture how he believes Diana would have reacted to that decision.
Promoting his new book Diana: The Voice of Change: Revelations About Diana's Life Principles, which is set for a June 15 release, Pearce reflected on that headline-making moment, explaining that he believes Diana would have "wholeheartedly" supported the move. The couple announced their decision in January 2020, at the time simply explaining that they came to the decision "after many months of reflection and internal discussions." After officially resigning as working royals in February of this year, Harry has hinted that their treatment by British tabloids, which he recently said led to a "toxic environment," in part sparked the move. Given Diana's own relationship with the media, Pearce said he believes the late royal would have supported the couple's quest for freedom in the United States, where they have since settled with their two children, 2-year-old Archie and newborn daughter Lilibet.
"Diana's support of Harry and Meghan's decision to free themselves from the corrosive and destructive commentary of their lives by the British press would have been wholeheartedly in support of their bid for 'freedom.' After all, this is what took place after the vilification of her love for Charles, in the sense of the fact that she simply couldn't accept being the second violin, with regard to Prince Charles's emotional orchestra, regarding his love for Camilla Parker Bowles," Pearce said. "Diana's position was unique, in the sense of being explosively public about her status within the emotional complexity of her relationship with the man she loved, but who didn't love her."
The intensity with which the media placed on the late royal came into full view in May of this year after a BBC investigation found that journalist Martin Bashir used "deceitful behavior" to secure his 1995 landmark interview with Diana. In a video statement addressing the findings, Harry's older brother, Prince William, said the BBC's failures in the mid-1990s played a role in Diana's "fear, paranoia and isolation" and said "the interview was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse and has since hurt countless others." In his own statement, Harry said that while this was "the first step towards justice and truth," he was still deeply concerned "that practices like these — and even worse — are still widespread today… Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed."