Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s exit from the royal family has allowed them to escape the brutal media and public scrutiny, but is it the right choice for their son Archie? Prince Harry shared in a recent speech that they have “no other option” and, given his commitment to protecting his family, it’s easy to see why they made such a drastic decision.
Prince Harry wants to protect his wife and child
Prince Harry gave a glimpse into his strong desire to keep his family safe when he touched on the matter during an interview for the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. He stated at the time: “My mum clearly taught me a certain set of values of which I always try and uphold, despite the role and the job… I think I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect.”
His friend JJ Chalmers confirmed that Prince Harry has made his family’s safety his priority, sharing during an appearance on The One Show on Jan. 10: “I think the decision that he has made, at the forefront of that is to protect his family, because that’s the number one rule is to be a father and to be a husband.”
He added: “Any husband wants to protect their wife and any father wants to protect their children.”
Prince Harry’s personal experience plays into it
Prince Harry has a unique perspective of how things can play out in a dangerous way from the experience his mother Princess Diana had with the media.
Chalmers noted that “When [Harry] looks at the way the media reacts and how social media talks about someone, he has to answer to his son one day, when he begins to understand this, and be able to look him in the face and say, ‘I made the right decision and I did right by you.’”
His mother’s tragic death is a constant reminder to Harry and “ultimately he grew up in the limelight and he knows how this can end if it’s not handled correctly,” Chalmers explained.
The Sussexes are leaving behind the ‘pomp and royalty’
Primatologist Jane Goodall offered some insight on the Sussexes’ wish to allow Archie a normal life. Goodall spoke with Prince Harry in an interview for a special edition of Vogue in 2019 and noted that she was not surprised by their decision to exit royal life.
“Well it doesn’t surprise me, having met them both,” she told Radio 4’s Today, adding, “I know that Prince Harry really felt constrained and he desperately wants little Archie to grow up away from all the pomp and royalty, I know that. I haven’t been in the UK. I haven’t really followed the news… I had no idea that anything like this was going to happen.”
Prince Harry and Meghan felt they were out of options
During a speech he delivered at the dinner for supporters of Sentebale in London, Prince Harry spoke openly about their decision to leave their royal duties.
In part, he shared: “The decision that I have made for my
wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of
talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it
right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.”
He discussed how he hoped to “continue serving the queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding,” but that wasn’t possible, a sacrifice he had to make. Prince Harry shared that he hoped people would “understand what it had come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”