Prince Harry made an appearance on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast on Thursday (May 13). During their lengthy conversation, the Duke of Sussex candidly spoke about his struggles with Palace life. Though he didn't ultimately step down until he was 35-years-old, Harry revealed he thought about wanting to quit as early as his twenties.
"In my early twenties, it was a case of, I don't want this job, I don't want to be here, I don't want to be doing this," Harry said. "Look what it did to my mom, how am I ever going to settle down, have a wife and a family when I know that it's gonna happen again because I know I've seen behind the curtain, I've seen the business model — I know how this operation runs and how it works. I don't want to be part of this."
Harry continued to struggle with these feelings over the course of the next decade. It wasn't until he met his now-wife, Meghan Markle, that he decided to seek professional help for his mental health. "It was a conversation that I had with my now wife," Harry said of the moment he decided to go to therapy. "she saw it straight away, she could tell that I was hurting and that some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry. It would make my blood boil."
The Duke of Sussex then detailed three times in his life that he felt "completely helpless:" riding in a car with mom Princess Diana as paparazzi chased them, flying in a helicopter while serving in Afghanistan and when he knew Meghan was suffering as a result of the same toxic environment he himself had struggled with. "Those are the moments in my life where feeling helpless hurts. It really hurts," he said. "And that's when you think to yourself, 'S---, I've got the privilege, I've got the platform, I've got the influence and even I can't fix this. I can't change this. And when you start getting in your head about it, that's when it starts sort of taking a toll."
That was when he "plucked my head out of the sand, gave it a good shake off" and figured out how he was "going to do this differently? How are you going to make your mom proud? How are you going to use this platform to really affect change and be able to give people that confidence to be able to change their own lives?"
As we all know, Harry was able to find the confidence to change his own life when he stepped down from royal duties and moved his family to the United States. Harry shared his situation has gotten much better since his and Meghan's big move last year.