Comments from the fifth in line to the British throne in American magazine Newsweek have been causing a stir this week as Prince Harry was quoted saying: “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
Speaking to the publication about the trials of attempting to maintain an ‘ordinary’ life alongside the extraordinary duties of a working royal, Prince Harry made it clear that the royals aren’t “doing this for ourselves” but also that they are determined to continue the work of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. For more than 60 years Her Majesty has inspired people and the “positive atmosphere” she’s created is something the next generation of royals want to continue, even as they look at modernising the monarchy.
In regards to efforts that have been made to make the royal family more accessible – embracing social media and being more open with the press in interviews such as this one and the one recently granted to British GQ by his brother, Prince William – Harry said it is a “tricky balancing act”.
This open and honest interview is not the first of late with Harry having recently revealed to The Telegraph that his emotional struggles following his mother’s death led him to bury his grief for nearly two decades. Sentiments that echo those shared by his brother in Prince William’s GQ interview, out this month. The public appetite for this private side of the royals is undeniable but Harry says it’s important not to “dilute the magic. The British public and the whole world need institutions like [the British monarchy].”
Harry’s comments don’t negate the fact that he is passionately involved in charitable causes. Knowing “instinctively” which charities his mother would have wanted him to support Harry has said he’s “now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh.”
Feeling in a hurry to “make something of my life”, Prince Harry has chosen to focus on key causes like his Heads Together campaign and his work with Invictus and other charities focused on the Armed Forces. In his grandmother, however, he has a stellar example of public works and her encouragement has helped him to take time and “really think things through”.
“The Queen has been fantastic in letting us choose. She tells us to take our time and really think things through. We use our time wisely. We don’t want to turn up, shake hands but not get involved.”
On the topic of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Harry also revealed his feelings about her funeral and the fact that at just 12-years-old he “had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television…I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.” Few would argue that it was a lot to ask of the young prince.