Prince Harry defends Netflix's The Crown in James Corden interview

Duke of Sussex says he is happier with series than news stories about Meghan or his family

The Duke of Sussex has defended the Netflix series The Crown, saying that – while it was not “strictly accurate” – it portrayed the pressures of royal life.

In an interview with James Corden for the US programme The Late Late Show, Prince Harry said he minded the intrusions of the media into his family’s life much more than the miniseries, which was “obviously fiction”.

He said the British press created a “difficult environment” that was destroying his mental health, but insisted he “didn’t walk away” from the royal family. “It was stepping back rather than stepping down.”

He said: “So I did what any husband, what any father would do. It’s like: ‘I need to get my family out of here.’ But we never walked away.” He added: “I will never walk away. I will always be contributing.”

Of The Crown, which has been criticised for blurring fact and fiction, Harry said: “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course it’s not strictly accurate.” But it gave a “rough idea” of the pressures of “putting duty and service above family and everything else”, he said.

“I am way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing stories written about my family or my wife. That [The Crown] is obviously fiction, take it how you will. But this is being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that,” he said.

Harry also revealed how his and Meghan’s relationship went from “zero to 60” in the first two months because they were forced to spend so much time alone together. On dating, Harry said: “It’s kind of flipped upside down. All the dates become dinners or watching the TV and chatting at home, then eventually once you become a couple, then you venture out for dinners, the cinema, and everything else.

“Everything was done back to front with us. So we got to spend an enormous amount of time just the two of us … And that was great, an amazing thing.”

Archie’s first word was “crocodile – three syllables”, he told Corden, and his son was already “putting three/four words together” and singing songs. When the Queen asked what Archie wanted for Christmas, Meghan said a waffle-maker, which her Majesty dutifully sent.

The Queen and Prince Philip regularly see Archie over Zoom, he added. A regular night in for the couple is bathing Archie, reading a book, after which Meghan might cook, or they order a takeaway, before watching TV in bed.

His comments were recorded before last week’s announcement the couple would not be returning as working royals, and their statement that “service is universal”, which angered critics who felt it was disrespectful to the Queen.

But Harry told Corden: “My life is always going to be about public service. Meghan signed up to that, and the two of us enjoy doing that, trying to bring compassion, trying to make people happy and trying to change the world in the small way that we can.”

Meghan pops up on a videocall during the interview, calling him “Haz” as he calls her “Meg”. Harry and Corden view the mansion used in the 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Corden says it would be the “perfect house” for the couple. Meghan laughs: “I think we’ve done enough moving.”


Caroline Davies

The GuardianTramp

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