Prince Harry's Old Comments About The Throne Suddenly Feel So Relevant

The Duke of Sussex's frustration with being a royal goes way back.
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Though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s announcement that they were stepping back as “senior” members of the royal family came as a shock to many last week, Harry’s frustration with The Firm goes back years. 

While some, like Princess Diana’s former royal chef Darren McGrady, blamed Meghan for Harry’s decision to leave, the Duke of Sussex has routinely expressed his disdain for the difficulties that come with being born a royal. In a candid interview with Newsweek in 2017, Harry spoke about struggling with his status. 

“My mother died when I was very young. I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good,” he said at the time. “I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better.” 

He also admitted that no one in the royal family actually wants the throne, saying that those in power are doing it “for the greater good of the people.” 

“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,” he said. Harry still felt that people desire the “magic” of the royals, saying that “the British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”  

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The Duke of Sussex visits the laboratory as he tours The Institute of Translational Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, on March 4, 2019.
POOL New / Reuters

He also said at the time that he wanted “to make something of my life” as senior member of the royal family while the focus was still on him.

“I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s children] take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it,” he said. 

The comment about living in a goldfish bowl echoed sentiments the prince expressed during a chat with The Telegraph in April 2017. 

“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle,” he said then. 

The duke has also said before that he’d thought of walking away from the life he was born into, especially after leaving the military in 2015. 

“I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself,” the prince told royal expert Angela Levin for her 2018 biography titled “Harry: Conversations With the Prince.”

Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they will be moving into a new role within the royal family after “many months of reflection and internal discussions.” 

It appears Harry and Meghan have been planning the move for a long time, as they registered for their new website ― which announced their plans for the future ― back in March 2019. They also filed for a trademark on their new foundation with the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office back in June, though it was published on Dec. 19, 2019. 

Queen Elizabeth announced Monday in a poignant statement that she was “entirely supportive” of Harry and Meghan’s new ventures and new life. 

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” she said. 

Finally, details regarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new life were revealed in a statement on behalf of the queen and Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

While Harry and Meghan will remain the Sussexes, they are no longer working members of the royal family and will step back from all royal duties. They will not receive public funding as of spring 2020 and will repay the British public for the nearly $3 million spent renovating their U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage. 

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Before You Go

Meghan Markle's Best Looks Of 2019
Jan. 14(01 of 47)
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Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, walk during their visit in Birkenhead, Britain. (credit: Carl Recine/Reuters)
Jan. 16(02 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex arrives for her visit to the Mayhew, an animal welfare charity in London. (credit: WPA Pool via Getty Images)
Jan. 16(03 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan attend the premiere of Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (credit: POOL/Reuters)
Jan. 30(04 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex visits the National Theatre in London. (credit: POOL New / Reuters)
Jan. 31(05 of 47)
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Meghan reacts as she leaves after meeting with students and academics from across the Association of Commonwealth Universities at City University in London. (credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images)
Feb. 1(06 of 47)
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Bristol Old Vic. (credit: POOL New / Reuters)
Feb. 7(07 of 47)
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Meghan attends the Endeavour Fund awards at Drapers' Hall in London. (credit: Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images)
Feb. 12(08 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex attends a gala performance of "The Wider Earth" in support of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust & the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy in London. (credit: Chris Jackson via Getty Images)
Feb. 23(09 of 47)
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Meghan arrives at Casablanca airport in Casablanca, Morocco. (credit: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Feb. 24(10 of 47)
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit a local secondary school to meet students and teachers in Asni, Morocco. (credit: Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Feb. 24(11 of 47)
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Meghan attends a reception hosted by the British ambassador to Morocco at the British Residence in Rabat during the second day of her tour of Morocco. (credit: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Feb. 25(12 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan visit the Andalusian Gardens to hear about youth empowerment in Rabat, Morocco. (credit: Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Feb. 25(13 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan during an audience at King Mohammed VI of Morocco's residence in Rabat. (credit: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
March 5(14 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex and Princess Anne attend a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in London. (credit: WPA Pool via Getty Images)
March 6(15 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan attend the WE Day UK event in Wembley, London. (credit: Peter Nicholls / Reuters)
March 8(16 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex departs after joining a panel discussion to mark International Women's Day at King's College London. (credit: Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images)
March 11(17 of 47)
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Meghan attends a Commonwealth Day Youth Event at Canada House in London. (credit: Mark Cuthbert via Getty Images)
March 11(18 of 47)
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London. (credit: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
March 19(19 of 47)
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Meghan and Harry depart New Zealand House in London after signing the book of condolence following the New Zealand terror attack that saw at least 50 people killed at a mosque in Christchurch. (credit: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
May 8(20 of 47)
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Meghan and Harry are seen with their baby son, Archie, in St. George's Hall at Windsor Castle. (credit: POOL/Reuters)
June 8(21 of 47)
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Meghan and Harry in a horse-drawn carriage during Trooping the Color, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in London. (credit: Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images)
June 29(22 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan look on during the pre-game ceremonies before the MLB London Series game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. (credit: Dan Istitene via Getty Images)
June 29(23 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan join the New York Yankees in their clubhouse and receive gifts for Archie ahead of their match against the Boston Red Sox at the London Stadium. (credit: Handout via Getty Images)
July 4(24 of 47)
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Meghan looks on as Serena Williams of the U.S. wins her second-round match against Slovenia's Kaja Juvan at Wimbledon. (credit: Toby Melville/Reuters)
July 6(25 of 47)
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This official christening photograph released by the duke and duchess shows Harry and Meghan with their son, Archie, and other members of the royal family. (credit: POOL/Reuters)
July 13(26 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge in the Royal Box ahead of the Wimbledon women's final between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Romania's Simona Halep. (credit: Hannah Mckay/Reuters)
July 14(27 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan attend "The Lion King" European premiere at Leicester Square in London. (credit: Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
July 28(28 of 47)
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This undated handout photo issued by Kensington Palace on July 28 shows the Duchess of Sussex, patron of Smart Works, in the workroom of the Smart Works London office. (credit: Handout via Getty Images)
Sept. 7(29 of 47)
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Meghan is greeted by Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams' husband, as she arrives at the team box to watch Williams during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City. (credit: Tim Clayton - Corbis via Getty Images)
Sept. 12(30 of 47)
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Meghan departs after attending the launch of the Smart Works capsule collection in London. (credit: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
Sept. 23(31 of 47)
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Meghan visits the Nyanga Township in Cape Town with Harry during their royal tour of South Africa. (credit: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
Sept. 24(32 of 47)
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend Heritage Day public holiday celebrations in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town, during the royal tour of South Africa. (credit: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Sept. 24(33 of 47)
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Meghan visits Waves for Change, a nongovernmental organization, at Monwabisi Beach with Harry in Cape Town, South Africa. (credit: Chris Jackson via Getty Images)
Sept. 24(34 of 47)
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Harry and Meghan attend a reception for young people, community and civil society leaders at the Residence of the British High Commissioner in Cape Town, South Africa. (credit: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Sept. 25(35 of 47)
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Meghan visits the African not-for-profit organization mothers2mothers in Cape Town on the third day of the royal tour of South Africa. (credit: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
Sept. 25(36 of 47)
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Harry, Meghan and their baby son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa. (credit: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Sept. 30(37 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex visits Victoria Yards, a regeneration project that is home to design studios, art galleries and a popular monthly food market, in Johannesburg, South Africa. (credit: Handout/Reuters)
Oct. 1(38 of 47)
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Meghan visits ActionAid in Johannesburg during the royal tour of South Africa. (credit: Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Oct. 1(39 of 47)
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Meghan visits the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. (credit: Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images)
Oct. 2(40 of 47)
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive to meet Graca Machel, widow of the late Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, South Africa. (credit: Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images)
Oct. 2(41 of 47)
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Meghan, accompanied by Harry, visits the Tembisa Township in Johannesburg to learn about Youth Employment Services during their royal tour of South Africa. (credit: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
Oct. 15(42 of 47)
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the WellChild awards at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. (credit: TOBY MELVILLE via Getty Images)
Oct. 22(43 of 47)
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Meghan attends the One Young World Summit Opening Ceremony at Royal Albert Hall in London. (credit: Karwai Tang via Getty Images)
Oct. 25(44 of 47)
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Meghan and Harry attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queens Commonwealth Trust and One Young World at Windsor Castle. (credit: WPA Pool via Getty Images)
Nov. 7(45 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London. (credit: Mark Cuthbert via Getty Images)
Nov. 9(46 of 47)
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Meghan attends the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (credit: Chris Jackson via Getty Images)
Nov. 10(47 of 47)
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The Duchess of Sussex attends the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph in London. (credit: Chris Jackson via Getty Images)
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