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Prince Harry Reveals He Wanted To Walk Away From Royal Life Years Ago, Felt Like He Was 'Living In A Zoo'

May. 13 2021, Published 1:40 p.m. ET

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Honesty hour. Prince Harry revealed he wanted to walk away from his life as a royal years ago, comparing his time in the prestigious position to being an animal trapped in the zoo.

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On a new episode of Dax Shepard's popular "Armchair Expert" podcast, the Duke of Sussex got candid about his mental health and why he was ready to leave his royal life behind over a decade ago. 

When asked how it feels to be among "a tiny group" of royals "watched by millions," the red-headed prince summarized it as "a mix between The Truman Show and living in a zoo," referring to his life as being part of a massive TV set that he didn't know he was on.

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Source: MEGA

However, Harry noted it was all "part of the job," explaining he had to just "grin and bear it. Get on with it." He then credited the toll The Firm took on his mother, Princess Diana, as one of the reasons he wanted to keep his own family away from it all. 

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"I was in my early 20s and I was thinking I don't want this job, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this," he told Shepard. "Look what it did to my mum. How am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family, when I know it's going to happen again?"

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The 36-year-old said he has seen what goes on behind closed doors and refused to stick around for his family to endure the same treatment. "I've seen behind the curtain, I've seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don't want to be part of this," he continued.

And while he had been eyeing his exit for years, wife Meghan Markle was the one who helped him pull the trigger after advising him to go to therapy. "And then once I started doing therapy it was like the bubble was burst," Harry confessed.

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"I plucked my head out of the sand and gave it a good shake off and I was like, You're in this position of privilege, stop complaining and stop thinking you want something different — make this different — because you can't get out," he recalled of his previous thoughts. "How are you going to do these things differently, how are you going to make your mum proud and use this platform to really affect change?"

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Harry and Meghan — who are expecting their second child, a girl, over the summer — stepped back from their senior royal duties last year to start their lives anew in the U.S. In February, Buckingham Palace confirmed they will not "continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service."

Harry's latest revelations of his thoughts on the royals come after he and Meghan made bombshell claims about the royal family while speaking to Oprah Winfrey in March.

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At the time, pregnant Meghan claimed the institution refused to assist her when she asked for help regarding her mental health struggles. The couple cited the royals lack of support as why they decided to step back from their senior royal duties. 

Adding fuel to the fire, Harry also alleged none of his royal family members ever reached out to apologize to the couple for their lack of support, despite seeing what was really going on behind the scenes.

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