The release of clips from a Prince Harry interview during the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour to Pakistan has left royal aides “baffled and infuriated”, the Evening Standard can reveal.
Harry spoke to ITV news presenter Tom Bradby during his recent 10-day tour of Africa with wife Meghan and son Archie for a documentary that will air on the channel on Sunday at 9pm.
In the clips, Harry reveals that his grief for mother Diana is still a “wound that festers” and says that every click and flash of a camera gives him “the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best”. The content and timing of the clips have caused concern among senior royal and diplomatic advisers who fear it has “overshadowed” William and Kate’s “soft power” assignment on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following an invitation from the Pakistan government.
One senior figure said aides were “baffled and infuriated”, adding: “This move has certainly overshadowed the Pakistan visit and what has been achieved here during the last few days, as well as a lot of work by an awful lot of dedicated people here on the ground as well as back home for months.”
For decades there has been an unwritten rule that members of the royal family do not overshadow official overseas visits by more senior royals.
In the documentary, Harry said retracing his mother’s footsteps from her own tour to Africa more than two decades ago had been “emotional”. But he said the media’s focus on his life and the “pressures that come with that” means he is “reminded of the bad stuff, unfortunately”.
It is understood Meghan will say in the documentary that she was “warned” about the tabloid press before she agreed to marry Harry. It is believed she will add that the intrusion is “much worse than I ever thought”.
As the tour of Africa ended last month, the couple launched separate legal action against the press.
Meghan is suing the Mail on Sunday over a letter to her estranged father the paper published, while Harry is suing the owners of the Sun and the Daily Mirror over alleged phone hacking.