Prince Harry's complaints about upbringing 'no different to Prince Charles talking about his'

·4-min read
The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry in 2019. The Duke said he had deliberately adopted a different parenting method to that of his own father, saying that life was about 'breaking the cycle' CREDIT: Samir Hussein - Samir Hussein
The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry in 2019. The Duke said he had deliberately adopted a different parenting method to that of his own father, saying that life was about 'breaking the cycle' CREDIT: Samir Hussein - Samir Hussein

The Duke of Sussex’s complaints about his upbringing are no different to his father’s criticism of his own parents in an authorised biography by Jonathan Dimbleby, sources close to him have suggested.

The Duke, 36, implied in a podcast that he had been failed not only by the Prince of Wales but through association, by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh too.

He said his father had treated him “the way he was treated” as he revealed that he moved to the US to "break the cycle" of "genetic pain" for his own children.

The comments were met with bewilderment by the Royal family, who considered it a betrayal. Aides said he had shown a “woeful lack of compassion” for his own family and questioned why the Sussexes continued to use their royal titles when they appeared so disillusioned with the institution. 

However, sources close to the Sussexes pointed out that Prince Charles had lifted the lid on his own unhappy childhood in Mr Dimbleby’s 1994 book, The Prince of Wales: A Biography, with which he cooperated extensively.

It came as it emerged that the Duke will talk about his mother’s death and the experience of having to walk behind her coffin at her funeral in his new Apple TV mental health series.

The five-part documentary, called The Me You Can’t See, will be released on Friday.

Watch: Trailer - The Me You Can't See

A trailer showed footage of Prince Harry, then 12, taking part in the procession before the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

The Duke is then shown looking upset, his hand shaking as he holds it to his mouth.

The series marks the latest in a string of media projects in which he has spoken at length about his experience growing up as a member of the Royal family and the traumatic aftermath of his mother’s death.

He was filmed in conversation with co-presenter Oprah Winfrey, saying: "To make that decision to receive help is not a sign of weakness. In today's world more than ever, it is a sign of strength."

The Duke has previously suggested that he did not believe he should have been asked to play such a public role in his mother’s funeral.

"I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances,” he said in 2017.

It was revealed last week that the Duke will open up about his own mental health struggles during the series, which also features Zak Williams, the son of late actor Robin Williams, US Olympic Boxer Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs, American basketball players DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs and Langston Galloway from the Phoenix Suns and California-based chef Rashad Armstead.

The series has been co-created and executive produced over the last two years by the Duke and Ms Winfrey.

The Duke said: “We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences. But our shared experience is that we are all human.

“The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss, or grief, which feels, and is, very personal. 

“Yet the last year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy, and strength in honesty.”

The Duchess of Sussex also makes a brief appearance, coming into shot at her husband’s side, smiling and wearing a T-shirt printed with the slogan "Raising the Future".

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are shown in a trailer for new AppleTV series The Me You Can't See
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are shown in a trailer for new AppleTV series The Me You Can't See

The Duke told American actor Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast recently that he had come to realise that his own father’s behaviour was “connected to his parents” and his own childhood experiences.

While the revelations were said to have left all three royal households reeling, sources close to him pointed out that Prince Charles had spoken to Mr Dimbleby about his own upbringing.

The 600-page biography described how the Prince of Wales felt like an outsider within his own family, his mother as physically and emotionally distant and his “harsh” and “hectoring” father favouring his outgoing younger sister, Princess Anne.

It revealed that Prince Charles blamed Prince Philip for sending him to Gordonstoun, the public school in Scotland where he was bullied, and also accused him of forcing him into marriage with a woman he did not love.

The book suggested Prince Philip was disappointed that his son was "soft,” and "a bit of a wimp". 

Prince Harry has also faced a backlash for describing the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, as “bonkers”. 

Ted Cruz, a Republican senator, tweeted: "Nice that he can say that."

Watch: Who Is Prince Harry?

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