Prince Harry sparks backlash after claiming he suffers burnout: ‘It must be very difficult being a millionaire’

Prince Harry is facing varied reactions after describing the ways in which he prioritises his own mental health each day after suffering “burnout,” with some questioning the difficulty of the royal’s workload.

The Duke of Sussex shared his thoughts on mental health during a virtual appearance hosted by personal coaching company BetterUp on Thursday, when he spoke with BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux and Serena Williams.

While reflecting on his own experience, Harry, 37, who last year was named chief impact officer of BetterUp, said that he had experienced “burnout,” which he described as a feeling of “getting to the very end of everything I had, any fuel, any steam in the engine,” and that he now prioritises self-care every day as a result.

“I now put in about half an hour, 45 minutes, in the morning when it’s like: ‘Okay, one of the kids has gone to school, the other one is taking a nap, there’s a break in our programme,’” the royal said of daily life with wife Meghan Markle and the couple’s two children, Archie, two, and Lilibet, eight months, adding that he needs to “meditate every single day”.

During the conversation, Harry also acknowledged the role that employers play in the ability for employees to take care of themselves, with the duke explaining: “From an employer perspective, you can’t expect people will put in work on themselves if you don’t give them the time to do it”.

“When people focus on inner work, these people are better at work and are better at home,” he continued, adding that he knows from experience working and “as a husband [and] as a dad,” that “self-care is the first thing that drops away”.

Harry also acknowledged that, for some, the idea of putting energy and time into “inner work” can be off-putting, as people may think of it as having to do more work.

However, according to Harry, who wants to provide mental health coaches to people around the world, the “outer work” becomes “much easier” when you start putting in the inner work.

On social media, however, the royal’s comments sparked mixed reactions, as some questioned whether Prince Harry has the authority to speak from his own experience working until he has reached “burnout” – despite the duke launching the Invictus Games, working as the chief impact officer of BetterUp, running his and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation, and working on a number of other projects, such as a Spotify and Netflix deal.

“Prince Harry’s workload is giving him a burnout, just think of those who have worked long hours and still can’t make ends meet, it must be very difficult being a millionaire for him and his family,” one person tweeted.

Another said: “Prince Harry has never had to do an honest day’s work in his life. Any work he’s done has been little more than a hobby. Can he please stop pontificating about real work and workers. It’s embarrassing.”

Others were critical of the duke’s suggestion that everyone spend up to an hour each morning focusing on self-care, with someone else writing: “So, Prince Harry reckons everyone can fit 45min of self-care into their morning routine. Taking this advice on board, I will set my alarm for 4.30am instead of the usual 5.15am next week. Cos, Harry, some of us have to go to work while our kids are at school, not yoga…”

However, in response to the criticism, many praised Prince Harry for consistently advocating for mental health awareness.

“The people bashing Prince Harry for his @BetterUp Inner Work comments are the very people that could do with taking his advice on board, maybe they wouldn’t be so bitter and twisted if they did,” one person wrote, while another said: “I love that Prince Harry is consistent, he has been talking about mental fitness since the implementation of the Invictus Games.”

Someone else revealed that they too have been taking time in the morning for self-care, and that it has made a large impact on their mental health.

“I’ve started getting up an hour earlier than I need to so that I have time to workout, meditate, read, whatever I feel will be the best thing for me to do that day. It’s helped so much,” they wrote.

According to another person, the interview served as a reminder of the importance of boundaries and work-life balance, with one viewer tweeting: “Fantastic interview! I wholeheartedly agree with Harry and Serena, balance is of the utmost importance and making sure that you take time for yourself is paramount! Boundaries are needed!”