The Duke of Sussex said he had put a lot of hope into the idea the four of them would get along but stereotyping caused a “bit of a barrier” to the Prince and Princess of Wales welcoming Meghan.
Harry spoke to ITV’s Tom Bradby for the first of four primetime interviews about his controversial memoir Spare which aired ahead of the book’s launch on Tuesday.
In the interview promoting the headline-hitting autobiography, Bradby said the impression was that his brother William and sister-in-law Kate did not get on “almost from the get-go” with Meghan, to which Harry replied: “Yeah, fair.”
When asked what the reason was, he said: “Lots of different reasons … I had put a lot of hope in the idea that it’d be William and Kate and me and whoever.
“I thought the four of us would bring me and William closer together, we could go out and do work together, which I did a lot as the third wheel to them, which was fun at times but also, I guess, slightly awkward at times as well.
“I don’t think they were ever expecting me to get … into a relationship with someone like Meghan who had a very successful career.”
Before meeting Harry, Meghan had starred in US legal drama series Suits in which she played paralegal-turned-lawyer Rachel Zane.
Harry laughed when telling Bradby his brother and sister-in-law were Suits “fans”, adding: “Who would’ve thought? I never knew that.”
Speaking about his wife, Harry suggested there was a lot of “stereotyping” that even he was “guilty of” at the beginning.
He told Bradby: “The fact that I had that in the back of my mind, and some of the things that my brother and sister-in-law, some of the way that they were acting or behaving definitely felt to me as though unfortunately that stereotyping was causing a bit of a barrier to them really sort of introducing or welcoming her in.”
When asked what exactly he meant by stereotyping, Harry elaborated: “American actress, divorced, biracial.”
He continued: “There’s all different parts to that and what that can mean but if you are, like a lot of my family do, if you are reading the press, the British tabloids at the same time as living the life, then there is a tendency where you could actually end up living in the tabloid bubble rather than the actual reality.”
Harry said the idea of himself, his wife and the Prince and Princess of Wales being the “fab four” was “something the British press created” and it “creates competition”.
He told Bradby: “The idea of the four of us being together was always a hope for me. Before it was Meghan, whoever it was going to be, I always hoped that the four of us would get on.
“But very quickly it became Meghan versus Kate.
“And that, when it plays out so publicly, you can’t hide from that, right? Especially when within my family you have the newspapers laid out pretty much in every single palace and house that is around.”
Harry added that his brother William “raised some concerns” about his marriage to Meghan before their wedding in May 2018.
He said: “He never tried to dissuade me from marrying Meghan, but he aired some concerns very early, and said ‘this is going to be really hard for you’ and I still to this day don’t truly understand which part of what he was talking about.
“Maybe he predicted what the British press’s reaction was going to be.”
Harry: The Interview is available to view on ITVX.