Prince Harry has opened up about the challenges he has faced living in the spotlight after the tragic death of his mother.
Harry and brother William lost their mum, Princess Diana, in 1997, and much of their grief was played out in public, with both princes walking behind her funeral precession at the televised ceremony.
‘My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,’ he recalls to American publication Newsweek.
‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.’
During the intimate interview, Harry reveals that the loss of a parent at the age of just 12, coupled with the pressures of his royal duties, left him struggling to come to terms with the life he’d been born into.
‘My search began when I was in my mid-20s. I needed to fix the mistakes I was making,’ he admits of his ‘wild’ youth, where he was often pictured in the press partying, and ‘smoked and drank too much’.
‘My mother died when I was very young. I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good.’
‘I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better. I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.’
He goes on to explain that Diana ‘took a huge part’ in showing both him and William an ordinary life, which is something he tries to maintain to this day despite his prestigious position.
‘People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live. I do my own shopping,’ he says.
‘Sometimes, when I come away from the meat counter in my local supermarket, I worry someone will snap me with their phone. But I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too. Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping.’
‘It’s a tricky balancing act. We don’t want to dilute the magic… the British public and the whole world need institutions like it. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,’ he concludes.
‘Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.’