The Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan Markle have attempted to move themselves away from the glaring royal spotlight after they announced their intentions to stand down from senior duties. Although claiming they wanted to lead a “financially independent life” outside the Royal Family, the pair continue to dominate media coverage following their decision to leave the UK and live in California. In recent days, the pair hit the headlines once again after they followed in the footsteps of fellow world icons Barack and Michelle Obama in signing a multi-million dollar deal to create documentaries for media platform Netflix.
Harry, it would appear, is relishing his new role away from the rigours of Windsor life, but new accounts show that the Duke of Sussex originally struggled to cope with the attention he garnered when he was one of the most popular members of the Royal Family.
Before returning to the Firm back in 2015, Harry enjoyed a ten-year career within the British Army, serving on tours to war zones such as Afghanistan.
There, he would support comrades as they fought with groups such as the Taliban.
But, a new biography of Harry and Meghan’s life, entitled ‘Finding Freedom’ and published by Harper Collins, claims Harry would find the move back to civilian life difficult after he made the “tough decision” to move away from the Armed Forces.
Written by co-authors and royal experts Carolyn Durrand and Omid Scobie, the book suggests that before opting to return to the Royal Family, Prince Charles prompted the now-35-year-old to do some soul searching.
The book said: “‘My father’s always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that,’ Harry said when he returned in 2013.
“‘But it’s very easy to forget about who I am when I’m in the Army.’
“Never a fan of the stuffier side of royal duties, Harry, better known as Captain Wales, was at home in the no-frills, hands-on world of a soldier.
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The authors claim that months after he returned five years ago, Harry’s “anger and anxiety started to bubble to the surface”, while “neither emotion fit into the official persona of a prince”.
During this period Harry would “suffer panic attacks”, including during one royal engagement in which the Duke of Sussex was the main attraction.
The book continued: “In the most proper and officious of settings, such as a reception by MapAction to mark Harry’s new patronage of the humanitarian emergency response charity, the flight-or-fight instincts of an Apache helicopter pilot kicked in.
“A source remembers that when Harry left the event held at the Royal Society in London, ‘He just started taking in deep breaths.
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“‘The people, the cameras, the attention,’ the source said. ‘He had just let it get to him. He was on the edge.'”
As the reality of his new life struck Harry, he turned to his brother Prince William, who supported him using his own experience of leaving the Armed Forces and coming back to civilian life.
But the siblings’ friendship would soon break down, it was reported.
The alleged row between the once close brothers stems, Ms Durrand and Mr Scobie claim, after William referred to Meghan as “this girl” before Harry decided to marry the former US actress.
Harry was unhappy at the “tone of snobbishness” that was “anathema to his approach to the world”, and royal insiders say this sparked the downfall of the two brothers’ burgeoning connection.