Prince Harry said in a interview with Oprah on Sunday he felt “trapped” in his life as a senior member of the royal family, and likely would have never left his position had he not married his wife, Meghan Markle.
He made the comments in a sweeping interview that aired on CBS on Sunday night, which touched on racism inside Buckingham Palace and Markle’s thoughts of suicide during the height of media scrutiny during her time as a royal. When Oprah asked about the couple’s decision to leave the family last year, Prince Harry described the process as a years-long negotiation that was only possible with his wife’s support and came after the royal family regularly failed to offer aid during times of pain and hardship.
“I was trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are,” he said. “My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that.”
Oprah pressed the royal about his statements, and asked if he would have left the family eventually.
“The answer to your question is no. I wouldn’t have been able to, because I myself was trapped as well,” he replied. “I didn’t see a way out. I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped.”
Prince Harry added throughout the interview that at times his father, Prince Charles, had refused to take his calls and that the royal family had cut him off financially. When pressed if he still had a relationship with his brother, Prince William, he told Oprah:
“The relationship is space at the moment,” Prince Harry said. “And time heals all things, hopefully.”
He later continued: “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you with my wife by my side. Because I can’t begin to imagine what it must’ve been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago.”
“It has been unbelievably tough for the two of us,” the duke said. “But at least we had each other.”
Prince Harry later said it was “undeniable” that Markle had “saved him,” an assertion she rejected.
“I think he saved all of us,” Markle said. “He ultimately called it, and said we’ve got to find a way. And you made a decision that certainly saved my life, and saved all of us.”