"I did what any husband and father would do - I was like, 'I need to get my family out of here,'" Prince Harry said in his first interview since confirming he and Meghan wouldn't be returning to life as working royals.
Prince Harry has opened up for the first time about his and Meghan Markle's decision to "step back" from the Royal Family in a brand-new interview.
Last year, Prince Harry and Meghan stepped away as working members of the Royal Family in a bid to earn salaries for their work and secure privacy for themselves and their son, Archie, 21 months.
At the time, the Queen gave the couple a 12-month review period, allowing them to try out their new lives but return to their old jobs if they wanted.
However, last Friday, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that Prince Harry and Meghan were breaking away from the family and would not be returning to life as working royals.
"Following conversations with the duke," the statement said, "the Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the royal family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service."
Well, in a surprise new interview with James Corden for The Late Late Show, Prince Harry revealed that the couple made the decision to step back after their mental health was "destroyed" by "toxic" media attention.
"It was never walking away from the royal family," he said. "It was stepping back rather than stepping down."
"It was a really difficult environment," he went on. "We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health. I was like, This is toxic. So I did what any husband and father would do — I was like, I need to get my family out of here."
"But we never walked away," he added. "As far as I'm concerned, whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away. I will always be contributing."
"My life is always going to be about public service," he continued. "And Meghan signed up to that. The two of us enjoy doing that — trying to bring some compassion and trying to make people happy, and trying to change the world in whatever small way we can."
Meghan and Harry spoke out about what they described as biased and unfair media coverage in a 2019 documentary, and over the last year have used their new freedom from palace restrictions to push back against the press.
In April, Harry and Meghan announced in a letter to the four biggest British tabloids that they were cutting them off, adding that there would be "no corroboration and zero engagement," because they would no longer "offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion."
They also pursued successful legal action against a paparazzi agency that took drone photos of Archie playing in the family's yard, and the Mail on Sunday, which published a letter Meghan sent to her estranged father in 2019.
The frustration over the media's portrayal of his family was something Harry went on to discuss later in the interview when he was asked his opinion on Netflix's royal drama series, The Crown.
"[The Crown] doesn't pretend to be news; it's fictional," he said. "It's loosely based on the truth. Of course, it's not strictly accurate, but loosely it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle is like, the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else."
"I'm way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself," he added. "Because [The Crown] is obviously fiction — take it how you will. But this is being reported on as fact because you're supposedly news? I have a real issue with that."
Elsewhere in the interview, Harry revealed that he and Meghan — who recently announced they're expecting a second baby — were settling into family life really well after moving to Santa Barbara last year.
Describing their evening routine, Harry said the couple typically "do Archie's tea, give him a bath, read him a book, put him down," before going downstairs where either Meghan will cook or they'll order a takeaway. They then sit in bed and watch either Jeopardy or Netflix.
He went on to reveal that Archie's first word was "crocodile," that he's already "putting three or four words together and singing songs," and that he loves waffles after the Queen sent him a waffle maker for Christmas.
You can watch the full interview here.