Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exit from the royal family has the public around the world very divided.
Many are staunch supporters of the monarchy and feel what Harry and Meghan have done isn’t right. Others feel that Harry and Meghan need to do what’s best for their family, even if that means stepping away. It’s certainly a more complicated predicament than many of us understand. Now we’re learning more information about the situation from sources close to the royal family.
A new ABC special feature, Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown features a sit-down with one of Harry’s close friends.
Nacho Figueras was surprisingly candid about the amount of pain he’s seen Harry endure throughout the various stages of his life. The professional polo player even discusses his most recent conversation with Harry. Ultimately, Nacho explains all the reasons why he supports Harry in the moves he’s decided to make.
The smoke is settling around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step away from their roles as senior members of the royal family. Still, many are analyzing the decision to determine whether or not it’s the right one. Certainly, the situation is complicated, and the people closest to it know it best.
A new documentary analyzes the many factors that may have played into the decision. Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown spoke with sources close to the royal family. While many previous analyses have focused on Meghan, this one emphasizes Harry’s role in the decision.
Among the people interviewed was a close friend of Harry’s, Nacho Figueras. Not only is he Harry’s friend, but the professional polo player is also an ambassador to Harry’s Sentebale charity. Nacho references a conversation he and Harry recently had about everything that’s been going on.
“I spoke to Harry a few days ago,” Nacho says. “He has suffered a lot from all of the things that have happened to him. He suffers a lot from people judging him.”
While the judgment of Meghan has been one of the most frequently referenced factors in their decision to step back, Harry has also been judged by the media quite a bit.
If you’re thinking of recent scandals involving flying on private jets while advocating for environmental justice, you’re going to have to go way farther back. Consider the tone toward the paparazzi following Princess Diana’s death in 1997. The public sentiment was split as to whether or not the media was responsible for the crash that killed the people’s princess.
In the wake of the tragedy, there was an unofficial ban on paparazzi photos of William and Harry, who were 15 and 12 years old at the time. While some staged photos were released during their high school years, the boys enjoyed a few years of being left alone. Sadly, this didn’t last.
As the boys grew older, they became targets once again. All eyes were on William once he began dating Kate, which gave way to speculation of what kind of women William and Harry would go on to marry. In 2005, Harry was photographed wearing a swastika armband, which gave birth to the idea that Harry was the new bad boy of the royal family.
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It didn’t stop there. In 2008, the media not only disregarded his privacy but put his life in danger when photos surfaced of Harry while he was stationed in Afghanistan with the British Army. Days later, he was forced to return to the UK, because giving away his location put him in significant danger.
In August of 2012, photos of Harry playing a game of strip billiards also became public. That led to the young royal being followed outside of nightclubs. There was also significant speculation about his dating life that did not sit well with him or any of the women he seriously pursued.
There’s ample evidence of the media’s troublesome behavior toward Harry in his pre-Meghan life. Clearly, those attacks have amped up since Harry and Meghan married and welcomed their son, Archie. Nacho argues that Harry simply doesn’t want to expose his own family to what he’s been through.
“He’s being a father … a guy who is trying to protect his cub and his lioness from whatever it takes,” Nacho noted. “He has become an incredible man, a man that his mother would be proud of.”
In addition to protecting his family, the royal reportedly “wants to live a normal life.”
“As normal as his life is going to be, right?” Nacho mused. “Because when you have 1,000 paparazzi outside your house in Canada waiting to get one picture of your son, that’s not very, very normal.”
The couple has already expressed displeasure with the use of long-range cameras to capture photos of them in private moments, both in the UK and in Canada.
Harry and Meghan are still in the “period of transition” mentioned in Queen Elizabeth’s statement about their future. Until spring, they are still able to carry out royal engagements in support of the Queen. However, the couple has remained in Vancouver for weeks now.
Harry and Meghan haven’t had an easy go of things, but they are being granted the opportunity to start again. The reasons for doing so are their own. While those close to the couple will likely continue to speak out in support of them, it’s clear that there were very valid concerns at hand for both of them as individuals and as a family.