Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently engaged in their final round of official engagements as members of the royal family. As they prepare to step back from their official duties, a friend told Vanity Fair correspondent Katie Nicholl that it’s been a difficult time for the former royal.
“It’s an emotional time for him in many ways. I think in many ways it’s bittersweet. He’s always wanted to have a regular life and to get away from the spotlight, and that’s what he’s doing, but it basically means walking away from his family. Harry’s a loving, loyal guy so that will be very hard for him,” the source said.
Ken Wharfe, who used to be a bodyguard for Harry’s mother Princess Diana, said that Diana would be proud of her son, even as he acknowledged that it was also a sad time. Wharfe said that by forging his own path, Harry was living by the philosophy that his mother had always ascribed to.
Wharfe said that while he thinks Diana would applaud her son’s decision, she would also advise he take some time before making his next move.
“Harry has made the choice to go and now he has to start all over again and I suspect it’s going to be a long road. He effectively has to rebrand himself,” Wharfe said.
The former bodyguard also said that while Harry may have stepped back from his duties as a royal, he’ll never be able to lead a normal life.
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Wharfe continued by saying that Harry still has tremendous respect for the queen and that he was proud to be a member of the royal family and be able to carry on his mother’s charity work. Now, he’s stepping away from that work in exchange for losing his HRH titles and agreeing not to use the word “royal” in his personal branding.
As Nicholl reports in Vanity Fair, Harry has told friends that not using his HRH titles is “a small price to pay” for the freedoms he’s been granted. Although Wharfe suggested that Harry’s life will never be totally normal, Harry has reportedly said privately that he hopes separating from his family will allow him to live as normal a life as possible. Following their January 8 announcement that they would be stepping back from their duties as royals, Harry and Meghan have spent most of their time in Canada, far from the responsibilities of their lives as royals.