Prince Harry hopes for calmer future

Prince Harry hopes for calmer future

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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LONDON, England (AP) — Prince Harry says he's taking a “leap of faith'' as he steps back from royal duties in an attempt to build a more peaceful life — one free of the journalists who have filmed, photographed and written about him since the day he was born. Fat chance.

Global fame will follow Harry and his TV star wife, Meghan, even as they decamp to the seemingly more benign environment of Canada, said Pauline Maclaran, a business professor at Royal Holloway University of London and author of Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture.

“They believe that if they are not representing the monarchy any longer, the tabloid press will eventually go away because it will be so expensive for them — that there won't be the same savage approach. They feel they will be able to control it more from Canada,'' she said Monday. “I don't think they are being very realistic.''

Harry has long had a frosty relationship with the media, and on Sunday he made it clear that the press was a major reason for the couple's decision to step back from royal life. In a personal speech that referenced his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi, he said he had “no other option'' but to step away.

Harry has accused the media of directing “a wave of abuse and harassment” at the biracial Meghan, including “racial undertones” in articles. Both he and Meghan filed lawsuits last year against press outlets over alleged intrusion into their private lives. At the time, Harry gave an interview drawing parallels between the treatment of his wife and the media frenzy that contributed to the death of his mother.

“When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing,'' Harry said Sunday at a London dinner for Sentebale, his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters affected by HIV. “You looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force. And my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful, because this is so much bigger than just us.''

The comments were Harry's first since Saturday night, when his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, announced the terms under which the prince and his wife will walk away from most royal duties, give up public funding and try to become financially independent. The couple, who were named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day, are expected to spend most of their time in Canada while maintaining a home in England near Windsor Castle.

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