Before Prince Harry announced he was “stepping back” as a senior royal alongside his wife Meghan Markle, Princess Diana’s youngest son had long hinted he wanted out.
Angela Levin, a veteran journalist on royal affairs, published a book in 2018 titled “Harry: A Biography of a Prince,” which was based on her exclusive conversations with the now-35-year-old at Kensington Palace before his May 2018 marriage to the American actress, 38.
Levin accompanied Harry on his many engagements and shadowed him for more than a year.
The British author previously told Fox News that some of the happiest days of his life were when he was in the army – not in the palace. According to the royal family’s website, Harry served in the army for 10 years, rising to the rank of captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan.
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He continues to honor his service and promotes support for wounded men and women as they adapt to life post-injury.
In 2013, The Guardian reported Harry, who was a commander of the army’s most sophisticated attack helicopter, fired at the Taliban during operations to support ground troops, as well as rescued injured Afghan and NATO personnel.
“He said to me that he was the happiest in the army because he was just Captain Wales,” said Levin. “He wasn’t Prince Harry. He loved being out in Afghanistan. He was brought back because someone leaked that he was there and it became too dangerous for him and the soldiers.
“He said one of the things he learned is that you can’t do anything really well unless you work as a team. He’s now very team-minded.”
Harry confessed to Levin: “I spent many years kicking my heels and I didn’t want to grow up. I felt I wanted out [of The Firm] but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself.”
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The prince also told Levin he was devastated after his position in the army was leaked by a magazine and therefore had to be quickly withdrawn due to security reasons, UK’s Daily Mail reported.
“I felt very resentful,” Harry admitted. “Being in the army was the best escape I’ve ever had. I felt as though I was really achieving something. I had a deep understanding of all sorts of people from different backgrounds and felt I was part of a team. I wasn’t a prince, I was just Harry.”
According to the outlet, Harry told Levin he was eager to take on new challenges.
“I can do most things with my hands,” he said. “My next challenge is to learn to play the guitar. But I get very agitated if I am stuck in front of a computer for long. The passion in me, I can give some of that to other people… well, anyone I am with — but I can sometimes get too impatient.
“I love to see people excel and succeed,” he continued. “If you give care and consideration to younger people they will flourish. Anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it. You just need passion and belief. If you want to be a success you have to be a team player. No one can do anything by themselves. I was taught that in the army.”
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Harry also shared that despite being a royal, he disliked “feeling I live in a goldfish bowl.”
“I am determined to have a relatively normal life and if I am lucky enough to have children they can have one too,” he said. “We don’t want to be just a bunch of celebrities but instead use our role for good.”
“Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen?” he questioned. “I don’t think so but we will carry out our duties at the right time. We want to make sure the monarchy lasts and are passionate about what it stands for. We feel that the British public and the whole world needs institutions like this — but it can’t go on as it has done under the queen. There will be changes and pressure to get them right. Things are moving so fast, especially because of social media, so we are involved in modernizing the monarchy.”
Earlier this month, Harry and Markle announced they will take “a step back” as senior members of the royal family and instead work independently, splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said their decision came “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”
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“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple shared on Instagram last week. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” they continued. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
The couple added they will continue to work with the reigning monarch, 93, as well as Harry’s father Prince Charles and older brother Prince William.
“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
They will keep their royal titles.