Here’s What We Leaned From Prince Harry’s Dax Shepard Interview

“It’s a mix of being in The Truman Show and being in the zoo.”

Ahead of his upcoming series with Oprah, The Me You Can’t See, Prince Harry spoke with Dax Shepard on the podcast Armchair Expert about growing up with the royal family, life in LA, and mental health.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from their conversation:


Harry wanted to leave the royal family well before he met Meghan.

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“Obviously in my early 20s, I was a case of, I don’t want to do this job, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be doing this, look what it did to my mom. How am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family when I know it’s going to happen again.”


He also likened his childhood to The Truman Show and living in a zoo.

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“It’s a mix of being in The Truman Show and being in the zoo.”


Meghan helped Harry get into therapy.

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“It was a conversation that I had with my now wife. She saw it. She saw it straight away. She could tell that I was hurting and some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry. It would make my blood boil.”


Harry said that a feeling of “helplessness” was behind a lot of his pain.

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“Helplessness, that’s my biggest, sort of, Achilles heel. The three major times I felt the most helplessness is one, when I was a kid with my mom in the back of the car being chased by paparazzi, two, was in Afghanistan in an apache helicopter, and then the third one was with my wife.”


But therapy helped him gain a new perspective and direction.

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“Once I started doing therapy it was like the bubble was burst. I plucked my head out of the sand and gave it a good shake off and I was like: You’re in this position of privilege, stop complaining and stop thinking you want something different — make this different — because you can’t get out. How are you going to do these things differently, how are you going to make your mum proud and use this platform to really affect change?”


Harry can relate to feeling like partying is an escape from negative feelings — especially following the infamous Las Vegas photos.

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“I certainly didn’t have the awareness when I was going wild. Like, ‘Why am I actually doing this?’ In the moment, it’s like, ‘Well, why not? I’m in my 20s. This is what I’m supposed to do, isn’t it?’”


One of the first dates Harry and Meghan had was pretending not to know each other in a supermarket.

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“The first time that Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending that we didn’t know each other, so (we were) texting each other from the other side of the aisles.”


Harry and Meghan’s chickens are from a factory farm.


“They were all rehabilitated from a factory farm. They all came butt naked with a couple of feathers out their chin […] They started laying eggs immediately, which made us very proud as parents.”


Harry called out paparazzi who took photos of Archie’s first day at school, as his kids don’t have a say in whether they are in the public eye.


Harry loved being in the army because it felt “normalizing” and like a meritocracy.

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“I loved wearing the same uniform as everybody else. I loved being treated the same. I love the expectation of, if you want to get that job, or get that promotion, or you want to finish this race — it’s all on you. There’s no special treatment, you’re not going to get any help.”


However, he wasn’t a fan of all the exams it took to be able to fly apache helicopters.

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“School, I hated exams, I promised myself I would never do exams again. Then I joined the army, which is full of exams, and I promised myself, I’m never going to do this. Then I ended up flying apache, which is full of exams,” he joked.


Princess Diana tried to help Harry have a normal childhood, but it was difficult to do with the paparazzi following them.

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“I definitely went shopping with her, only a handful of times because every time we came out we got pounced on. There was very rarely a day that went by without at least one paparazzi jumping out from behind a car.”


When Harry and Meghan first lived at Tyler Perry’s house in LA, the paparazzi was “madness.”

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“People out there, their response was, ‘Well, what do you expect if you live in LA?’ Okay, well first of all, we didn’t mean to live in LA — this is a staging area before we try to find a house. Secondly, how sad that if you live in LA and you are a well-known figure, you just have to accept it.”


Orlando Bloom lives down the road from Harry and Meghan now, and will text Harry about paparazzi who are camped out and trying to take photos of their children.

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“How is that normal? How is that acceptable?”


However, the UK press was a huge reason why Harry decided to leave the royal family.

Samir Hussein / WireImage / Getty Images

“I just have to thank the UK press at this point, because it got so bad so quickly — you have to acknowledge that fear and go, ‘Actually, I’m no longer scared of you. I’m no longer scared of doing or saying what you want me to do or say.'”


Harry is continuing to work on his mental health journey.

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“For me, I don’t think I need therapy anymore — but I want it. When I say therapy, I mean actual therapy, sitting down and having a discussion with someone. I also mean nature, going for walks, throwing a ball down the beach with my dog.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

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