I did not want to listen to this interview. I just wanted the Daily Mirror stories to wash over me until I got the gist and could then move on with my life. But the stories about this interview have been so strange, somehow simultaneously silly and destructive to the BRF and the concept of monarchy, that I broke down and decided to listen. Here are the
high low points from Prince Harry’s interview on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard.
Armchair Expert announced an exclusive deal with Spotify
Surprise! Armchair Expert announced its imminent move to the podcasting giant the same week that Prince Harry, a Spotify employee, appeared on the podcast! Wow. It’s kismet. Definitely not a coordinated marketing push from Spotify. 🙂
3:05: Harry and Dax discuss Joe Rogan’s thoughts on vaccination
Both Harry and Dax got themselves in hot water with Spotify for criticizing Joe Rogan, who happens to be Spotify’s biggest, most-listened to, and highest-paid star. Joe Rogan has publicly said that if you are a healthy young person, you don’t need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (This is terrible advice. I don’t think I need to say this, but just to be safe I will: DO NOT TAKE HEALTH ADVICE FROM JOE ROGAN). Dax said that those comments from Rogan were “ridiculous” and Harry said that if you’re Rogan, “You’ve gotta be careful about what comes out of your mouth.” (Prince Harry saying that after obliterating his relationship with his entire family during an Oprah interview is very funny.) He then told Joe Rogan to “stay out of it.”
7:50: Dax mentions Harry’s nude Vegas photos, says “This guy is a party.”
And again, at around the 13:40 mark, Dax brings up Harry’s time in Vegas, implying that the things Harry did in Vegas are the types of things that people do when they are trying to avoid admitting that they need help. Harry doesn’t seem to refute or deny this.
27:50: Harry says that in his twenties, he didn’t want to be a working member of the BRF.
He said, “Look what it did to my mum.”
32:00: Harry speaks of the three times he has felt most helpless
The three times were: Being a child in the back of a car when his mother was being hounded by paparazzi; once in Afghanistan; and once not being able to protect his wife.
37:10: Harry compares his life to The Truman show mixed with being in a zoo
Harry said that being born into the BRF, members of the family “inherit the risk.” This seems to be a callback to Harry speaking to Oprah about having his security taken away after he and Meghan moved to North America.
38:30: Harry says that the New York Post/Page Six published unauthorized pictures of Archie on his first day at school.
39:25 Harry talks about living for three months at Tyler Perry’s mansion in LA
Dax makes a joke that Harry and Meghan were squatting at Tyler Perry’s house. Harry says that he and Meghan didn’t mean to live in LA (that is debatable).
41:00: Harry says that people who have talent, money, and success have “literally worked their ass off” and are then “punished”
- That’s not the correct usage of the word “literally”.
- Harry is saying that people who have money and success are always people who have worked hard for that money and success. He is saying this as a person who was born into a family worth billions of pounds. He seems to not see that there are, in fact, people who make money and become famous through no effort of their own.
42:50: Harry and Dax disagree about the First Amendment
Dax says that he understands paparazzi and random people have the right to take and publish pictures of people in public, because they’re protected by the First Amendment. Harry says that media and social media are infringing upon and redefining privacy and that something should be done to stop it. Harry also says, and this is a direct quote, “I’ve got so much that I want to say about the First Amendment. I still don’t understand it, but it is bonkers.” I love not understanding something but wanting to say “so much” about it, lol.
45:45: Harry talks about going incognito and grocery shopping with Meghan
Harry says that one of the first times Meghan came to visit Harry in London, they went to a supermarket and texted each other from different aisles while shopping, to have a normal experience.
48:00: Harry says that Meghan has an amazing quote about not needing to be a princess to have a great life
Not much more to add about this.
54:20: Harry says that he loved the military because he got to wear the same clothing as everyone else, be treated the same as everyone else. He also says that he loved how promotions were based entirely on merit and hard work.
I’m surprised that the media hasn’t picked up these quotes and used them as evidence of Harry’s disdain for the BRF. Harry spends 15 or so minutes talking about his time in the military and the mental health challenges he and other people in the military face.
69:40: Harry makes comments about “breaking the cycle” of trauma received from parents/grandparents
Harry says that breaking the cycle is important and that he will speak about it more in his mental health special with Oprah on Apple+. Harry says that it’s not about blaming anyone, but that the pain and suffering that his parents experienced was then passed to him, and that, while there is a certain amount of genetic trauma that is passed through generations, the job of parents is to make sure that painful situations do not happen to their children.
Harry talks more specifically about his father, Prince Charles’s trauma and says that he did not put the pieces of how traumatic his childhood was together until later in life. He says that the plan was not to move his family to the United States, but that he had to put his family and his mental health decisions first. He then says that it’s important to learn from difficult situations in order to do better during the next difficult situation.
Couple thoughts about this:
- You can say “I’m not blaming anyone” all you want, but if you follow it with a statement of blame, it is blaming.
- Harry is perfectly in his rights to criticize his father and his father’s parenting. However, doing it publicly on a podcast that has millions upon millions of listeners is cruel because he knows that his father will receive criticism from it.
- Prince Charles lost his father a little over a month ago. For Harry to go on a podcast and publicly say that his father and grandparents were not good parents who infused pain and suffering into their children, four weeks after one of the people he’s criticizing died, is pretty cruel. Also, to criticize the parenting choices of your father when his father has just died – cruel. No way around it, even if he feels that he’s made peace with it. He knew what he was doing by making these quotes publicly.
74:35: Harry talks about watching The Crown
He says that there is a difference between being born into the BRF and marrying into it. He also says that the UK media got so bad so fast after he started dating Meghan that he knew they had to leave. Dax asks if Harry thinks he would have been able to leave the BRF if he had been born first rather than William, and Harry says he can’t answer. He then says that he has seen parts of The Crown (but presumably not every episode).
81:20: Harry says to get rid of the bad stuff, get rid of the hate, and your whole life will turn around
This is the end of the Harry interview part of the episode.
88:20: After Harry has left, Dax and his co-host Monica say that they were told to release the podcast later than normal so that the UK tabloids won’t be able to publish facts from the podcast as quickly
Harry’s people told Dax’s people that they should hold off on posting the interview until a time at which the American press could write (presumably more positive) stories about the interview, to contrast with the negative stories that would inevitably be published by the UK press. This is FASCINATING. It is cold, hard proof that Harry and Meghan and their office are timing stories and projects and information releases to benefit themselves and their image. I mean, anyone who’s been paying attention knew that they do this; but for actual proof that they’re telling people they’re working with to do it? And that they presumably have rules or some sort of process around it? FASCINATING.
Dax and Monica also shared that the press person who helped set up the interview was Toya Holness, who is listed on Linkedin as a Global Press Secretary at Archewell. I wonder which section of Archewell she was working under in that capacity – nonprofit or for-profit? Or is there even a distinction? Again! Fascinating!
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