Ugh, I listened to Harry’s Armchair Expert interview

Armchair Expert Podcast

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.

And here is a post listing the reasons why these pictures were probably authorized by Meghan and/or Harry.

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”

  1. That’s not the correct usage of the word “literally”.
  2. 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:

  1. You can say “I’m not blaming anyone” all you want, but if you follow it with a statement of blame, it is blaming.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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8 thoughts on “Ugh, I listened to Harry’s Armchair Expert interview

  1. Oh lord where do we even begin. I guess first of all is this: February 2021- “We left because of the press, I love my family” March 2021- “We left because of my family (but not my grandparents- they’re great) but we would have stayed if they were more supportive and if they gave my son a title” May 2021- “I always wanted to leave and my grandparents are horrible and we don’t need titles.” A particular Mark Twain quote comes to mind…

    I think the part that infuriates me the most is what he said about “grinning and bearing it” or whatever and I think that’s what going to come back and bite him soon. Basically what that tells everyone is “All that work I did for veterans and conservation and Africa? Yeah I was only there cause I had to. THIS is the life I wanted. You know, going on podcasts and only showing up to charity events when I need good press.” He thinks it’s a slap in the face to his family, but it’s really a slap in the face to everyone who’s ever worked with him and thought he was genuine.

    His statement about wanting to leave is a) probably a lie and b) repulsive if it isn’t. After he retired from the military he was offered a desk job. He turned it down to become a working royal. If he really didn’t want to be royal, why tf would he bring his wife into it?! Or ask for a title for his child? And why cling to your titles like a life raft? Surely if you hated them so much you would’ve stopped using them?

    Charles was only a single parent for 5 years (Harry was a week off 13 so I’ve rounded) so I’m not sure why Harry’s entire life is now his fault. Curiously, Diana was the one who spoiled Harry as she reportedly felt bad he was the second born. So my guess is this is just Harry mad because Charles has put his foot down and is still refusing to give titles, money, security, etc. even after Harry went to great pains to blackmail him on TV.

    I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again: the O interview had been so much worse for them than they’re letting on. I think this was pre-emptive to get his “side” out there before the consequences, whatever they are, are made public (best guess is not being allowed to use titles commercially, which they can blame on Michael anyway). Maybe work things fell through afterwards too? They’ve put Omid on defense (I’m convinced they pay him lol) which means this has backfired.

    So Harry can get help but he can’t get Meghan help? What a fantastic husband!! Honestly tho, how tf are these two still married lol? They seriously have the worst communication I’ve ever seen. (There is also a lot of gossip about him being set up for divorce. Saying that M is trying not to be seen with him and is trying to make him out as unstable so she can leave him and say it was for safety and whatnot)

    Harry is so happy in his new life that he can’t stop raging about his old life! They have such a bright future ahead that they can’t stop talking about the past! Harry hated being royal so much he would’ve gone back “in a heartbeat!” Harry wants to break the cycle so bad he is inflicting pain everywhere he goes!

    Harry says he doesn’t have privilege. Harry has *checks notes* gotten a job based on his last name, gotten away with dressing like a Nazi/being a racist on camera because he married a mixed-race woman, and lives in a house with 16 bathrooms payed for by his inheritances. And apparently thinks that Whole Foods is a regular grocery store. Great.

    This is the beginning of the end for Harry and Meghan. They have nothing but their royal-ness and they aren’t trying to be anything but ex-royals. Unfortunately, that can only go so far. They can only do interviews like this so many times before it’s just tired. More and more Instagram comments on posts about them are negative. They’re flailing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, well as I told you before, I read the whole transcript of the podcast. The podcast is 90 minutes yet it took me almost 2 hours to read it. I knew you would probably write a post about it, and I feel you when you say you really didn’t want to hear it. At least in written form, H was actually more articulate than what he looked like in the first news articles that came up after the podcast was released. But still, when he talks he sometimes goes sideways, trying not to leave anything out, and then goes back to the point in an oblique way or doesn’t truly goes back to the point.
    The problem with this interview (that I think applies to pretty much all H and M have been doing lately), is that the moment H mentioned members of his family, it detracted from the message he was trying to give. I would say it overshadowed the message. Here he’s trying to advocate for mental health awareness and promote an Apple TV series he did about this theme with Oprah, but the moment his father and grandparents were part of the conversation, all that the world media cares or wants to talk about is what H said or didn’t say about his relatives, and his intentions when talking about them. The message he was trying to convey got lost because now nobody in the media or in the public wants to talk about mental health when is so much more interesting to talk about the juicy details of what are the hidden meanings or intentions behind H’s words.
    Going back to the podcast, the part about the Las Vegas incident proves one opinion I read months ago. For some US people H is relatable because they see him as the kind of guy capable of playing strip poker in Vegas, which is something those US citizens see as admirable (I’m not saying the whole country feels this way, just a part of it). So these US citizens are sympathetic to H because they feel his behaviour is cool and somewhat aspirational, or at least relatable.
    The discussions about wanting to leave royal duties in his 20s, the times he felt helpless, the Truman Show / Zoo comparison (correct me if I’m wrong, but how I understood it is that Dax did the Truman Show comparison (because that’s relatable to him) and H added the Zoo comparison, but didn’t object / denied the Truman Show comparison either), all that goes back to his issues with his mother’s death and her relationship with the media while she was alive. At one point he said he didn’t need therapy anymore but “wanted it”, well is a good thing he still wants it because is clear to many of us he still needs it. He hasn’t been able to get over the impression left on him by his mother’s death, nor over the anger and blame he directs towards the media for their part on that death (and probably, the anger and blame he directs towards the BRF for their part, real or perceived, in Diana’s suffering and death). The other thing that pops up from these discussions is something that I’ve pointed out before, if he was so desperate to leave, and so unhappy, then why didn’t he leave while he was single? Why wait until he was married? And now I add, how come H says he wanted to leave in his early 20s but he told Oprah that he was trapped, but didn’t know he was trapped? I think that normally if you are in a situation you want to leave but you can’t or feel that you can’t, you also feel trapped and are fully aware of feeling this way.
    Archie’s pap photos, I almost feel like H mentioned that for Dax, Monica and the listeners’ benefit. Bottom line here is, why didn’t they sue the New York Post / Page Six? He didn’t say, and given Dax’s stance on the 1st amendment and what is legal vs illegal, he wasn’t going to ask why H and M didn’t sue (I give more credit to Dax as an interviewer than to Oprah tbh). This also raises the question: is it possible (and troubling at many levels) that M set up the pics but H doesn’t know she did that?
    The Tyler Perry House thing, that begs another question. H is now throwing lines that this or that weren’t “part of the plan”, like a mantra. If the US wasn’t part of the plan, then what country was part of the plan? Were they actually going to stay in the UK (doesn’t look like it, given the way he talks)? Where they planning to go to live in a Commonwealth country, probably Canada, maybe South Africa (I can only imagine the relief Canadians feel that he’s not there)? Like you said, is debatable that the US wasn’t part of the plan, or at least, that it wasn’t plan of M’s plan.
    The talented people thing, I didn’t realize the implication his use of the word “literally” might have until you pointed it out. This is horrible, luckily many won’t notice it I think. Several tidbits in that interview including this one show H lacks self-awareness even though he talked about privilege and realizing after he went to therapy that he had priviledge, could use it to help people and that he should stop complaining (which he nevertheless keeps doing).
    On a side note, he said M told him to go to therapy because she could see he was hurting and angry. The problem is, in 2017 during the promotion of the Heads Together initiative he accepted / admitted he went to therapy after William told him he needed help. So another question is, are these 2 events true at the same time or one of them is a lie? Because the only way I see both can be true is that H went to therapy after William talked with him but it didn’t work, and a few years later M told him to go and this time it went better because she was his motivation. It has been mentioned that H once said he was in therapy since he was 28 years old, not sure if that’s true but either way, what’s happening here?
    The 1st amendment thing, I bet they didn’t see coming the uproar it has caused. Reading the podcast’s transcript, there was a context to that part of the conversation, but for the life of me I can’t figure out if by using the word bonkers he meant the 1st amendment was bonkers, (which I think you do believe he meant and many also believe that), or if he meant that he has so many ideas and opinions about that theme that having so many thoughts feels “bonkers”. It’s an unfortunate word to use when talking about such a delicate theme and sadly I’m not sure he will even realize the conmotion he has caused, since he also said in this interview he’s not paying attention to what the public says about his actions. It has been said that H was a lackluster student who needed help to finish his Eton years, and in this podcast he himself later admits that after finishing school he swore he wouldn’t present exams ever again, only to find that exams were required in the army and also later to become a helicopter pilot. This goes to show how little he knows about life and the real world, including knowledge about basic subjects in our modern world.
    I’m not getting into the grocery store story beyond saying that his comment about chewing gum on the floor was interpreted as referring to chewing gum on the Whole Foods store’s floor near KP and that this couldn’t be because that store is of the fancy type, but I think he meant chewing gum he saw while walking in the streets of London with his head low, which he then compared to his current life when he said he could walk with his head high in L.A. and that his shoulders have dropped, which I interpret as that he can walk down the street with less tension and so can M. Anyways, when he also tried to quote M’s thoughts about princely live, I get what he was trying to do, he wanted to quote her but couldn’t remember what she said verbatim so at the end he sort of quoted her, but I think it ended up sounding kind of forced and contrived. And also, who told those 2 that everybody wants to be a prince or princess? Some people want to be a King or a Queen, not a princess. And some people don’t want to be any of that, and have never felt the need to be any of it.
    The military thing goes back to what I said of H not really knowing much about life in general. It has also been said he only got as far as to the Captain rank because to achieve higher ranks and be an officer he needed to pass exams that he couldn’t pass, so since he was unable to keep ascending in the army he had to end his military career in 2015.
    So the main course of this “event” was H insinuating that his dad sucked as a parent because his grandparents sucked as parents when they were raising his dad. I think you say it in the best and more direct way possible. It was cruel to say the least. Tonight I was reviewing my copy of Kitty Kelley’s book The Royals, the part where Charles cooperated with Jonathan Dimbleby in 1994 for a biography and TV special. I have said this to others already: yes Charles also attacked his parents’ parenting in that biography (as per Omid Scobie today on Twitter, it’s a whole chapter); yes the parenting in the BRF since the times of Queen Victoria has left much to be desired (apparently George III was a more loving father with at least part of his children); yes Charles turned out stiff and old fashioned even when he was young; yes he also cooperated with Dimbleby as a way of hitting back at Diana and the favourable press she was getting in the tabloids in that moment; yes the bitter fights, separation and divorce between Diana and Charles has to have affected their sons and would have done so even without Diana later dying (Kelley describes certain signs that the boys were already showing the effects their parents’ bad marriage was having on them): yes, you could even say this whole thing H is doing is Karma that has come to bite Charles back, as payback of what he said about his parents to Dimbleby. Near the end of her book, Kelley quoted a lady saying she wished Will the best, but she would be surprised if he turned out normal because if was the craziest family since The Monsters. Well it turns out that out of the 2, H is the one that came up more messed up. Despite that all the things I just mentioned about Charles and H’s upbringing are true, the fact that H now goes and mentions them in an interview knowing what he says will be listened or read by millions around the world and then used to attack his dad, grandmother and the rest of his family, is just mean. It’s not compassionate either (if that’s his compassion I don’t want to know his vindictive side), the brand he and M want to sell. It doesn’t show he’s over the things that upseted him (side note: he said he has never shouted and that he prefers to do boxing instead, well the “never shouted” claim is not what has been reported about him in the past).
    So after that, more questions. H told Corden he had watched The Crown, now he said he saw parts of it, granted he never implied he saw every single episode, but did he see a lot of the show or just loose parts and not even full episodes? Because that links with what he says he knows about Charles upbringing. Is he getting his info about that from The Crown? Or has he read a book like Dimbleby’s or Kelley’s? (Btw he admitted earlier in the podcast he preferred to listen the audiotape of a book instead of reading it, that also links with him not being much of an intellectual and not a very good student).
    I didn’t know about what Dax and Monica said once H left the podcast because the transcript I read didn’t include that. I guess they felt they needed to give an explanation to their regular listeners but to admit that in public doesn’t sound like the best thing for H and M PR team. Maybe no one cares in the US. But your analysis is on point, for those of us that are paying attention they just gave us important information.
    I think the next move from H and M is what H will say in that Apple TV series. We don’t know what H wants from the family at this point, and I don’t know what they can do about him right now. Maybe this dignified silence strategy they seem to have going on will work, but nothing seems certain right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will just say this. Joe Ragan advice is the same I got from my own doctor about vaccination. I went to ask as for my age, I could only get Astra Zeneca and I heard the vaccine can cause blood clot. My doctor advised me not to get the shot since I am young and healthy, so it is not as ridiculous or unfounded as you are implying. It is an opinion shared by many experts – doctors, virologists, epidemiologists… Of course many disagree. But to describe it as terrible advice is also, well, terrible. In short, if people are unsure what to do, they should ask their own doctor for advice, who is familiar with their health issues and possible risks.

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  4. Harry stated “It’s the job, right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early twenties and I was thinking I don’t want this job, I don’t want to be here.I don’t want to be doing this.” I wonder what everyone who shook his hand at a charitable event over the years, watched the Invictus Games, met him in Africa and Australia think of this comment? He essentially stated that empathizing with people was part of the job and he had to grin and bear it. For someone who likes to state that he”s Diana’s son, he sure doesn’t act like her. 

    It seems their “philanthropic” work entails putting down their former boss and family to build themselves up. What Harry doesn’t realize is that everyone else is using them to uplift their own podcast (Dax Shephard), interview series (Oprah), journalistic popularity (Gayle King).Harry broke away from a world he said didn’t care about him and his wife, only to enter a superficial world of celebrity where everyone suffers from “me-itis.” Celebrities are in the business of “me” and will only work with the Sussexes because of the RF connection, and what that association provides for the celebrity. The media in the US are not on their side. They are reporting on gossip and shock to get more clicks and likes. The more people reading = more money for the news companies. It’s extraordinary that Harry can’t see this, especially as he is a “Disinformation Commissioner for the Aspen Institute.” He was fed up with the British press machine that made up headlines and used click bait to write stories about him, only to now be experiencing the same thing in the US, except he’s freely feeding those headlines to the US media. 

    Harry stated that Meghan saw he was angry and encouraged him to go to therapy where he took up boxing to deal with his anger issues. That’s wonderful, however he stated the same thing in a 2017 article in The Guardian newspaper, but that time he attributed the therapy suggestion to William, and stated he had been doing that since he was 28 years old. If he can’t get his facts straight on when he undertook therapy, how in the world can he be an advocate for mental health?

    What’s also incredible is that the day the podcast came out, William and Catherine were celebrating Mental Health Awareness at an event centered around children. It was wonderful to see what is being done for children’s mental health and W&C looked like they were having the time of their life. Such stark contrast to Harry’s complaining about his privileged upbringing. It would have been a wonderful opportunity for him to state something constructive and positive, but he actually laughed at Dax Shepherd talking about his own abusive childhood. That’s absolutely awful.

    I saw a YouTuber analyze the interview yesterday, and she stated that after all Harry’s moaning about his upbringing lately, “is he about to sue the Royal Family?” I laughed and gasped at the same time she did because it’s a ridiculous thought. Or is it? For 2 people who are extremely litigious, this could be their next step.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoyed the article, but had to respond to one thing. The incredibly ignorant Harry, so mentally lazy a teacher was paid to help him cheat his exams, has no understanding of vaccines let alone science and no right to dictate the free speech rights of US citizens. Nothing like this has ever been used before. This is not a vaccine. Vaccines are where a microorganism, such as a virus, is pumped into the body at a small dose so your immune system can respond and begin making antibodies. But that’s not what these shots do. these experimental COVID-19 vaccines been rigorously tested for safety? The answer is no. The FDA has not approved these shots as vaccines. They have given emergency use approval only, and you are essentially guinea pigs. None of these shots were subjected to the trials and testing required for approval. On top of that:
    * No studies were done to see how the injection reacts with other drugs you might be taking.
    * No toxicity studies were done on a single dose.
    * No toxicokinetic studies have been done with the vaccine to see what happens to these chemicals once they are in your body.
    * No genotoxicity studies were done to see what happens to your DNA.
    * No carcinogenicity studies were performed to determine if the substances in the vaccine cause cancer.
    * No studies were done on how the vaccine affects prenatal and postnatal development in moms or newborns.
    * No studies were done to find out what happens when couples get the injection and any subsequent children they may have who will also receive the shot.
    Robert F Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense provides links to sources backing up all of the facts outlined:

    The damage these Covid-19 shots do to your body are irreversible and irreparable. In real vaccines, any harms done are generally treatable, reversible. Why not demand the ginger whinger Harry and MeMeMeAgain Markle get injected in front of skeptical witnesses live on tv? Btw, have to wonder why no one responds to Harry’s claims MeMeMeAgain says she doesn’t need a title, by asking him why they refuse to give them up?


  6. I have friends who served in Afghanistan when he was there.
    Some unfortunate enough to be near Mr. Wonderful aka “Just call me Harry”.
    As for him feeling helpless there?
    He was way out of his depth before he arrived, and soon got labelled with the WORST sort of descriptor a soldier can end up with i.e. A bullet magnet.

    Helpless? He forgot to mention “Avoided if at all possible”.

    Liked by 1 person

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