Prince Harry opens up on the ‘cycle of pain and suffering’ father Prince Charles 'passed on' to him while growing up

Prince Harry arrives for the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England
(Image credit: Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry has revealed his plans to “break the cycle” of “pain and suffering” he experienced growing up as a member of the Royal Family. 

Prince Harry has opened up in a deeply personal interview about the “pain and suffering” he experienced growing up. The Duke of Sussex, who is sixth in the royal line of succession, took the decision along with his wife Meghan Markle to step back as senior members of the Royal Family last year.

They have since settled in the US with son Archie and confirmed they are never coming back as working royals. Now living away from the royal spotlight, Harry and Meghan are expecting their second child  and have revealed they will be welcoming a little girl.

Ahead of her arrival, Harry has now discussed his approach to parenting, vowing to raise his own children differently from the way he, Prince William and their parents were brought up. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William at their Highgrove home in Gloucestershire

Speaking on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard, the Duke of Sussex declared that he didn’t want to “point the finger”, but expressed his belief that Charles “treated [him] the way he was treated”. 

Opening up on his childhood, Harry said: “There is no blame. I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically.

“It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway so we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say: ‘You know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.’”

Prince Charles With Prince William And Prince Harry At Beating Retreat At Kensington Palace

The Duke of Sussex went on to reveal he became more aware of certain aspects of Prince Charles’ approach to parenting, claiming it was inspired by the Prince of Wales’ own upbringing. 

“Suddenly I started to piece it together and go ‘OK, so this is where he went to school, this is what happened, I know this about his life, I also know that is connected to his parents so that means he’s treated me the way he was treated, so how can I change that for my own kids?’” Harry reflected. 

“And well here I am, I moved my whole family to the US, that wasn’t the plan but sometimes you’ve got to make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan moved to their new LA home in 2020. After the couple’s recent bombshell Oprah interview aired, reports of tension between them and the royals have circulated. 

Though Harry reunited with Prince Charles and Prince William at Prince Philip’s funeral last month, it's not yet known when he will next see his father in person after these recent revelations. 

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home,, and My Imperfect Life.