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Prince Harry On Decision To Step Back: 'It Was Destroying My Mental Health'

Carly Ledbetter
·Senior Reporter, HuffPost
·3-min read

Prince Harry spoke to James Corden about his decision to step back from the royal family last year during a surprise appearance on “The Late Late Show” early Friday.

The Duke of Sussex joined the entertainer for a wide-ranging interview, where the two Facetimed with Meghan Markle and Harry even spilled literal tea (while riding on top of a double-decker bus in Los Angeles). Although no carpool karaoke took place, there was some rapping from the prince as he sang “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song.

When Corden brought up Prince Harry’s decision to walk away from the royal family, the duke was quick to clarify: “It was never walking away.”

“It was stepping back rather than stepping down,” Harry said. “It was a really difficult environment as I think a lot of people saw. We all know what the British press can be like. And it was destroying my mental health. I was like, ‘This is toxic.’ So I did what any husband and what any father would do and was like, ‘I need to get my family out of here.’”

“But we never walked away,” he added. “And as far as I’m concerned, and whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away. I will always be contributing. But my life is public service. So wherever I am in the world it’s going to be the same thing.”

(Photo: The Late Late Show)
(Photo: The Late Late Show)

They ended the interview with (what else) an obstacle course:

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Corden and the royal were spotted filming on a Los Angeles double-decker bus earlier this month. While CBS didn’t respond at the time to HuffPost’s request, an anonymous source told People that the duo “taped a COVID-appropriate segment of ‘Carpool Karaoke on the double decker’” and that there was “a lot of joking around and laughter” for the longtime friends.

Meghan and Harry will appear together on March 7 for a 90-minute primetime special with Oprah Winfrey, aptly titled “Oprah with Meghan and Harry.” This will mark the first on-camera interview for the couple since they announced they were stepping back as working members of the royal family in January 2020.

One year after the couple’s decision, Buckingham Palace confirmed last week that the two would “not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018. (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018. (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)

A spokesperson for the Sussexes said in a statement shared with HuffPost that Harry and Meghan “remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role.”

“We can all live a life of service,” the spokesperson said. “Service is universal.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.