In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019 photo Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose during a photocall with their newborn son Archie, in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, Windsor, south England. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP, File)

In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019 photo Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose during a photocall with their newborn son Archie, in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, Windsor, south England. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP, File)

I left Britain to escape toxic press and protect my mental health, Prince Harry says

Queen Elizabeth II stripped the prince and his wife of their remaining royal duties earlier this month

Prince Harry, who decamped from England to Southern California last year, rapped the theme song to the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” during a late-night talk show appearance in which he said he didn’t walk away from his royal duties.

During a segment on the CBS television network’s “The Late, Late Show with James Corden” that aired early Friday, Harry said he decided to step away from his work as a front-line member of the royal family to protect his wife and son — and his mental health.

“It was stepping back rather than stepping down,” he told Corden. “It was a really difficult environment, which I think a lot of people saw, so I did what any father or husband would do and thought, `How do I get my family out of here?’ But we never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned, whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away.”

The appearance marked Harry’s first interview since his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, stripped the prince and his wife, the former actress Meghan Markle, of their remaining royal duties earlier this month. Corden’s coup trumped Oprah Winfrey, whose interview with the couple is scheduled to air March 7.

The Queen announced her decision on Feb. 19, saying it wasn’t possible for the couple to “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service” after they stepped away from the work of the Royal Family. Harry and Meghan replied by saying “service is universal” and underscoring their commitment to the U.K., a response seen by some as disrespectful to the queen.

Whatever issues have divided the royals, Harry suggested he and Meghan remain in touch with the monarch and her husband, Prince Philip. Harry told Corden that the monarch gave Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie, a waffle-maker for Christmas and that the senior royals had seen the toddler “running around” in California via Zoom.

The prince also offered a glimpse of the couple’s life in the wealthy Santa Barbara County enclave of Montecito, where they generally watch the game show “Jeopardy” and Netflix programs before going to bed. Archie’s first word was “crocodile,” Harry said.

During the lighthearted segment, which didn’t touch on the royal couple’s commercial ventures, Corden and the prince tour Southern California on an open top bus. At one point they arrived outside the mansion where the opening sequence of Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince” was filmed.

“If it was good enough for the Fresh Prince, it’s good enough for a real prince,” Corden says, walking up the drive. “Do you remember the song?”

“Now this is the story, all about how, my life got flipped, turned upside down, now take a minute,” Harry raps before turning to Corden for help.

“And sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of town called…,” Corden chimes in.

“Bel-Air,” Harry finishes off the song.

Corden then jokingly tried to convince Harry to buy the sprawling mansion, placing a video call to Meghan to seek her support. She demurred.

“I think we’ve done enough moving,” she said.

Meghan then asked “Haz” how his tour of Los Angeles was going, prompting Corden to ask Harry about the nickname.

“I didn’t know we were calling you Haz now,? Corden said.

“You’re not my wife,? Harry responded with a shrug, as both men chuckled.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bears are back, and so is WildSafeBC

Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways

Bella Coola’s new WildSafeBC co-ordinator, Rae Kokeš, has spent the last 10 years in Africa working in lion, human, conflict, and is a wildlife biologist by trade. (Photo submitted)
From the savannas of Africa to the Bella Coola Valley

New Wildsafe BC coordinator ready to tackle wildlife conflict

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

This will be the second year the Bella Coola Valley Rodeo won’t take place due to the pandemic. (Michael Wigle file photo)
Bella Coola Valley Rodeo cancelled for 2021

Club organizers say next year’s rodeo will be bigger and better than ever

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read