Prince Harry "Didn't Particularly Want to Be Royal," But Is Happy to Use The Title and Access, Andrew Morton Says

Being a working royal is not necessarily an easy job, to be fair.

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

Andrew Morton, a royal biographer who famously wrote Diana: Her True Story (see The Crown season 5 for more on this), has just released his new book, titled The Queen: Her Life.

To mark the release, Morton spoke to Marie Claire about what kind of monarchy the late Queen left behind after she passed in September.

In particular, he discussed the situation of Prince Harry, who decided to trade royal life for a more "normal" existence with his family in Southern California.

"Prince Harry, he didn't particularly want to be royal," Morton tells Marie Claire.

"Obviously, he'll use the title and use the access, but he doesn't particularly want to do the job as it's presently constituted."

But while Harry's new life has come with its fair share of drama, Morton stresses that this is nothing new.

"You had the same with Edward VIII," he reminds us.

"So this is not new, where a prince or a princess thinks, "I'd rather be doing something else.'

"[When you're a working royal] you are yoked to service and to duty, and you saw that with the Queen. Two days before she died, she met with the new Prime Minister, the head of lettuce."

(I thought I'd misheard that part, but I hadn't. Morton was actually referring to the running joke in the U.K. where newspaper The Daily Star placed bets on whether a head of lettuce would last longer than Liz Truss did in office, which it did. Which, also, LOL.)

"Harry saying that William and Charles were trapped was true to a degree," Morton continues.

"They are trapped in a life of service, but they can shape it to their will as well. And it's not the worst gig in the world, to have a President of the United States on speed dial.

"I don't think the charity box would fill very quickly if you did a 'poor me' for these royals.

"It's a payoff. You pay a price, and you get to have quite an interesting life."

OK, yes, fair enough.

Asked whether Harry might have wanted to have a more important role in the family, Morton says, "I think what everybody should understand about the Royal Family is that inside the family, it's not about popularity, it's about position.

"And however long Harry lived, he would never oust William from his position as the future King, he would always be number two or number three.

"And more than that, he would very rapidly go down the pecking order as has, for example, Prince Andrew, from being second in line to the throne for a time in his heyday [to now eighth]."

This comes as Prince Harry prepares to release his memoir, daringly titled SPARE as a reference to his position as Prince William's understudy, many have commented.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.