Prince Harry criticised after calling First Amendment in USA ‘bonkers’

Duke of Sussex says anyone ‘can capitalise or exploit what’s not said rather than uphold what is said,’ in podcast interview

Kate Ng
Monday 17 May 2021 11:39 BST
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Prince Harry has been criticised by some commentators after he described the First Amendment as “bonkers” during a podcast interview last week.

The Duke of Sussex made the comment during a candid interview last Thursday with actor Dax Shepard, who hosts the Armchair Expert podcast.

The former senior royal said the First Amendment, which primarily protects freedom of speech in the US, was “bonkers” but he admitted he didn’t understand it as “I’ve only been here a short time”.

Speaking about misinformation during the interview, Harry said: “I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment as I sort of understand it, but it is bonkers.

“I don’t want to start going down the First Amendment route because that’s a huge subject and one which I don’t understand because I’ve only been here a short time.

“But, you can find a loophole in anything. You can capitalise or exploit what’s not said rather than uphold what is said.”

The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, the press, assembly and right to petition the government in the US.

But Harry’s comments drew some angry backlash, largely from conservative Americans and Britons.

Nigel Farage, former leader of Reform UK, formerly known as the Brexit Party, accused Harry of having “lost the plot” by criticising the First Amendment.

“For Prince Harry to condemn the USA’s First Amendment shows he has lost the plot. Soon he will not be wanted on either side of the pond.”

Republican Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw claimed he “just doubled the size of my Independence Day party” following Harry’s comments.

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham added: “Don’t let the door knob hit you, Windsor.”

Conservative author and talk show host Candace Owens said: “Sunday riddle: How many more Hollywood-style interviews will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle give before they finally achieve the privacy they claim to be so desperate for?”

But some came to his defence on social media, with one person pointing out: “I don’t care for Prince Harry, not after what he did and is continuing to do, but I see his point a little.

“A lot of cyber bullies, instigators and slanderous fakes take advantage of the free speech rule when it was intended to protect the dignity of expressions, press, etc.”

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