Speaking during a 90-minute episode of Armchair Expert – a US podcast hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, which interviews celebrities and public figures about “the messiness of being human” – the Duke of Sussex admitted that the couple went to the supermarket “incognito” and “pretended we didn’t know each other” by texting shopping list items from different aisles to avoid public attention during her first stay at Kensington Palace.
He said: “The first time Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending we didn't know each other, texting each other from the other side of the aisles.
“There's people looking at me, giving me all these weird looks, and coming up to me and saying ‘hi’. I texted her saying ‘is this the right one’, and she said ‘no you want parchment paper’, and I'm like ‘where's the parchment paper?!’.
“I had a baseball cap on, looking down at the floor, trying to stay incognito. It's amazing how much chewing gum you see, it's a mess.”
The 36-year-old also opened up about the challenges of life within the royal family, describing his life as being “a mix between The Truman Show [a 1998 film starring Jim Carrey in which he slowly learns his life is a actually being watched by millions of people] and living in a zoo”.
When asked if he felt as if he were “in a cage”, he replied: “It's the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early twenties and I was thinking I don't want this job, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mum, how am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family when I know it's going to happen again.”
He added: “I've seen behind the curtain, I've seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don't want to be part of this”, before admitting that he had undergone therapy.
“Once I started doing therapy, it was like the bubble was burst,” he said. “I plucked my head out of the sand and gave it a good shake off and I was like, you're in this position of privilege, stop complaining and stop thinking you want something different - make this different - because you can't get out. How are you going to do these things differently, how are you going to make your mum proud and use this platform to really affect change.”
The Duke’s appearance on the award-winning podcast is rumoured to be linked to its move to streaming platform Spotify, with whom Harry and Meghan signed an exclusive multi-million dollar deal for their own Archewell Audio channel.
Speaking in December, Meghan said: “One of the things my husband and I have always talked about is our passion for meeting people and hearing their stories.
“And no matter what the story, they usually offer you an understanding of where someone else is coming from, and at the same time, remind you in some way of a story about yourself.”
Harry added: “That’s what this project is all about. To bring forward different perspectives and voices that perhaps you haven’t heard before. And find our common ground, because when that happens, change really is possible.”
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