Prince Harry is being criticized for his comments on the First Amendment.
During Thursday’s episode of Dax Shepard’s “The Armchair” podcast, the royal spoke out about paparazzi and the media “feeding frenzy” that happened when he and Meghan moved to Los Angeles and discussed the First Amendment, saying though he doesn’t fully understand it, he thinks it’s “bonkers.”
“I don’t want to start sort of going down the First Amendment route because that’s a huge subject and one in which I don’t understand because I’ve only been here a short period of time,” Harry said. “But, you can find a loophole in anything. And you can capitalize or exploit what’s not said rather than uphold what is said.”
Senators and media personalities criticized the royal’s comments on social media Monday.
“We fought a war in 1776 so we don’t have to care what you say or think,” Meghan McCain wrote on Twitter. “That being said, you have chosen to seek refuge from your homeland here and thrive because all of what our country has to offer and one of the biggest things is the 1st amendment – show some utter respect.”
Texas senator Ted Cruz wrote on Twitter it was “nice that he can say that.”
“I didn’t think Harry could go lower than trashing his grandmother as she mourns Prince Philip, but the spineless self-pitying twerp’s attack on free speech makes HIM look bonkers not the US Constitution,” tweeted Piers Morgan.
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Prince Harry dropped more bombshells about British royal life during the podcast:
Harry compared palace life to ‘being in a zoo’
Speaking with Shepard and Monica Padman, the Duke of Sussex talked about the importance of mental health and compared his life under the watchful eye of the public as feeling like “The Truman Show.”
Padman asked Prince Harry if he felt like he was in a “cage” while in his royal duties, having to make his way around the Commonwealth comforting others with a smile on his face, while he himself was also going through a rough time.
“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,” Prince Harry said. “I don’t want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mom, how am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family when I know that it’s going to happen again?”
He continued: “I’ve seen behind the curtain, I’ve seen the business model I know how this operation runs and how it works. I don’t want to be part of this.”
Shepard likened it to “The Truman Show.”
“It’s a mix between ‘The Truman Show’ and being in a zoo,” Prince Harry said criticizing the British media for operating like they have “ownership” over the royals. “I think the biggest issue for me was that being born into it, you inherit the risk that comes with it … without choice.”
Shepard wondered if growing up under that constant scrutiny meant he missed out on “mundane” things like going grocery shopping with his mom, Princess Diana. The Duke said he “definitely went shopping with her” but only a few times because they would be “pounced on” by the paparazzi.
Harry and Meghan’s first London meet-up was at a supermarket
He shared a story about the first time he and Meghan met up for her to come stay with him London when they were dating.
“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,” Prince Harry shared. “There’s people looking at me, giving me all these weird looks, and coming up to me and saying ‘hi.’ “
He joked about wearing a baseball cap, “looking down at the floor” and trying to stay “incognito” at the time. But now since moving to Santa Barbara last year, Prince Harry said he can do something he’s “never had the chance” to do.
“I can actually like lift my head. And actually I feel different. My shoulders have dropped, so have (Markle’s). And you can walk around feeling a little bit more free.”
The podcast hosts asked Prince Harry what Duchess Meghan expected royal life to be like, noting she couldn’t have thought she would be able to live and move as freely.
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“She expected it to be fair, which I think anybody does,” Prince Harry said. “You expect a certain element of interest in your life, but at the same time you still expect to be able to have a private life as opposed to this idea that every time you step foot outside you get chased and even when you stay inside, because of the way social media is, you’re everywhere while you’re nowhere.”
Meghan encouraged Harry to seek therapy
The Duke of Sussex said his now wife, Duchess Meghan, pushed him to go to therapy. He said she saw he was “hurting” and angry. He noted he felt frustrated not being able to change things despite having the resources to do so.
“I was like, ‘OK, you’re in this position of privilege, stop complaining, or stop thinking as though you want something different, because you can’t get out. So how are you going to do this differently? How are you going to make your mom proud?’,” he said.
In March, the couple gave Oprah Winfrey an explosive interview regarding the reason they decided to step away as senior members of the British royal family, including Meghan feeling suicidal and not getting the help she felt was necessary from the palace, and someone (not the queen or the late Prince Philip, Harry later clarified) expressing concern about what color Harry and Meghan’s son Archie’s skin might be.
Prince Harry and Winfrey are launching a mental health series on Apple+ titled “The Me You Can’t See,” airing May 21.
Contributing: Maria Puente