As the second-born son of a future British king, Prince Harry spent most of his life living in limbo. He faced constant media attention because of his famous mother and her tragic death, but unlike his older brother, Prince William, he did not have a future on the throne to look forward to. When he married Meghan Markle in 2018, the pair made a commitment to continue serving the monarchy in a supporting role, but by 2020, they were out. In “The Spare,” the third episode of DYNASTY: The Windsors, cohosts Katie Nicholl spirit Erin Vanderhoof explain why playing second fiddle in the palace was not going to work for Harry and his wife.
In the history of the British monarchy, the arrival of a new heir to the throne is always a moment for celebration. For the younger siblings — sometimes called “the spares” —the rules are slightly different. Guest Shon Faye, a culture writer and presenter, discusses how being failed by the royal institution and mourning his mother’s death in public left Harry deeply wounded. From the scandal over a Nazi costume in 2005 to the time he showed off his crown jewels in Las Vegas, Harry’s road to maturity was rocky.
But, as a royal writer Omid Scobie explains, he eventually found his purpose and became one of the most interesting members of the royal family. By going to Afghanistan in the military, founding the Invictus Games, and becoming a leading spokesperson for mental health awareness, he accomplished more than your average “spare” and became an asset to the monarchy. These changes led his path to intersect with another optimistic activist in 2016. As Vanity Fair contributor Michelle Ruiz explains, an American entering the royal family was a real shock. When Meghan and Harry left the UK in 2020, they stunned the royal family and the world by giving up some of their palace privileges. But a deeper look at Harry might prove that his exit was inevitable.
Listen to the episode in the player above, and do not forget to tune in next Tuesday, May 10, when DYNASTY: The Windsors returns with an episode all about how Meghan Markle found her prince and why their relationship exposed a side of Britain that few like to acknowledge. Subscribe at listen.vanityfair.com/dynasty or wherever you get your podcasts.
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