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Prince Harry hasn’t visited the UK since March. The prolonged estrangement is in part due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown. However, distance had already become an issue after he and Meghan Markle announced in January that they planned to step down as senior royals.
The news came in an Instagram post that read: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.
“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
They have since been living in Canada and then on to the US, where they now reside in Meghan’s native LA.
The last time the pair fulfilled royal duties was in March when they flew back from the states to join the Queen for a Westminster Abbey service to mark Commonwealth Day.
They’ve followed new pursuits since leaving their royal posts.
These include Meghan’s new charity, Archewell, while they also stirred controversy earlier this month over comments on Britain needing to remember and address its colonial history.
Many have argued that Harry was always destined to distance himself away from the royals.
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His early years saw him party into the early hours of the morning.
He was even spotted at Glastonbury in 2013.
Here, the royal went incognito to avoid being spotted by thousands of festival goers.
It’s not the first time Harry has assumed an alternative identity.
According to a report from the Daily Mail in 2019, during his “party boy” days, the prince came up with a code name that helped him sneak his way into a number of bars and nightclubs in London without being recognised.
Instead of introducing himself by his real name, the Party Prince told people he was called “Rob”.
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Speaking to the Mail, Baroness Jessica Heydel said: “I met Prince Harry once on a night out, probably four or five years ago.
“His friends introduced him as ‘Rob’.
“I sat there and thought, ‘That is Prince Harry, everyone knows that is Prince Harry.”
The baroness explained that she saw through the false identity and was completely starstruck.
“I had all these things going around in my head, so it didn’t turn into a friendship.
“ My mum told me I could’ve been the Duchess of Sussex – she’s still angry!”
The prince has since left his party years behind him.
This is especially true after he got married to Meghan in 2018, and went on to have his first child, son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry has previously opened up about his wilder years, attributing his total often irrational behaviour to not talking about his mother’s death for 13 years.
In 2017, he appeared in a podcast interview with journalist Bryony Gordon in which he divulged the years of attacks of both panic and rage.
The prince acknowledged he had completely blocked out his emotions for years – something that resulted in severe psychological effects.
He admitted: “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well.
“I thought that thinking of her was only going to make me sad and not going to bring her back. So from an emotional side, I was, like, ‘Right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything.’”
And so, he explained, during his 20’s he “ran around going ‘life is great’ or ‘life is fine.’”
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