Prince Harry has said that he was already disenchanted with life as a member of the Royal Family long before he met Meghan Markle.
He says that said even in his early 20s he knew he didn't want the royal life.
He says he saw the dark side of fame, because of the effect it had on his mum, Princess Diana. He recalls thinking: "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.”
He recalled on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast how after getting therapy for his mental health struggles, he felt a "bubble was burst" and for the first time his head was "out of the sand".
Harry, 36, says that as long as he was the UK he would try to stay incognito while we was out, often wearing a baseball cap “disguise” and walking with his head down.
Describing his former life as being like the film The Truman Show, the prince said that there was no appeal in living a fairytale existence. He said: "My wife had the most amazing explanation.
"'You don't need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess.' It's something like that."
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These days, he says, he feels more able to be himself in California: “Living here now I can actually lift my head and actually I feel different, my shoulders have dropped, so have hers [Meghan's], you can walk around feeling a little bit more free."
He told how much he enjoys giving Archie a ride on the back of his bike, something he would never be able to do in the UK.
The prince added that he had found a new sense of purpose after leaving the royal bubble, saying that helping other people helped him, explaining "healing other people heals me".
He did say, though, that even today he is targeted with "vile and toxic abuse" from online trolls.
He said that while he tries to have "compassion" for the people dishing out abuse, it can be' "really hard when you're on the receiving end".
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