Prince Albert, the son of late Hollywood icon Grace Kelly, understands Prince Harry’s woes all too well.
The prince of Monaco told People magazine on Tuesday he was aware of the British royal’s tell-all documentary where he candidly expressed his frustrations with the intense media scrutiny surrounding his growing family with former American actress-turned-Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.
“I completely understand his reasons,” said the 61-year-old.
According to the outlet, Albert briefly met with the 35-year-old in private while attending the World Cup Rugby final in Japan on Nov. 2. It was during that meeting where Albert said he expressed “my support and my sympathy.”
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“He said he feels ‘bullied,’ and I can understand and sympathize with him over that,” said Albert. “We didn’t talk about it that much, because we talked about environment-related issues — and the rugby too — but I sympathized with him, saying, ‘Just do what you have to do to ensure your privacy.’”
“It wasn’t a long conversation, though,” Albert continued, adding he didn’t hesitate to share his advice on coping with the ruthless tabloids.
“Sometimes you just have to ignore it and move on,” said the father of four. “Sometimes you can ignore whoever is out there that’s being too inquisitive or too hard on you. [The best thing] is not to pay attention. You have to protect your personal life, your family and their intimacy as much as possible, whenever possible. Especially when you’re a public figure with appearances to attend. Of course, that’s harder to do than to say.”
“And it’s especially difficult with the British press, which is so inquisitive, so harsh,” continued Albert. “Not only on the royal family but on other celebrities and other public figures as well.”
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In July 2017, Albert told People that he greatly admired the royal couple but was also concerned for their well-being as they cope with the harsh spotlight.
“Bringing anyone into royal circles is a pretty tough act,” he said at the time. “Especially in the British royal family, which is scrutinized by the press as no one’s been. The couple seems to be having a good deal of success so far. [But] sooner or later, [they would] have to face the full onslaught.”
Harry, who recently announced he was taking legal action against the British tabloids for their mistreatment, spoke out about how the negative press attention hurt their family for the ITV documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” which debuted in the UK in October of this year. The special aimed to chronicle the couple’s royal tour of southern Africa.
In the documentary, Harry told British journalist Tom Bradby that his mother, the late Princess Diana of Wales, was on his mind while embarking on his royal tour of southern Africa alongside Markle, 38, and their son Archie.
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During her lifetime, Diana was ruthlessly hounded by the paparazzi.
“Look, part of this job and part of any job, like anybody, means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of the stuff,” he explained. “But again, for me and for my wife, of course, there’s a lot of stuff that hurts — especially when the majority of it is untrue.”
“But all we need to do is focus on being real, focus on being the people we are and standing up for what we believe in,” continued Harry. “I will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mom.”
In the documentary, Bradby asked the Duchess of Sussex how she’s coping with the lack of privacy and ruthless tabloid rumors as a new parent, to which the former American actress replied she takes “each day as it comes.”
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“I think the grass is always greener,” said Markle. “You have no idea. It’s really hard to understand what it’s like. I know what it seems like it should be, but it’s a very different thing.”
Markle said she and Harry have had conversations about being in the spotlight and all the negativity that comes with it.
“I have said for a long time to H, that’s what I call him, ‘It’s not enough to just survive something,’” said Markle. “‘That’s not the point of life. You have to thrive. You have got to feel happy.’ I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a ‘stiff upper life.’ I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”
The royal went on to tell Bradby she would be more understanding about the scrutiny if it were fair.
“I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair,” said Markle. “And that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile.”