Prince Harry Prioritizes "Love and Affection" While Raising Archie and Lilibet
Prince Harry says he is prioritizing physical affection while raising his children Archie and Lilibet.
During this afternoon's Spare livestream event, which the Duke of Sussex hosted alongside Dr. Gabor Maté, the royal opened up about fatherhood and how his own childhood influences his decisions while parenting his two children with Duchess Meghan.
At one point in the conversation on living with loss and personal healing, the
Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture author references a few passages in the memoir where Harry recalled during his childhood when he wished his father King Charles and grandmother Queen Elizabeth had been more physically affectionate. The expert then asked the royal how the lack of physical contact has shaped his current parenting style.
"It leaves me in the position how as a father, I have two kids of my own, making sure that I smother them with love and affection," Prince Harry said, joking that he doesn't "smother them to the point that they're trying to get away."
"But in the sense that I as a father feel a huge responsibility to ensure that I don't pass on any traumas or negative experiences I've had," he added. "And that's work, that's putting in the work, and daily, being conscious of my behavior, of my reactions to both of my kids.
"And there are times when I catch myself in a moment when I should be smothering them with that love and in that moment, I might not be, reminding myself [to]. I wouldn't have been as aware of it had I not done the therapy and work that I've done," he continued.
Dr. Maté then asked Harry to imagine what the "impact" would be of Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, "not getting the hugging the way you didn't get it."
"I don't know what the impact would be, but I imagine the result would be similar. That's why, again, I am grateful to have been able to change my environment, which I fully appreciate that not everyone can do, because it comes down to resource," he continued, referencing his family's move from the U.K. to California after he and Meghan stepped back from their senior royal roles in early 2020.
"To be able to change the root cause of so much of those issues, to be able to up, move, that to me, feels as though it gives me much more of a chance, and my wife, more agency as parents, to be able to bring our kids up in a way that's really beneficial and good for them," he said. He also added that he had "an incredible childhood, elements of it, and elements of it were incredibly painful."
Harry also spoke highly of Meghan during the livestream event, and opened up about how she "saved him" at a time where he felt "stuck" in his royal life.
"My wife saved me. I was stuck in this world, and she was from a different world and helped draw me out of that," he said. "But none of the elements of my life now would have been possible without me seeing it for myself."
"My partner is an exceptional human being and I'm eternally grateful for the wisdom and the space that she has been able to give me," he continued.
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