Prince Harry feels he was cast as a “thicko” as a young royal.
The 38-year-old prince made the claim during his ongoing legal battle against the MGN publishing group at the High Court in London on Tuesday, with Harry arguing that he was portrayed as the “playboy prince” during his younger years.
Harry noted in his court statement that as the “spare” to the “heir”, he was portrayed as “either the ‘playboy prince’, the ‘failure’, the ‘drop out’ or, in my case, the ‘thicko’, the ‘cheat’, the ‘underage drinker’, ‘irresponsible drug taker'”.
The prince claimed that the portrayal actually encouraged him to live up to the idea.
Harry — who did not attend the first day of the trial on Monday — explained: “As a teenager and in my early twenties, I ended up feeling as though I was playing up to a lot of the headlines and stereotypes that they wanted to pin on me, mainly because I thought that, if they are printing this rubbish about me and people were believing it, I may as well ‘do the crime’, so to speak.
“It was a downward spiral, whereby the tabloids would constantly try and coax me, a ‘damaged’ young man, into doing something stupid that would make a good story and sell lots of newspapers.”
Harry has also slammed the current UK government, arguing that the Conservative Party has reached “rock bottom”.
The prince — who now lives in California after stepping down as a working member of the royal family — explained: “Our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our government — both of which I believe are at rock bottom.
“Democracy fails when your press fails to scrutinise and hold the government accountable, and instead choose to get into bed with them so they can ensure the status quo.”