Prince Harry’s “Living In A Zoo” Statement Resonates Britain’s Former Colonies

Prince Harry’s candid interviews exposing the royal family continue to create stirs. On May 13, the Duke of Sussex guest-starred in Dax Shepard and Monica Padman’s celebrity podcast ‘Armchair Expert’. This is his second public appearance after the tell-all Oprah interview that drove the wrench deeper in Harry’s relationship with the royal family.

Shepard cleverly drew an analogy between the Prince’s highly publicised life and the 90s hit ‘The Truman Show’. The movie followed a man through his discovery that his entire life was being filmed like a reality show, somewhat similar to ‘WandaVision’ in recent history. Harry’s response, “It’s a mixture between being on ‘The Truman Show’ and being in a zoo”, made tabloid headlines immediately.

It doesn’t take a genius to guess that the royal family were more than a little miffed at this allegory. One source said they were “distressed” and “angry”, understandably so. They added, “The queen is unimpressed with Harry’s latest interview and found it hurtful. It hasn’t done their relationship any favors.”

Harry’s dissatisfaction with his father, Prince Charles, is evident when he delves into the genetic pain and suffering he feels subjected to. “If I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure that I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on.” While it sounds like a noble intent, being on the receiving end of such scathing remarks on your parenting certainly won’t have you singing your son’s praises.

The source told Us Weekly that Charles and Harry’s brother, William, wished that Harry would “discuss” his “opinions” privately. A royals expert, Katie Nicholl, noted that Prince Harry’s revealing interviews are in some ways at odds with his stated desire for privacy. Why hasn’t the royal family responded publicly, you ask? Well, apart from having the dignity to not stoop to what they clearly condone, they don’t feel the need to “engage” with Harry’s jabs.

The source provides more insight into their silence, “They feel it was thoughtless and irresponsible of Harry to once again shade The Firm so soon after Prince Philip’s death, while the queen is still mourning the death of her husband. It definitely hasn’t helped with healing the rift.”

While Harry campaigning for celebrities to have more control over their personal lives without being badgered by paparazzi constantly is a perfectly valid sentiment, one has to laugh at the comparison to “living in a zoo”. Oh, to have the luxuries and privilege of hailing from one of the largest and dominant dynasties of the world in a zoo! The real animals in the zoo would definitely be punching the air right now.

Yes, living under the unshakeable gaze of the media every day of your life doesn’t sound ideal. But not acknowledging the sheer privilege you’ve enjoyed for all those years is more than a tad bit insensitive, screaming unchecked entitlement. Especially since a staggering proportion of the royal family’s wealth was amassed riding on pillaging poorer countries. So, it’s much more likely that Britain’s innumerable colonies would resonate more with feeling like animals in a zoo, meant for the entertainment of their colonisers.

The royal family reaping the rewards of centuries of ancestral colonialism doesn’t stray far from the portrayal of the ‘Capitol’ in the Hunger Games. Imagine President Snow, the symbol of his pageant enterprise, comparing his life to “living in a zoo”. Now imagine the utter disbelief and unbridled rage that the lower districts would feel in response. That about sums up the range of emotions we commoners feel at Harry’s thoughtless statements. Not very Prince Charming of him.

Aayushmita Bhattacharjee

A voracious reader and writer, I aspire to be a feature journalist. I am absolutely enamoured by stories and the art of storytelling and wish to write my own someday. When I'm not reading, you can find me listening and singing along to Taylor Swift, drawing or watching anime.

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