Prince Harry wanted to 'interview Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump about childhood trauma' for podcast, confusing execs

23 June 2023, 05:57

Prince Harry wanted to interview Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin about childhood trauma
Prince Harry wanted to interview Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin about childhood trauma. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Prince Harry wanted to interview Vladimir Putin, Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump about their childhood trauma for a podcast.

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Harry pitched his ideas to several producers and told them he wanted to speak to controversial men about how their difficult childhoods may have shaped who they became as adults.

The prince also wanted to speak to Pope Francis about religion for the never-produced solo podcast, according to Bloomberg.

Meghan's Archetypes podcast was recently axed by Spotify after 13 episodes in nearly three years after it failed to meet targets.

For his solo show, Harry is said to have pitched an idea to discuss major societal questions each episode, like religion and climate change.

But producers raised questions about the practicality of interviewing the likes of Mr Putin, Mr Trump and Mr Zuckerberg, who have not previously discussed childhood trauma openly.

Methan Markle and Prince Harry
Methan Markle and Prince Harry. Picture: Alamy

It comes after Harry and Meghan lost an attempt to get their Archetypes brand patented.

Harry and Meghan had wanted to lock down exclusive rights to the name of their podcast, which was recently dropped by Spotify.

But US officials decided that there was too much of a "likelihood of confusion" with other brands, and so rejected the application.

Harry and Meghan wanted exclusive use of the Archetypes name for "downloadable audio recordings and podcasts" on anything concerning the "cultural treatment of women and stereotypes facing women".

But another similar company with the same name already exists. Archetypes LLC, based in the US state of Arizona, applied for exclusive use in 2015 for books and articles about "nutrition, fitness, sexuality, psychological self-improvement", MailOnline reported.

Harry and Meghan's lawyer has asked for a further three months to prepare another application.

Serena Williams was one of several high-profile guests on Ms Markle's show
Serena Williams was one of several high-profile guests on Ms Markle's show. Picture: Getty

Meanwhile Ms Markle was accused of "faking" interviews getting producers to speak to guests on the show, before having her own questions edited into the audio track.

Multiple sources told podcast-focused outlet Podnews that "some interviews on the show were done by other staffers, with [audio of Meghan’s] questions edited-in afterwards."

The report did not specify which interviews were edited this way, but journalist Alison Yarrow revealed last year that her interview on the show was conducted by producer Farrah Safarfi.

Ms Yarrow, who appeared on an episode about the origin of the word 'b****', hared an image of herself in front of a sign for the audio production company Gimlet, and thanked Ms Safarfi for being an "excellent interviewer".

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Other high-profile guests on Archetypes have included Serena Williams, Mariah Carey and Mindy Kaling. Ms Kaling posted an image of herself being interviewed by Meghan.

Bill Simmons
Bill Simmons. Picture: Getty

The podcast was dropped earlier in June after it failed to meet targets, with just 13 episodes recorded in 31 months.

The series, which focused on "labels that try to hold women back", will not get a second season.

A joint statement from Spotify and Archewell Audio, which is Meghan and Prince Harry's production firm, said the two were "proud of the series we made together" but they had "mutually agreed to part ways".

The Sussexes had reportedly signed a $20m deal with the streaming giant in 2020.

Read more: Meghan Markle's multi-million pound podcast Archetypes dropped by Spotify as it 'fails to hit targets'

Read more: Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were 'snubbed' from Trooping the Colour invite list

Meanwhile a top Spotify podcast executive accused Harry and Meghan of being "f***ing grifters".

After they "parted ways" with the streaming giant, Bill Simmons, who is Head of Podcast Innovation and Monetisation, was quick to hit out at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

"The f***ing grifters. That's the podcast we should have launched with them," he said in an episode of his own podcast.

"I've got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It's one of my best stories."

Meghan hosted the Archetypes podcast series
Meghan hosted the Archetypes podcast series. Picture: Spotify/Alamy

But Ms Markle is also on the brink of signing a big money deal with fashion giant Dior.

The Duchess of Sussex is a well-known wearer of Dior. She was dressed from head-to-toe in the fashion giant's gear for the Queen's Jubilee last year, as well as for her son Archie's christening.

Prince Harry also wore a fully-tailored Dior suit for the King's Coronation last month.

The French fashion company has a number of deals with major celebrities, including Rihanna and Johnny Depp.

According to PR guru Mark Borkowski, it is not clear whether the deal is done, but says the couple are clearly angling towards fashion.

"It shows that they have great power in fashion and they are wanted by fashion houses. It is easier to be a clothes horse than an issues warrior", he told MailOnline.

He continued: "It could be a case of poking the bear (to get a deal) or I suspect that is something that has been running for a while in terms of a negotiation and it now manifests itself into something.

"It's no coincidence that they are veering towards fashion. They are more comfortable in this world.

"Style over substance. It does seem to be a series of weird coincidences: Harry wears a Dior suit at the coronation and Dior at the hacking case and now a deal may be in the offing"

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