Andrew Marr: Harry is a wounded man who's turned into an insurgent crusader calling for reform with a radical edge

6 June 2023, 18:26 | Updated: 6 June 2023, 18:27

Marr: Prince Harry mono

By Will Taylor

Andrew Marr says Prince Harry is clearly a wounded man - but he has turned into an insurgent political commentator who is crusading and calling for reform with a radical edge.

He spoke about the Duke of Sussex's criticism of the Government and the relationship the press has with it.

The royal said he wanted to expose "criminality" because of the "public interest" during his phone hacking case against the Mirror's publisher.

Speaking on Tuesday, during Tonight with Andrew Marr, he said: "Today we got a long witness statement explaining his deep anger about the British press, and then detailed cross-questioning in the High Court - the first time a senior royal has been in such a position since 1895.

"I think the first thing that's obvious is what an incredibly damaged, wounded man we're talking about here - a child who lost his mother in the most horrible of circumstances, and whose entire life has been played out in the most public and intrusive of ways, a life of paranoia, suspicion of friends, the revelation of deep personal secrets.

"A man who found relationship after relationship destroyed by his role and by the media.

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"Who describes himself as trying to play up to - his words - the thicko, the cheat, the underaged drinker, the irresponsible drug taker.

"No wonder he's angry, no wonder he talks about his own paranoia and fear of being physically attacked when photographers reach for a camera.

"He says the very thought of Piers Morgan, then editor of The Mirror, earwigging his mother's private and sensitive messages 'makes me feel physically sick and even more determined to hold him and his colleagues responsible for their vile and entirely unjustified behaviour'.

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"Now, partly because of his book, I think we knew a lot of that already.

"But what we've never had before, I don't think, is Harry the angry, even insurgent, political commentator. This, again, is from his witness statement: 'Our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our government - our government, note that – 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.

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"I may not have a role within the Institution but, as a member of the British royal family, and as a soldier upholding important values, I feel there's a responsibility to expose this criminal activity - assume he's talking about newspaper journalists not MPs or ministers - in the name of public interest.

'The country and the British public deserve to know the depths of what was actually happening then, and indeed now. We will be better off for it.'

"Wow. That's Harry the crusader, championing the cause of reform with a radical sounding edge. where will that end, I wonder?"