Prince Harry once considered leaving the royal family behind forever.
In a new interview with Mail on Sunday, he considered embarking on a normal life outside of the royal family after his time in the army, which he called the “best escape I’ve ever had.”
“I felt as though I was really achieving something,” Harry said. “I have a deep understanding of all sorts of people from different backgrounds and felt I was part of a team.”
He added, “I wasn’t a prince, I was just Harry.”
Prince Harry spent 10 weeks in Afghanistan in 2007 but the tour was cut short for security reasons after a magazine leaked his location. After years of headline-making behavior and partying, Harry considered leaving his title behind to live life as a commoner.
“I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself,” he said, adding that the love and loyalty he felt toward his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, helped change his mind.
He knew he wanted to be more than a famous figure and wanted to use his status for something more.
“We don’t want to be just a bunch of celebrities but instead use our role for good,” he said.
Today, Prince Harry, along with his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Duchess Catherine, do a lot of charity work with their Heads Together campaign, which helps bring awareness to mental health. On his own, Harry heads up the Invictus Games, a multi-sport event created for injured, sick or wounded members of the armed forces.
“We are incredibly passionate with our charities, and they have been chosen because they are on the path shown to me by our mother,” he said. “I love charity stuff and meeting people.”