Prince Harry Makes Telling Admission About Who Really Raised Him

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's two children, son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, are growing up in a much different environment from the one their father was raised in.

As kids, Harry and his brother, William, Prince of Wales, roamed the halls of palaces and were given lessons in proper royal protocol, according to the book "Diana and Jackie: Maidens, Mothers, Myths." A world away from the U.K., Lilibet and Archie are living in a more relaxed atmosphere. Meghan and Harry reportedly wanted their kids to have a more conventional upbringing, so they moved to sunny Montecito, California. "They were craving a smaller community and a slower pace," an insider told People

Stepping down as senior royals also seemingly helped the Duke and Duchess of Sussex be as present as possible in their children's lives. On her podcast, "Archetypes," Meghan paints an idyllic picture of Harry helping her get Archie ready for school before she cooks breakfast for the family. But she also confesses that their mornings at home with two kids are rather hectic, something many parents can relate to.

Harry opens up about his royal upbringing and how he's bringing up his own children in the Netflix docuseries, "Harry & Megan." The Duke of Sussex drops plenty of bombshells, and his remarks about who raised him during his young adult years will be sure to rattle the royal family.

Prince Harry lived with friends in Africa

In "Harry & Megan," per Manchester Evening News, Prince Harry recalls visiting the South African country of Lesotho when he was 18 years old. There, he found a friend in Prince Seeiso, who also knew the pain of losing a parent who was beloved by her country. Harry started making yearly sojourns to Lesotho, sometimes spending months forging an even stronger bond with the man whom he considered a brother. "Lesotho gave me the space and the freedom to breathe, to live and to grow," Harry said. "I've got a second family out there and a group of friends that literally brought me up."

According to the Daily Mail, Harry and Seeiso teamed up to create the children's charity Sentebale in 2006. According to Harry, it was meant to honor their late mothers, Queen Mamohato and Princess Diana. "Sentebale does mean 'forget me not' and it's a way that both me and Prince Seeiso can relate to our mothers, who were both in sort of the same jobs working with orphaned children," he explained. Harry was still involved with the nonprofit as of August 2022, with Good Morning America reporting that he competed in a polo match benefitting the charity. However, Harry didn't get to visit the country that had such a strong hold on his heart, as the event was held in Aspen, Colorado. 

Princess Diana was a present parent

A year before Prince Harry found a new home in Lesotho, The Guardian reported on the then-17-year-old royal's hard-partying ways, which included accounts of underage drinking. In "Harry & Meghan," according to Manchester Evening News, Harry explained that he was still having a difficult time coping with the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and being hounded by the paparazzi constantly wasn't helping.

According to a 1988 People profile of the royal family, Diana tried her best to provide young Harry with the sense of normalcy that he continued seeking later in life. While Diana received assistance from two nannies, it was the princess who bathed her kids at night and entertained them with stories. She also refused to cut to the front of the line when her sons went to meet Santa Claus at a department store, ensuring that the little princes didn't get the royal treatment.

Diana was also young at heart and shared Harry's spirit for adventure. In a 2016 appearance on "Good Morning America," per ABC News, Harry revealed that one of his fondest memories of his mom is from a visit to America — specifically, Disney World. "I went on 'Space Mountain' 14 times. I was like, 'This is absolutely fantastic. This is the best thing ever,'" he recalled. "There's all sorts of places over the world where we were very lucky to have those moments with our mother."

Prince Harry dreamed of raising his son in Africa

If Prince Harry got his wish, he would have evaded the type of attention that his own mother loathed by moving far away from the U.K. after becoming a father. He didn't originally set his sights on America, somewhere his celebrity would still make him a paparazzi magnet. In November 2022, one of his close friends, primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, told the Daily Mail, "He wanted to bring Archie up in Africa, running barefoot with African children."

While Archie and his little sister, Lilibet, may not grow up with this type of carefree freedom, Harry does have plans to visit Africa with his children someday, presumably when they're old enough to appreciate the experience. "I have this love of Africa that will never disappear," he said in the documentary "Prince Harry in Africa," per the Mirror. "And I hope it carries on with my children as well." He'll also be able to tell them about the important role the continent played in their parents' love story. In his July 2022 address to the United Nations General Assembly, he spoke about the many ways Africa has impacted his life. "It's where I've felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died," he said, per Insider. "And where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife."