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Prince Harry's Friend Tom Bradby Opens up About Harry's 'Heartbreak' and Royal Family Tensions

People logo People 1/15/2021 Erin Hill
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in South Africa. © Provided by People Samir Hussein/WireImage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in South Africa.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's friend, journalist and author Tom Bradby, is speaking out about the couple's exit from royal life following his candid 2019 documentary on their African tour.

In an upcoming appearance on ITV's Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, airing on Sunday, Bradby says, "It was a very psychologically complex project because they were clearly in a difficult position and weren't feeling great and I realized the extent of that the more I was there."

Bradby toured southern Africa with the royal couple for their emotional documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. He memorably asked Meghan "how she'd found the last year," to which she replied, "It is a very real thing to be going through. Thank you for asking — because not many have."

RELATED: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Share Photos of Their Mothers and a 'Letter for 2021' on New Website

When asked if he thinks Harry and Meghan seem any happier since they moved to California earlier this year, Bradby says, "I think they are feeling better, yes…So are they unhappy? No, I think they are content, the things they are doing they are quite excited by. I think he is heartbroken by the situation with his family, you don't necessarily need to have knowledge to know that, but I think it is true."

Meghan Markle et al. wearing costumes and standing in front of a building: Shutterstock Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attending the Commonwealth Day Service in the U.K. in March 2020. © Provided by People Shutterstock Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attending the Commonwealth Day Service in the U.K. in March 2020.

He also discussed the distance between Harry and his brother Prince William.

"The situation with the family clearly isn't ideal and it has been a very difficult year for them all," he says, adding, "But are they unhappy out there? No, I don't think that's right, I think they are pretty happy actually, but I think they wrestle with their position in life, I think they all do. I think William does too, I don't think he finds it easy."

In January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced their groundbreaking decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.

"I think the whole thing has just been incredibly painful, that is obvious to everyone. It is painful all round, painful for everyone, difficult to manage. Effectively they have just decided to completely leave the royal family, that has never been done - I mean, you could go back to the Duke of Windsor but that was in very different circumstances  - it's never been done voluntarily before and no one still is absolutely clear how it is going to work," Bradby continues.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Meghan Markle, Sophie, Countess of Wessex sitting at a table: Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle © Provided by People Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

"There are still a lot of hurt feelings on all sides and it's very difficult…I think the public desperately wants them to be okay and everyone to be happy and clearly that hasn't been the situation over the past year. It is not a very easy or comfortable situation, I don't think it was ever going to be an easy or comfortable situation."

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He concludes, "You have got to remember this isn't just a family, it's a firm. They are in the business of public service on a very elevated, exposed platform and to some extent, they are all locked in it together. And that creates lots of tensions that people perhaps do see relatively clearly from the outside, but at the same time they are trying to be a family and I am always acutely conscious of that and how complicated and frankly difficult it is."

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in South Africa. © Samir Hussein/WireImage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in South Africa.
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