“We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he told the outlet. “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
During the interview, Harry also reflected on his mother's death, and with grappling with the fallout as an adolescent.
In 1997, his mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a car accident, a tragedy that riveted the United Kingdom and the world. “My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” he said. “I don’t think it would happen today.”
No 12-year-old, he said, should be asked to do what he did “under any circumstances.”
Harry said that he didn't really work through his grief until his 20s. Serving in Afghanistan helped, he said. Even so, there were some dark years. Harry said he drank and smoked too much. At one point, pictures of him in Nazi garb circulated on the Internet. Another time, he was caught partying, naked, in Las Vegas, alongside some scantily-clad women.
Today, the 32-year-old said, he's doing much better. He also talked some about pulling the monarchy into the 21st century alongside his brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. He said that he has tried to focus on serving a small number of charities, rather than the 600 the queen supports.
Like his mother, he's interested in fighting AIDS and HIV (last year, he was publicly tested for the disease). He has teamed up with a member of the Lesotho royal family to start Sentebale, which helps vulnerable children in the southern African country. He contributes to an organization that shares his mother's vision of a world without land mines. And he has used his platform to speak out about his own mental health issues.
“I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s children Prince George and Princess Charlotte] take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it,” he said in the Kensington Palace interview.
Harry also spoke about wanting to live an “ordinary life,” a priority his mother instilled in him. He still does his own shopping, he said. He lives in an apartment near his brother William's family, and sometimes he swings by to talk to Catherine (whom he has described as “the sister he never had"), who makes him dinner. Roast chicken is a favorite.
“Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping. But it’s a tricky balancing act. We don’t want to dilute the magic,” he told Newsweek. “The British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”