Like Princess Diana, Prince Harry’s Relationship With the Public Will Change Royal Family Protocol Forever

Prince Harry shares a lot in common with his late mother, Princess Diana. Like his mom, who was beloved by royal watchers around the world, Harry has officially left the royal family to embark on his own journey. Although Prince Harry is no longer representing the crown, his relationship with the public will change how the royal family operates for the foreseeable future. 

Prince Harry Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Princess Diana becomes an international icon

Diana’s divorce from Charles in the 1990s was the biggest scandal to hit the royal family in decades. It took Charles years to turn around his public image and the Prince of Wales is still dealing with low popularity ratings to this day.

Diana, however, quickly morphed into an international icon. Royal watchers around the world paid attention to her every move and her sense of style inspired fashion trends of the day.

She also continued her amazing work in the charitable world, and her dedication won numerous accolades from world leaders.

Following her tragic death in 1997, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, called her “the people’s princess.” Millions of people around the world grieved after her passing, and Diana’s influence on the royals continued long after she was gone.

This is particularly true with her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, who were both young when she passed.

Prince Harry follows in Princess Diana’s shoes

In recent years, Harry has been more open about how his mother’s death affected his mental health. He is also keenly aware of the cost of being in the royal spotlight, something that undoubtedly contributed to his decision to leave the royal family.

Back in January, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, announced that they were stepping down as active members of the royal family. As part of their exit, they will no longer use their royal titles and will spend most of their time in North America.

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Following in the footsteps of his mother, Princess Diana, this morning The Duke of Sussex visited a de-mining site in Dirico, Angola, to raise awareness of the danger and prevalence of landmines that still exists today. The Duke joined @thehalotrust in their work to help clear the area to enable safe access for the local community. • “If an international ban on mines can be secured it means, looking far ahead, that the world may be a safer place for this generation's grandchildren.” – Princess Diana, 1997 Today in Angola The Duke of Sussex will retrace his mother’s steps to see the legacy of her work and how her connection with this community helped make the elimination of landmines a reality. In 1997 Diana Princess of Wales visited Huambo to bring global attention to the crisis of landmines and the people whose lives were being destroyed. Two decades later, the area has transformed from desolate and unhabitable to lively and vibrant, with colleges, schools and small businesses. The Duke is humbled to be visiting a place and a community that was so special to his mother, and to recognise her tireless mission as an advocate for all those she felt needed her voice the most, even if the issue was not universally popular. Princess Diana’s visit helped change the course of history, and directly led to the Convention against Anti-Personal Landmines, also known as the Ottawa Treaty. Today, with the support of @thehalotrust, Angola now has a stated aim under the Treaty to be clear of known mines by 2025. Despite great progress, 60 million people worldwide still live in fear of landmines every day. During his visit today, The Duke will walk along the street which was once the minefield where his mother was famously pictured. #RoyalVisitAfrica #RoyalVisitAngola Photo©️PA

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The move came after the two spent years fighting British tabloids, whose relentless attacks on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, led to serious struggles behind the scenes.

Harry ultimately decided to get out of the royal family and is now living in Los Angeles with Meghan and their son, Archie Harrison. Harry may be out of the royal family, but like Diana, his influence as a public figure will likely increase as the years go by.

Inside Harry’s rise in popularity

One reason Prince Harry is so popular with the public is because of his laid-back attitude. Whereas William and Kate Middleton are more conservative in their public duties, Harry has always been viewed as more relatable (something the Cambridges have been working on).

After experiencing several scandals in his youth, Harry left his wild days behind him and has done a lot of work in the realm of charities. This includes launching the Invictus Games and becoming a huge advocate for mental health.

Prince Harry also teamed up with his brother to start a mental health awareness charity called Heads Together. According to Newcastle Herald, he opened up about his struggles with mental health in an interview in 2017, admitting that he bottled up “all of my emotions for the last 20 years” to cope with his mom’s death.

Like Diana, Harry proved to be very popular with crowds and often received praise for being so down-to-earth. Although his popularity has taken a slight hit following Megxit, Harry’s relationship with the public will change the royal family’s protocol forever.

How Prince Harry has changed the royal family

Now that Harry and Meghan are out of the monarchy, their exit has affected other members of the royal family in a variety of ways. For starters, many of their previous duties and charitable work will be passed on to other royals.

The Sussexes are also planning on becoming financially independent from the crown, which means starting their own careers in the private sector. Other royals have done this in the past, including Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, but none of them have as much influence as Harry and Meghan.

Exactly what the couple plans on doing is yet to be seen, but their activities will continue to affect how the royals manage the monarchy, especially when it comes to modernizing the institution.

Prince Harry and Meghan’s exit has also affected how William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, are approaching their public life. The Cambridges have been trying to appear more relaxed during their recent public appearances, seemingly taking a page right out of Harry and Meghan’s book.