Prince Harry has "suffered a lot" from being judged and strives to "protect his cub and his lioness," his longtime friend says in an new special about the Duke of Sussex's bombshell decision to have him and wife Meghan Markle pursue new careers outside the monarchy and move abroad with their son.
Earlier this month, the couple, parents of 8-month-old Archie Harrison, announced plans to step back as "senior members" of the royal family and "balance" their time between the United Kingdom and North America, following months of rumors of their intent to leave the country, where the U.S.-born former actress has often been the target of negative press. Queen Elizabeth II, who was not consulted about the matter, later approved the couple's royal exit, with some conditions of her own.
"He's being a father," Harry's friend, polo star Nacho Figueras, says in the new ABC News special Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown. "This is a guy who is trying to protect his cub and his lioness from whatever it takes."
Harry, Meghan and baby Archie are currently living in Canada, where she and Archie have already been photographed together by the paparazzi.
"I spoke to Harry a few days ago," Nacho says in the special, according to GMA. "He has suffered a lot from all of the things that have happened to him. He suffers a lot from people judging him."
Another friend of Harry, JJ Chalmers, a former Royal Marine who met the duke when they served in the military together several years ago, had said in a BBC interview earlier this month, "When you look at the decision that he's made, I think at the forefront of that is to protect his family, because that's the number one rule, is to be a father and to be a husband," he said.