Though it might look like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have found a little slice of heaven in California, their friend has revealed the prince is actually "heartbroken" over "painful" drama within his family.
It's been one year since Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior royals. Over the summer, the new parents moved to Montecito, Calif., with their 1-year-old son Archie and signed entertainment deals with Netflix and Spotify.
However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex might not be off scot-free. Their friend, journalist Tom Bradby, spoke out about the couple's strained relationship with the royal family in a new interview for ITV's Love Your Weekend, which airs on Sunday, according to People.
Bradby confessed Harry, 36, is "heartbroken by the situation with his family," which he noted "clearly isn't ideal," adding, "it has been a very difficult year for them all."
He said, "The whole thing has just been incredibly painful, that is obvious to everyone. It is painful all round, painful for everyone, difficult to manage."
Bradby continued, "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."
Yet, Bradby went on to speculate that Meghan and Harry's life in laid-back California is an improvement from their demanding duties within the British royal family.
"I think they are feeling better, yes," he said. "So are they unhappy? No, I think they are content, the things they are doing they are quite excited by."
The journalist acknowledged, "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."
Ever since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to "completely leave the royal family," Bradby explained "no one still is absolutely clear how it is going to work."
As the news anchor put it, "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."
Last year, rumors circulated that tensions were high between Harry and Prince William. They brothers appeared to be estranged since Harry left for North America, with the coronavirus pandemic making travel difficult.
Back in November, Prince Harry had to mark Remembrance Day on his own at the Los Angeles National Cemetery after the palace refused to lay wreaths on his behalf.
Later that month, a source close to Harry tried to shut down the gossip about a clash within the family, following the launch of a BBC investigation into a 20-year-old interview with Princess Diana.
The source told E! News, "Sadly, some people are not just seeing this as a drive for truth, but also trying to use this as an opportunity to drive a wedge between the brothers."
The insider added, "You do not need a public statement to imagine how he is feeling privately, people know how much his mother means to him."
This week, Bradby admitted Meghan and Harry have been put in a "difficult position" for years. He recalled documenting Harry and Meg's African tour in 2019, calling his work "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."
For his documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the reporter famously asked Meghan how she was doing.
"Thank you for asking, 'cause not many people have asked if I'm OK. But it's a very real thing," the 39-year-old former actress said at the time. "I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair. And that's the part that's really hard to reconcile."
In 2020, Harry and Meg celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas at their Santa Barbara home. Their annual Christmas card depicted an illustration of the Sussex family, with Archie growing out his red hair.