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Thanks to a series of speeches, interviews, websites and dramatic interviews, the global public have been given perhaps more insight into Prince Harry’s mind in the last few months than they have ever been afforded of such a senior and high-profile member of the royal family.
Now, however, comes an entirely new layer of revelations after it was reported in the British newspaper The Sun late Tuesday night that Harry has been pranked by Russian YouTube stars who got him to open up about his and wife Meghan Markle’s royal exit by duping him into thinking he was talking to Greta Thunberg and her dad.
The palace has not yet commented on a purported recording of the conversation but has not denied that it is genuine.
The extraordinary calls were reportedly recorded on New Year’s Eve and Jan. 22 by pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov—AKA Vovan and Lexus—who are said to have twice spoken to Harry, 35, on the landline at his luxury bolthole on Vancouver Island, Canada.
The calls were also widely publicized in Russian media, though audio recordings posted by the pranksters on YouTube and Facebook appeared to have been removed as of Wednesday, although some clips, such as the one below, are still circulating.
In the call, Harry also speaks candidly about how hard it was for him and Meghan, 38, to quit Britain.
He says: “There’s lots of layers to it and lots of pieces to the puzzle.”
“But sometimes the right decision isn’t always the easy one.”
“And this decision certainly wasn’t the easy one but it was the right decision for our family, the right decision to be able to protect my son.”
“And I think there’s a hell of a lot of people around the world that can identify and respect us for putting our family first.”
“But, yeah, it’s a tricky one, but we will start a new life.”
Asked by the prankster playing Greta’s dad, Svante, if normal life was worse than royal life, Harry replies: “Oh no, I think it’s much better,” adding, “You forget, I was in the military for 10 years so I’m more normal than my family would like to believe. But certainly being in a different position now gives us the ability to say things and do things that we might not have been able to do.”
The Sun reports that Harry chuckles as he says: “And seeing as everyone under the age of 35 or 36, seems to be carrying out an activist’s role, that gives us the opportunity to try and make more of a difference without being criticised.”
Asked about the scandal involving his uncle Prince Andrew’s friendship with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Harry says: “I have very little to say on that.
“But whatever he has done or hasn’t done, is completely separate from me and my wife. We operate in a way of inclusivity and we are focusing on community. And so we are completely separate from the majority of my family.”
Asked by the fake “Greta” about the pressure of dealing with the media, he said: “From the moment that I found a wife that was strong enough to be able to stand up for what we believe in together, has basically scared them so much that they’ve now come out incredibly angry, they’ve come out fighting, and all they will try and do now is try and destroy our reputation and try and, you know, sink us.”
“But what they don’t understand is the battle we are fighting against them is far more than just us.”
“So I think one of the, what I’ve always believed, one of the strongest ways to change mindset and be able to raise consciousness and be able to create self-awareness among people, is to challenge the media and say you have a responsibility and you are accountable for everything you are feeding people because you are brainwashing people, so this is far bigger than just us.”
Harry also says: “Unfortunately the world is being led by some very sick people, so people like yourselves and younger generation are the ones that are going to make all the difference.”
He also condemns Donald Trump over his fossil fuel policy, saying, “I think the mere fact that Donald Trump is pushing the coal industry is so big in America, he has blood on his hands.”
“Because the effect that has on the climate and the island nations far, far away, again out of sight out of mind.”
“But we’ve visited those places and I’m sure you have as well. People’s lives have been completely destroyed.”
“People are dying every single month by some form of natural disaster created from this huge change in our climate.”
The Sun’s Executive Editor Dan Wootton said of the tapes: “The Russian pair might have just done the Duke a favour by releasing this call with “Greta”… It provides the most fascinating insight into Harry’s mind during Megxit. And the idea that his wife is somehow pulling the strings behind the scenes is blown out of the water.”