No one in the Royal Family wants to be king or queen, Prince Harry has told a US magazine, adding that “we will carry out our duties at the right time”.
“Is there any one of the Royal Family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so,” he told Newsweek.
And he said the royals were doing it “for the greater good of the people”.
Prince Harry also spoke about walking in the funeral procession for his mother, Princess Diana, aged 12, saying no child “should be asked to do that”.
In 1997, Harry joined his father, the Prince of Wales, grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, 15-year-old brother, the Duke of Cambridge, and uncle, Earl Spencer, in the procession through the streets of London.
Harry, who recently said he had received counselling to cope with the death of his mother in a car crash in Paris, said: “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.
“I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
By Peter Hunt, BBC royal correspondent
This is an interview that will generate some sympathy – a prince still struggling with the death of his mother – and raise some eyebrows.
Such a reaction will be prompted by Harry’s suggestion that the Windsors aren’t exactly falling over each other to fill what his mother once called “the top job”, when it becomes vacant.
The Queen’s heirs, he implies, will take on a position of enormous privilege because they have to, not because they want to.
And despite the prince’s important caveat that the royals do what they do for the greater good and not for themselves, his words have generated the Daily Mail headline, “Harry: No Royal Wants Throne”.
Prince Harry is on marginally safer ground talking about his mother’s funeral even though his comments do contain an implied criticism of his immediate family. They could have decided in 1997 that he was too young to walk, so publicly, behind Diana’s coffin.
There is one other striking aspect to this lengthy article. It contains no comments, by Harry, about his father.
Prince Harry told the magazine, which says it was given access to the prince for nearly a year, that he was “involved in modernising the British monarchy”.
“It’s a tricky balancing act. We don’t want to dilute the magic. The British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”
Harry praised Princess Diana for playing a part in showing him an ordinary life, saying people would be “amazed” at how ordinary his and Prince William’s lives were.
“I do my own shopping. Sometimes… I worry someone will snap me with their phone. But I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too.
“Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping.”