A former girlfriend of Prince Harry’s, who dated him when he was in his early 20s, has said she is “proud” of him for moving out of the UK and pursuing the life he wanted with his wife, Meghan Markle. US TV personality Catherine Ommanney said the Duke of Sussex “really needed to do that” in order to be “free”. It comes as Netflix is set to release a documentary series focusing on the dispute between Harry and Meghan and the Royal Family.
Catherine told OK magazine: “Meghan and Harry look very happy together and I wish them all the best. I am so proud that Harry had the courage to move to the States and I think he really needed to do that – to finally be free.”
She added: “I have nothing but respect for Meghan, and the fact that Harry is with her shows that he does have more than one type after all – he is clearly not only interested in blondes!”
Catherine Ommanney reportedly met Prince Harry in May 2006 at Art Bar in London, where Harry was wearing an Australian-style hat “that made me laugh,” Ms Ommanney told The Sun.
Intrigued by his outfit, the Real Housewives of D.C. star said she left Harry stunned by asking him: “What are you doing looking like a t*** in that?”
While dating him, Ms Ommanney said she found out Harry had always dreamt of being “normal” and felt suffocated by royal life: “I did feel sorry for Harry and how little freedom he had to be himself. He seemed a little lost and I think that was because he was surrounded by so many hangers-on who didn’t have his best interests at heart.
“I could see there was little upside to his position beyond the obvious privileges and the three bodyguards that shadowed him didn’t seem to allow for much privacy.
“I remember saying to him: ‘I imagine your life must be genuinely hard, being in such a goldfish bowl.’ He replied: ‘It definitely has its moments.'”
Prince Harry reportedly told Ms Ommanney he would love to swap his life with somebody else’s to “lead a normal life”.
READ MORE: Prince Harry speaks with ‘box set American accent’ on Netflix trailer
Prince Harry continued: “The pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution, this feeding frenzy”, he added, as the clip played footage of paparazzi chasing the couple and Princess Diana.
“I realised, they’re never going to protect you,” Meghan said, after one particular clip showed photographers leaning over a balcony to capture pictures of Harry, Meghan, and their baby son Archie, who is being held in his mother’s arms.
In a tweet, Evening Standard royal reporter Robert Jobson slammed the trailer for seemingly using the footage as an example of press intrusion, stating it was taken during an official royal event that a small group of reporters had been asked to attend.
“We were covering an official visit where they had taxpayer-funded protection and all the trappings,” Mr Jobson said in a follow-up tweet. “This is just nonsense. The palace was not part of some ‘set up’. No conspiracy here, just lies, and misuse of photos taken from [official photographs].”