Prince Harry Says Resigning Can Help Mental Health—2 Years After Royal Exit

Prince Harry says resignation can be a positive in jobs that do not "bring them joy"—after he quit his royal duties.

The Duke of Sussex announced he was leaving the job he was born into almost two years ago in January 2020.

Since then he has signed Netflix and Spotify deals, joined ethical bank Ethic and been named chief impact officer by career coaching app BetterUp.

The prince was asked about "burnout and job resignations" in a Q&A with business magazine Fast Company.

Prince Harry said: "I've actually discovered recently, courtesy of a chat with [BetterUp science board member] Adam Grant, that a lot of the job resignations you mention aren't all bad. In fact, it is a sign that with self-awareness comes the need for change.

"Many people around the world have been stuck in jobs that didn't bring them joy, and now they're putting their mental health and happiness first. This is something to be celebrated."

The comment comes after Prince Harry stepped back from his job as a working royal, completing his final public engagements in March 2020.

He told Oprah Winfrey the decision was partly brought on by Meghan's experiences dealing with the British media. Asked whether he left because of racism, Harry replied: "It was a large part of it."

The prince also told his Apple TV documentary The Me You Can't See, released in May, how the couple "tried to make it work."

He said: "It went to a whole new depth with not just traditional media but also social media platforms as well. I felt completely helpless. I thought my family would help but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, got met with total silence or total neglect.

"We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job, but Meghan was struggling."

The decision to quit came five years after Harry officially left the British Army, in 2015, following ten years in which he completed two tours of Afghanistan.

Meghan Markle had been a working royal for two years at the point the couple moved to California, where they bought a $14 million mansion in Montecito in summer 2020.

Explaining his role at BetterUp, Prince Harry told Fast Company: "When I first started with BetterUp, there were [some] key areas I was focused on: driving advocacy and awareness for mental fitness, guiding BetterUp's social mission and impact, influencing the vision of BetterUp's platform, community, and member experience, [and] expanding BetterUp's global community of thought leadership, coaches, customers, and members through outreach and strategic planning.

"The goals and mission of my work have not changed, but on the day-to-day, at BetterUp we've been able to be louder about the mission, reach more people, and generally share with more of the world why doing the work associated with mental fitness is so important, and how helping others reach their peak performance positively impacts the whole world."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Visit Cardiff
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Cardiff Castle, on January 18, 2018. Prince Harry said quitting a job can be good for mental health almost two years after he resigned as a working royal. Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty Images