Prince Harry's decision to move to Canada was born from a need to "protect" his wife and son, his close friend Nacho Figueras has said. Speaking in a clip for ABC special, Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan and The Crown, which was shared on Good Morning America, Nacho revealed that he had spoken to Harry shortly before filming. "I spoke to Harry a few days ago," he confirmed. "He has suffered a lot from all of the things that have happened to him. He wants to live a normal life, as normal as his life is going to be right? Because when you have a thousand paparazzi outside your house in Canada waiting to get a picture of your son that's not very normal."
Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras have been friends for a number of years
The Argentinean polo player also suggested that the fate which befell Harry's mother, Princess Diana, played a role in the Sussexes' decision. "He's protecting his family, he's protecting his wife and his child - he was a son of someone that has suffered the attack from the press firsthand, and it's undeniable, and he doesn't want for that to happen to his family."
Harry, 35, and Nacho, 42, have known each other for a number of years now, and it’s thought he was among the first to meet baby Archie, now eight months. His comments echo those made by another friend of Harry, JJ Chalmers, a former Royal Marine who met the Duke when they served in the military together several years ago. He told the BBC earlier this month: "When you look at the decision that he's made, I think at the forefront of that is to protect his family, because that's the number one rule, is to be a father and to be a husband."
Prince Harry's speech at the Sentebale charity dinner
Earlier this month, the Queen announced Prince Harry and Meghan's decision to step down as senior members of the royal family. The couple - along with their son Archie - will now split their time between the UK and North America as they begin to transition into their new independent life. In one of his final engagements before flying to Canada, Harry told guests at a charity dinner for Sentebale that the UK will always be his home and that he and Meghan had hoped to serve the Queen and country. "The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change," he said. "I have grown up feeling support from so many of you, and I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms as you saw me find the love and happiness that I had hoped for all my life."
He continued: "I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me. Together, you have given me an education about living. And this role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could have ever imagined. We are taking a leap of faith - thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step."