Ailsa Anderson, who was the Queen’s press secretary, said she was ‘surprised’ at Harry’s decision to leave the Royal Family as he was once a ‘media darling’

Prince Harry was once a “media darling” who could not “put a foot wrong” before the royal changed in key ways into the man he is today – leaving a former aide “surprised and saddened”.

Former Royal press secretary Ailsa Anderson, who once served as Queen Elizabeth II’s press officer, claimes the Duke of Sussex has “changed” since she last worked with him. Sharing her surprise at Harry stepping back from Royal duties in an interview with Times Radio, Ms Anderson reminisced on when he used to be a “media darling”.

She said: “The Harry that I knew and I left and obviously that was before he got married so 2013, but he was the media’s darling. I remember at the start he could not put a foot wrong, he was just this war hero, he’d served, he was committed, he had the Invictus Games. “He really couldn’t put a step wrong.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry’s ‘question mark’ over spending time with family as he’s left ‘extremely disappointed’

Prince Harry has changed a lot (
(Image: Getty))

Expressing affection for her time working with Harry at the Palace, she conveyed her grief over how things unfolded when Harry chose to depart the Royal Family.

Ms Anderson confessed: “In private I just found him charming, funny and interesting, so yeah I am surprised and saddened actually. You will remember all three of them together doing stuff like Heads Together for Mental Health and it just felt like a really amazing team. They were very joined up and offering support to each other. So when that doesn’t happen suddenly, it’s what happens in any family not just the royal family, it’s a loss isn’t it? It’s a bereavement.”

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Harry and Meghan, frustrated by Buckingham Palace’s restrictions on their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand and disgruntled with media coverage, stepped away from the Royal family in January 2020.

Since relocating to the States, the couple have embarked on various business ventures, the most recent being Meghan’s lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, according to the Express.

Harry is set to visit the UK next month for a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games. The commemorative event will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on May 8 and is likely to see the 39-year-old duke delivering a speech. As tensions persist within the Royal Family, rumours of a possible reconciliation have begun to surface ahead of Harry’s visit in May.

Royal pundit Richard Palmer asserts that King Charles and his youngest son have endeavours to mend their relationship. However, he cautions that a line in the sand has been drawn about a return to the working activities of ‘The Firm’.

Speaking to The Sun, Mr Palmer said: “But I don’t – you may disagree – I don’t think he’s open to the idea that Harry could be a part-time working royal. I think they draw a line in the sand at Sandringham all those years ago now where he said, ‘you can’t be a part-time working royal, you are either in or out’.”

Mr Palmer also fears Harry has less chance of a reconciliation with his brother, claiming he has a “big job” to reconcile and mend bridges with Prince William – a work in progress that may require a lengthier endeavour.