Prince Harry wants you to put down your phone

Prince Harry wants you to put down your phone

On Thursday and Friday, June 6-7, Prince Harry went to Leeds for a few engagements. At one, Harry spoke on mental health and harped on the fact that phones are ruining our lives.

Harry was at the Leeds Community Foundation ‘Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds’ event, charity fair, and panel discussion on Thursday, June 6, where he gave the following speech.

    “I am delighted to be here in Leeds today to join you for this discussion on the importance of mental health amongst young people. We all have mental health – just as we all have physical health. It is so important that we look after our mental wellbeing in the same way that we look after our physical health, but too often people choose to ignore it. On average, it takes someone who is struggling with their mental health about ten years to admit they have a problem. What this means is that, something which may start as a minor issue will spiral downwards over time to become a serious and persistent problem, perhaps even requiring professional help.
    “William, Catherine and I started the Heads Together campaign because we saw through our work that the stigma around mental health – was preventing people from seeking help. Those who had been working in this space for many years told us we could really help by shining a light on the power of conversations and thus help break down the stigma.
    “This year there has been a lot spoken about mental health, not just by the Heads Together campaign but by many other organisations and initiatives focused on mental health. The many voices that we’ve heard from across the country have helped to normalise the discussion about mental health, taking it away from a presumption of mental illness to a broad ranging and, most significantly, positive conversation. Since the London Marathon two months ago, I have spoken to many people who now feel able to reach out to family, friends and colleagues and discuss what they have been feeling. But what has struck me most is the number of people I’ve met, who have direct experience of mental health challenges, either themselves or those close to them. So many of these stories could have been very different if awareness was better and help had been sought sooner.
    “I cannot tell you how pleased William, Catherine and I am that the dial seems to have shifted and that there is now greater understanding, compassion and kindness for anyone who opens up about their struggles. But let’s not kid ourselves that the job is done – there is much much more that we can do at every level to make conversations about mental health as common place as those about physical health. For example, we need to better equip our young people with the tools they need to cope with this increasingly complex and fast moving world we live in.
    “I read recently that young people check their phones at least 150 times per day – I’m sure we could all be more effective and efficient if we took a moment to process our thoughts rather than rushing from one thing to the next. I won’t dwell on this point as I’m sure the panel will have more to say around our mental fitness.
    “I have been so impressed by the commitment of this City and the Leeds Community Foundation in focusing on mental health. You have been leading the way in bringing funding and expertise together in support of local community solutions. I have just met some of the organisations you have supported; they are working across such a broad range of groups from young people coping with the stresses of life and school, women facing domestic abuse, the LGBT community and those caring for loved ones; each group requiring a unique kind of support.
    “It is this kind of dedicated support which not only helps people to tackle their personal challenges but enables them to go on and flourish. If we invest in supporting our young people now, they will be better placed to succeed in all areas of their lives from work to family and in their communities. I want to congratulate you all on what you have achieved so far and encourage you to redouble your efforts – in the years to come it will be well worth the investment.”


I feel like “Put down your phone” is the new “Get off my lawn”, in that it seems like such a curmudgeon thing to say. While I think there is a legitimate, and important, discussion to be had involving the evolution of technology, how we interact with technology, and how we interact with each other given the evolution of technology, I that is a much larger discussion than simply saying ‘stop checking your phone 150 times a day’. Telling people phones are bad or to stop checking phones so much is going to illicit an emotional reaction of agreement (‘I totally agree!’) or disagreement (‘Don’t tell me what to do!’), not an in-depth, intellectual conversation about the social implications of our interaction with technology, which is what this subject actually needs.

Add in the fact that Harry has been public about his hatred of social media and selfies for years – even though he had/has private Facebook and Instagram accounts under a pseudonym – and his stance that young people should put down their phones comes across more as ‘I hate phones and social media because camera phones and social media invade my privacy, therefore phones and social media are bad’ rather than ‘Hey, let’s have a conversation about what technology means for our society’.

Here are a few more photos of Harry in Leeds at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium for the Sky Try Rugby League Festival, visiting a Helping Hands project at the home of Oliver Rooney (who has the rare chromosome disorder Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome), and visiting the Haribo sweet factory.

127 thoughts on “Prince Harry wants you to put down your phone

  1. People said in the past that written words would contribute to memory loss. And later that newspapers/books would lead to social breakdown. And now constant connectivity is bad. The world changes no matter what, and we adapt to it.

    1. Exactly! Phones are here to stay! People checking their phones to gain information on anything, at their fingertips, is here to stay. People using phones to create and maintain their social connections is here to stay! We need to adapt as a society and create some
      Guidelines that can create a peaceful
      Co-existence with the old and the new.

  2. He is right. As Paracelsus said “The dose makes the poison”. Smartphones are useful gadgets. But a lot of people are literally glued to it and don’t pay attention to the rest of the World. Last month a teenager in our town died in a collision with a tram. She was crossing the street while she was completely focused on the screen of her smartphone. Tragic! But stuff like this happens so many times in so many places. People, focus on what matters!

  3. I find it a bit hypocrite for him to harpon the smartphone and social medial when he has both of them. It is not that complicated to find his instagram/soundcloud account, if you’re looking for it.

    I do agree with you KMR, we need a discussion about how technology and social media affects our lives. I, for once, am happy about the applications out there, that help me doing my studies/volunteering easier.

    But I know some people who are indeed addicted to their smartphone and forget to take in their surroundings. Clues in, many outings with friends who spent much of our time on their phone instead of talking. It’s my pet sleeve.

  4. I’m still not clear what Harry means when he talks about “our work”. As we all now know, HT was never intended as ongoing by the trio, so apart from sporadic visits for 30 – 60 minutes where ‘starting a conversation’ was the key/only point, I’m not sure what work the trio did/does beyond endless ‘listening’. It seemed to be a vehicle for the benefit off the trio to look busy and increase their profiles (and CC numbers).

    Instead of bleating about phone use, how about addressing entrenched social inequality in the UK – a system from which lucky old Harry benefits – being a cause of people’s poor physical and mental health? How about inability to access NHS services because of huge government cuts? How about charities being inundated with requests for assistance but unable to meet the increased demand because of limited funds? And how much did the Royal Foundation donate to HT charities for this work to continue?

    1. Maybe Harry should rethink his stance on phones – if people aren’t distracted by blue light, they might start asking the pertinent questions you just asked. 😉

  5. Honestly? I don’t think mental health in the UK is now solved. Some good things are happening, but they are linked to charities, individuals and politicians with a lot more knowledge and follow-through than Heads Together. However, efforts are being hampered by a real lack of funding.

    I feel that every time KMR does one of her informed, interesting and fair posts on Heads Together, I end up saying the same thing, so here I go again. De-stigmatising mental health is good, but must be one element in a much larger enterprise. Heads Together (or at least the royals) seem to focus on lower level mental health issues, by which i mean ones that benefit from talking therapies, rather than conditions requiring medication, hospital stays and other significant treatment. Has Heads Together moved the conversation on around schizophrenia? Or those who are bi-polar? I’d say a big no to that.

    And finally, in defence on smart phones, I have a few apps on mine which are really good in supporting mindfulness when I’m feeling really low. Also, wasn’t the Heads Together London Marathon money going on digital resources anyway? I’m guessing Harry will ensure that they can’t be used on evil smart phones!

  6. What Harry could have done was emphasize how we can all try and connect instead of using our phones as crutches in social situations. What he did instead was throw out a clumsy statement followed by the cop out of “but these guys on the panel will say more about it, yeah?” in order to get out of elaborating on said clumsy statement. He would have been best not saying anything about it as it didn’t gel with the rest of the speech.

    1. You said it much better than I could have, Quinn! While I agree, we have gotten to attached to our phones (whenever I go out to eat with someone, I always make a point to put my phone away so as to enjoy the company and conversation) but, on the flip side, I can be just as clingy to my own phone though to be fair, I’m not always goofing off with it. I’m the ADMIN for two groups on Facebook that are related to lung transplantation and I’m either adding people, checking the posts (to make sure they’re appropriate) or commenting on/adding to a post! On top of that, I’ve got two pages that I manage and am (slowly) getting off the ground.

      Sometimes, people can be rude about their phones but that’s not always the situation.

      Like you said, Quinn, Harry could’ve phrased this better.

    2. Who made the most money with the selfishness of many people?
      Nobody asked why these services are cost-free when everything today costs money. It was not invented for our own entertainment.

        1. There’s a reason mark zuckerburg tapes over his computer camera?Which is also ironic considering that fb has a patent that essentially uses peeps camera to spy on them er I mean, analyze your emotions as you read.

          1. Privacy will be the most sought-after commodity this century. People already pay big bucks to have their digital histories erased. It will become subversive to go analogue so that corporations and insignificant others have only the access you choose them to have, in the form of your choice.

  7. Usually I find his solo speeches to be quite good, this one seemed rather thrown together and clumsy. Thankfully, the pictures show him being very engaged so I’ll just shrug this one off as forgettable speech. I will say, however, that phone addiction may not be a cause of mental health issues such as depression but may be a symptom of it. If someone is down and lonely and feels unconnected to others and the world, that may be an attempt to connect to something. So the idea that checking a phone all the time is a way to keep the mind busy and not truly process anything may actually be a way to distract oneself from personal pain. So Harry sounding so dismissive is not a great conversation for mental health.

  8. Am I the only one who finds it annoying when he says “William, Catherine, and I” as if they were glued together?

    1. It’s dumb. The lazy duo should be speaking for themselves. Does Prince Andrew reference Anne or Charles in his speeches? Doubtful.

    2. No, you are not alone. It’s an attempt to keep W+K appearing to be active when they invisible. It cements the three of them together, not good for Harry’s ‘brand’.

    3. It is so annoying.

      I think it’s because the three of them are hoping that people will start seeing them as one unit. That way they can combine all their yearly appearances to make a number coming close to what they should be doing?

      1. I really wish they won’t do that b/c I still see Harry was the 3rd wheel. I hope they don’t ‘merge’ their numbers so has to make them look better and closer to HM, PP, Charles, Anne, etc…..

        I’m going to (finally!) be seeing Wonder Woman tomorrow. Without spoiling it, who here as seen it and what did you think of it?

          1. Hey! Just saw it and I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!! It started out slow but the fight scenes–wow!! Also, I love that the bad guy wasn’t who you expected. Finally, I love the strength and belief that helped her to fight back in the end!!!!!!! It reminded me of Harry Potter so much in that regard!!!

    4. That has been driving me crazy, too, for quite a while.

      Another related thing that drives me up the wall, too, is that often when giving speeches, Kate and Harry will say, “As William said” blah blah blah. I know part of that is because that William is often the first to speak when they give joint speeches, but still I find it terribly annoying. It seems as though Jason/KP makes sure that every thought, every point, every insight must somehow be connected to William. No one dares to let Kate or Harry be credited with anything that isn’t linked to William in some way.

  9. So Harry keeps saying he hates social media, selfies, and phones yet his girlfriend was a blogger with millions of followers on social media where she frequently would take selfies on her phone.

    Is it really a good idea for him to keep talking about this therefore allowing the possibility for this comparison to be discussed in the media? Sometimes he doesn’t think things all the way through.

    1. I don’t get your point @cookie, one had nothing to do with with the other… I take tons of selfies, my boyfriend refuses, he thinks it’s the worst thing on earth and could go on and on about his hatred of it, and oh don’t even get him started on the selfie stick…But hey his aloud to have is strong opinion and I will continue to take selfies with or without him…. sooo

      1. My point is exactly what I said. The media will inevitably write articles now making a connection between Harry’s condemnation of social media and phones etc with Meghan’s career and her use of social media.

        I am not saying I agree with what the media may say. Hatry can hate something that Meghan loves. A boyfriend and girlfriend can have different interests. That isn’t my point.

        What I am saying is that Harry could potentially open a can of worms by talking about how he hates social media when Meghan is clearly the opposite. The media are going to jump all over that.

        My point, in essence, is Harry is not PR or media savvy. He still doesn’t think ahead to what the media predictably may write about. Each time the royals speak, the media responds. It would be prudent for Harry to think about how his words will be received and commented on in the media.

        Just like his most recent interviews, Harry just doesn’t have a filter and says whatever he feels like. Kind of like his mom. He needs to learn that for every action there is a reaction. That’s all.

        Every time Harry speaks I find myself smacking my forehead and thinking “ugh, how will the media jump all over that quote”. He just doesn’t think about that.

    2. Not the technology itself or selfies or blogging or whatever people (can) do with their smartphones was the point he made. He simply stated that he read/heard that kids are checking their phones constantly up to 150 times a day and that that is way too often and too much and that they should spend a little more time with the people around them intstead with their phones. It’s simply a reminder, a good advice. Nothing more or less. It wasn’t a rant about modern days technology or that all social media should be banned.

      1. I think he has a simple and important message. Just consider if perhaps you are overly dependent on “the screen”. I’m just surprised no one thought to make it a campaign called “Heads Up!” It’s actually a valuable public service announcement.

      2. I would hope that he follows it up with more specifics. For example, that x activities are great ways that the smartphone keeps us connected (sharing family info on facebook) but that x activities distance us from one another (prioritizing smartphone friends to dinner companions) and that relying on opinions from the phone to determine your own self-worth can be incredibly damaging (why internet bullying is a thing).

        This just makes him sound like a middle-aged grouch.

    3. @cookie I don’t think that’s the point Harry was making in his speech. What I believe he was saying is that phones should not be a complete substitute for having normal human interactions, but he wasn’t advocating getting rid of it all together. There are some people that don’t have a social life at all & technology has replaced hanging out with friends. Perhaps his speech could have been worded better.

      Also many people have social media & some use it for business purposes. In Meghan’s case as an actress she uses it as a promotional tool. Additonally many actors also have it stipulated in their contract that they need to have a social media presence. In fact having a large social media network can lead to an actor to negotiate better contracts.

      1. Harry gave a speech once with a crowd of teenagers where he said “I hate Twitter” and that was also what I was thinking about when I wrote my original comment. This speech may have been just about phones, but on other occasions he has spoken about hating social media in general.

        I am not passing judgement on the fact that Meghan had a lifestyle blog and used IG and Twitter everyday.

        What I am saying is that every time Harry makes comments about phones, selfies, social media, etc it almost feels like he is publically criticizing something Meghan loves. I don’t think he is considering that when he makes these comments.

  10. I think he always seems positive and engaged with people when on visits, which is good. Interesting about the phone – I was reading that he and Meghan facetime each other twice a day! A long distance relationship facilitated by technology!

  11. I guess Harry doesn’t realize that most people have full time jobs and can’t use their phone while working, but he wouldn’t understand the concept of full time work and thinks we have time to check our phones 24/7.

    Whoever wrote this was dumb and out of touch. He’s had better speeches.

    1. Many people do constantly check their cell phones while on the job. Many HR people complain about it constantly.

      1. HR can stop that if they want to. I have worked at an office where they enforced a no cell phone rule except on break and one where they did not. The office that did not control it was a mess and most staff didn’t do the work they were supposed to.

        But people who work construction sites are not on their phones all day, neither are most service related jobs. Harry is speaking from a place of privilege and joblessness.

        1. Welcome to a world where HR tries to stop things, but often cannot. What are they expected to do, ask people to turn in their phones when they enter the office every day. It is a problem, just as checking emails used to be, and may be in some instances.

          All I was getting at was that if he expressed himself better, he mght make some people stop and think. I am sure we all know others who are checking their phones constantly. Even ignoring the people they are diniing with, just to look at their stupid phones I am a fan of cell phones at times, but when they take over people’s lives, I draw the line. I get sick of my generation constantly defending rudeness and lack of the ability to think about anything when they have a spare moment. No, they must be on their phones. Always!

          1. There are certainly people who use their phones too much and act rude, but this isn’t really something that falls under the mental health mantle and Harry doesn’t have any moral authority in telling people to stop checking their phones.

            He’s living a grand life off taxpayers so telling them to stop using their phone, which may be the one luxury some people have, is a bit much. It’s not like he understands what a full time job means or how much it takes of your time.

          2. Wehn your major source of interacting with people is on the phone, when you isolate yourself so much from interaction (in person, interaction), I do believe that it is a sign of not being able to have socialization with others. And, that is a problem. Mental healthwise, for sure. Running off to the beach, so this is hurried. Have a good day, all.

        2. HR/IT can stop what employees see on their desk computers (since the company paid for the hardware, software, and broadband) but not their phones. Several companies I worked for denied access to Facebook and Fox Sports. So the people who couldn’t handle that constantly checked their phones. Sad, really.

          My husband works in IT, and one if his dutieswas to monitor internet usage and report violations to HR. He usually gave people a warning if he saw something bad. I’m still surprised people think they can get away with watching porn at work.

          1. My husband has loooots of stories, working in IT… People do watch stuff like that at work on their phones or on work computers… Ew.

    2. I know plenty of people who are pretty much addicted to their phones. So I get what Harry was saying, except it feels it had no place in the poorly written speech (all these HT speeches are garbage).

      1. It’s a random addition to a hackneyed speech. It also acts as a distraction from Harry’s latest faux pas.

        1. Yes. Plus, the trouble with Harry and the rest of the triplets is that all their vague speeches and ideas are not even half-baked. The carelessness and indifference with which they toss out meaningless buzzwords shows them all for who they really are. Then stick Harry with a bunch of kids to rehabilitate his ever decaying image, *again*. Such emptiness. You would have to love material luxury beyond anything human to be attracted to the likes of them.

          1. And love the status associated with being royal adjacent. Sadly, people are conditioned to forelock tug rather than critically assess the royal raison d’etre. I doubt the triplets even bother to think about what they are uttering; they really are supercilious. I’d be interested to know what the HT charities think about them behind closed doors.

  12. Same old speech, new audience. Oh, and a new comment concerning cell phones, which if thought out more clearly and expressed better would have caused people to think, I believe.

    How many times are we going to hear that we have physical health and mental health? How many times must we hear “William, Catherine and I…”???? People may be talking more about what is concerning to them to friends/family, but how many are really seeking professional help when they need it?

    Harry did look very engaged in the photos, so score some points for him, but it’s just a rehash of all the other Heads Together stuff!

    1. Where the hell are Will and Kate lately anyway? Harry shouldn’t be including them in speeches when they aren’t physically present. It’s weird and the other Royal siblings don’t seem to do that.

        1. According to a DM article i posted at MMR, they FaceTime twice a day. More “close sources” spilling the beans. But honestly, that seems more believable than most stuff these supposed sources have to say.

  13. The phone comment was so out of left field and just sounds random and really had nothing to do with the rest of the speech.
    They really need better speech writers.
    Do I think we as a society are too plugged in? Yep but I don’t think his statement fits, instead of lambasting people for using their phone, he should point out apps or whatnot that could help people. Something along the lines, I saw where people are on their phones 150x a day- did you know that ——- (fill in the blank) has an app if you think you need it. That type of thing

    1. I agree. He talks about a problem (overuse of cell phones) but doesn’t really suggest a solution. So after reading the speech I just think to myself “Ok, yes. I agree. People use their phones too much. So what are we gonna do about it?”

      1. What are we going to do about it? I mean using phone a lot is a personal choice… no one can “do” anything about how much people use their phones (unless you are a minor). But sometimes stating a fact, like how many times people, use their phones or how much TV people watches, can make people more aware. For example when I learned about how much time people spent watching TV and being sedentary, made me super aware of the amount of time I spent on TV, and started to curtail it and to lead a more active lifestyle.

        1. Agree. I don’t watch telly but I am guilty of too much online use (sites like this)! We’re trying to correct that though. Whenever I see my husband on his phone I take a picture of him and email it to him with the ‘GET OFF YER PHONE’ message attached. He usually apologises and tries to look interactive for a few minutes. The fact that I’ve taken the picture and emailed it using my phone hasn’t occurred to him yet… 😀

  14. My dear Harry sounds like a high handed curmudgeon regarding phones. There’s a time ane place for everything. I wish Harry forges his role outside of the Cambridge sandwich. And bring new stats about mental health. Imho, it’s starting to feel like a script and not authentic anymore.

    Thanks for the post, KMR!

    1. I agree Rhiannon. You need to get in touch quickly he’s not doing himself any favours at the moment. The “William, Catherine and I ” makes me cringe.

    2. Doubt he’ll ever be allowed to, considering he’s the one who’s been doing more engagements regarding Kate’s supposed brainchild of HT, and how William’s taken advantage of Harry’s Invictus Games and his popularity to make himself look better… (I know people who think all that work is actually William’s, and not Harry’s. William is the dutiful, serious, charitably kind brother who works with veterans and blah-blah-blah.)

      A part of it too is they sold them as a double act then William surprised everyone with his engagement (even his own brother), so they shoehorned Kate in there. Now Harry’s the third wheel but they rely on him.

      1. This is why I hope it works out with Meghan so he can cut them off asap. They use him and his popularity and remain lazy and useless.

        1. Unfortunately this is what I imagine happening: Meghan would be absorbed into the Foundation like the Borg. She and Harry would be mouthpieces/parrots (both perfect for PR), all the while glorifying and sanctifying the other two gilded slackers just as Harry does currently. Meanwhile the other more royal gilded slackers will be on vacay/holitour/ slaughtering something. I doubt Harry will ever break away. More than a wife, he needs a real job.

          1. I love the vision of the Royal Foundation as the Borg. Are they the Borg offshoot that abandoned the search for perfection and settled for expensive clothes instead?

  15. Totally agree with everyone else so far: this was a stinky speech.

    So Harry blesses the Leeds Community Foundation Charity Fair with his royal presence and gives what is–for the royal trio anyway–a decent-length opening speech, but the majority of his talk is about Heads Together! Not just mental health in general, but HT itself. Even the Leeds Community Foundation website had to rework his speech to create quotes to make it seem as though Harry had more to say about their work specifically than he really did. Can these royals not just give credit and praise to another organization without promoting their own selves?

    1. The BRF charitable endeavours are vehicles for them to remain visible and appear relevant; it’s a relatively new initiative ie early 20th century. Hence, Harry’s emphasis on HT with the self-congratulatory implication that he, William and Kate have been part of the ‘dial turn’. So the answer is no, they cannot recognise others without self-promotion. Self-interest rules, literally.

      1. He is embarrassing himself with this palaver that suddenly mental health has turned on a dime (show me the stats) the moment they graced it with their fragrant, magical presence and buzzwords and endless confessionals. That’s just plain stupid.

        1. What is even more interesting is that none of the royals mentioned the deep cuts to mental health services by the NHS. You would think this would merit a line in a speech…nope. It feels like they hijacked the conversation about mental health, dumbed it down, and called it a success. There are real world problems facing people trying to deal with mental health issues, including finding good therapists. But talking about that also requires discussing problems with no easy solution.

          1. A big real world problem is poverty. Harry’s pretty pink plaster/bandaid looks rather inadequate pressed against a festering wound of dire straits and hopelessness.

  16. The phone comment doesn’t come across well because it isn’t connected to the rest of the speech very well. Phones are important. For some of us away from home, they give us instant connectivity to family and friends and lessen the loneliness.

    BUT discussion on the fact that you can put your phone down needs to take place. For so many people, it has gone from a communication device to a distraction device. Child crying..give them a phone, bored…use your phone. We can neglect forming proper relationships with people around us because of phones. For teens who are bullied online as well, the fact that they can and should shut off the social media platforms, block bullies etc. should be promoted.

    So I agree to a point with his statement, but I don’t think this speech was the place to speak up about this.

  17. For the most part, I found this speech forgettable and unobjectionable, Harry joined a growing chorus concerned with the ubiquity and dependence on social media, and offered generic platitudes about mental health. I didn’t think he added much to the conversation, but that’s fine, he isn’t an expert, which he very clearly states. There is one sentence in this speech, however, that made me really cringe:

    “On average, it takes someone who is struggling with their mental health about ten years to admit they have a problem. What this means is that, something which may start as a minor issue will spiral downwards over time to become a serious and persistent problem, perhaps even requiring professional help.”

    Maybe I’m over-sensitive, but that last bit about “perhaps even requiring professional help” felt like stigmatization. I would have loved for him to have taken that truly awful statistic and spun it differently…talked about how awful it is that current stigmatization over seeking help for mental health issues forces people struggling to avoid professionals who may be able to lighten their load, until they reach crisis situations. Maybe compare it to someone who won’t see a doctor for a lingering flu until it becomes pneumonia. Instead, his phrasing fed into the idea that seeking professional help for mental health issues is something that should be avoided.

    This may be personal prejudice, but the message of Heads Together, at least as it’s being portrayed by the Royal Three, that talking to family and friends is enough seems so dangerous to me. I’ve gone through several bouts of depression, family and friends could be supportive, but I needed therapists to help actually speed up my recovery.

    1. “To admit they have a problem”. Shoot me now. Bunch everyone in with addicts and alcoholics, substance abusers. A very poor choice of words. Indeed, he just stigmatised it further. Oh, I’m getting so mad. That hapless trio is such a detriment to such a delicate subject. For this, I hate them.

      1. For two brothers who are clearly carrying baggage from at least twenty ago and are determined to act out their anger in public, they might be better to attend to their own mental health issues before giving advice to the peasants.

        1. Not only the brothers, but Kate is also one of the least well adjusted 35 year old women out there. She has no concept of a job or how raising kids without multiple nannies happens. She fidgets and has mannerisms when she has to deal with people in public. And her spending is outrageous while buying so many outfits that look like things she has already, which is very reminiscent to what people with OCD do.

          Will and Kate in particular and Harry to a lesser degree are some of the most maladjusted adults out there and yet they spout platitudes on an issue which they clearly have no idea about because they haven’t fixed themselves yet or even acknowledged that they aren’t functioning adults themselves. (Harry has admitted getting help, which may explain why he is not as problematic as the other two).

          1. The triplets are still coy about their own issues, presumably because their upbringing reinforces their superiority to the mob. I see Kate as an empty vessel, shopping because she doesn’t want anything else to occupy her mind except her own interests. Every time I look at Harry and William I automatically see a vision of them were they not ‘royal’: two unemployed man-children mooching around, at best – on a good day – doing a low-skilled, low-paid job. None of the triplets are bright enough or accomplished enough to be taken seriously.

      2. “Shoot me now. Bunch everyone in with addicts and alcoholics, substance abusers. A very poor choice of words. Indeed, he just stigmatised it further. Oh, I’m getting so mad. ”

        …. that in itself is a terrible stigmatization of those struggling with addiction. Come on, Maven.

        See how easy it is to make mistakes with our words and hold biased attitudes?

  18. Hmmmm, I am not sure how I feel about this. On one hand he is 100% correct that phones are ruining people’s lives as far as they are too wrapped up in social media and not living their own lives to the fullest. I know some people that would rather sit on their phones all day and look at others profiles on FB and IG and it just makes me sick. It’s unhealthy and I really think it makes them depressed constantly comparing their lives to others. I don’t like the “fakeness” on social media myself, that a lot of people portray perfect lives and only post their most overly edited photos, etc. I am different in the sense that I use my phone as a resource, a tool and for an escape.

    On the other hand, I feel it is rather easy for someone like him to say. He has luxury travel at his disposal, a schedule full of meaningful things to do because of his title and family and lets not forget about the pile of cash at his disposal. It’s really easy for people like him to put the phone down and get “in touch” with the things they love most. Nobodies phone is glued to their hand unless they want it to be but he has a totally different outlook on life than most people who don’t have the time, money or resources to even do things with their families that they really would like to do. A phone is a great escape for the rest of us that can’t just turn off the phone for work reasons, kids, etc. It’s not that easy. Everything has an app now pretty much and some people are so busy the best way to communicate is by texting. It is just the way life is now. I wish I had the luxury of burying my phone whenever I wanted but I just can’t in my life right now. If I had the money he did I’d turn my damn phone off too!

    With all that being said, Meghan was on social media constantly before she met Harry and during the first few months of them dating, now she has backed off. I bet it’s all because of Harry. I wonder if her constantly posting online bothered him. It probably killed her to stop posting on IG as much and shutting down her blog. People like that literally never stop posting unless they get into a relationship. Which brings up many questions in my mind….

    1. Also, Harry doesn’t have a proper job. I have to have my phone on me at all times and I have to check my phone regularly because of work. But Harry doesn’t understand that because he has never had a job that required that much of his time and attention. He can afford to not check his phone for days on end, not everyone can.

      I agree about the Meghan thing. She used to post on IG every single day but now she doesn’t at all. Part of that could be due to the fact that the media was paying such close attention to her posts, and the disgusting comments she was getting for a while. But part of it could most definitely be Harry. I mean, when he’s saying he hates social media and selfies and that people should put their phones away, he’s literally criticizing who Meghan was before the relationship went public.

        1. KMR was not criticizing Meghan for using social media and neither did anyone else on this thread. She is pointing out that when Harry “says he hates social media” he is “literally criticizing who Meghan was before the relationship went public”.

          1. Oh no @cookie, my intention was to add on KMR comment in regards to some having to use their phones as part of their job. I did not think she was being critical of Meghan social media usage… anyway I guess it got lost in the translation…

          2. Oh ok. I understand now Sunfuntravel. I interpreted the word “job” being all caps as if you were being sarcastic or maybe calling KMR out. When I read all caps I think a person is upset.

            I agree that it was/is a part of Meghan’s job to promote herself on social media. In addition, she had a personal lifestyle blog where she would reveal a lot about herself and actively interacted with millions of people online. She made money that way and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  19. There is a tone in the various remedies proposed by the royals across the board that emphasizes individual choice of people, and suggests that if everyone just talked to each other they would be fine, or that they can just “get off” social media. As if we all have the kind of control over our lives.

    The enormous social pressures on people through no fault of their own have a huge impact. When people live in violent situations, and worry desperately about paying the bills, or accessing health care or the safety of their children and feel that there is nothing they can do about this they become depressed. Under austerity, there are huge numbers of people in this situation. The UK mental health situation cannot be seriously addressed without dealing with deepening economic inequality and fortifying the NHS, among other things. Yet HT does not seem to touch on any of that.

    Many people use social media as a way to relieve their anxieties, to check out. Also, many people who work in the gig economy are waiting for jobs, and others are required by their jobs to stay on top of certain things minute to minute. But there is no acknowledgement by the trio of any of this.

  20. I think Harry missed an opportunity to address a very real issue here. I’ve seen tech addiction in my own son and it’s ugly. His father is no help with that because their household is literally home to video games in the process of being made. It’s not just phones, and this could’ve been expounded upon to be a really good discussion about handling tech addiction and its effects on the brain. But no, let’s skim over a good topic and repeat useless platitudes. Who writes this junk?

    1. I agree with you. I also wish Harry had managed to express a valid concern regarding the tech addiction. It is a very real problem that deserves thoughtful discussions. Reducing it to a curmudgeonly statement that kids should get off their phones does no one any good.

      And good luck to you and your son. I’m sure it is incredibly frustrating and difficult to watch him struggle.

      1. Thank you. It is definitely difficult in this age of constant connectivity. His attitude is horrid if he’s had screen time. If we try to make him put it down he gets angry amd belligerant. It’s so sad and there’s only so much I can do on my end. He lives in Houston with his dad because schools in Washington were terrible and he was having issues staying engaged. His school in Houston really challenges him and he made honor roll all year. I used to think that that was best but I’m second guessing myself now that we’re in Florida. He’s been here for 8 days and I’ve about had it. He’s being ugly to his autistic sister and thinks he’s gonna lie around on the sofa with his tablet. I shove him out the door to play every chance I get. It’s not easy to admit that, even though you love your child more than life itself, you don’t like them a whole lot.

        1. Oh Meghan I am so sorry. It is so very hard being a parent these days. One of my sons was addicted to COD ( call of duty on the PlayStation) . Even the dog hated all the shooting. He has grown out of it fortunately but it was a horrible time. I think our children’s lives are so very different from ours, but I am lucky that all my boys love sport, love being fit and strong and love watching sport too. But they all check their phones every few seconds and my oldest son has a work and personal phone…. double trouble.

    1. Yeah, that’s not a selfie.

      I also am peeved by how they go on and on about this pretty blonde. Yeah, she’s the girlfriend of a friend of his. Way to portray Harry as the cheater (and William who HAS cheated as the paragon of the family man)…

  21. The photos of Harry in Leeds show him to be smiling and engaging with everyone so I took that to show that the trip was a success.

    That speech, yuck, was horrible. Horribly written, not very well thought out, but it would make a good addition to a paper recycling bin? I do give Harry some side eye for reading it out, or maybe not using the great speech writer he has used before.

    As for his comment about putting down your phone? Ok, I know I use my phone way too much, for checking up on the news, reading KMR (*cough cough*), looking up random stuff online. I do need it for my business though and so will keep it with me for that, but I’m working hard on not going on Google so much. I do think that younger generations are too attached to their phones, go to any mall and you see heads down, lots of heads down as they are all looking at a screen. I said to one kid I know the other day to look up and see the amazing sunset. He told me that if he wanted to see a great sunshine then he could go online… go figure?

    1. During the Vancouver Olympics there was a zipline downtown. The lines were gigantic, took forever. I watched one young woman riding it, camera arm raised, taking a video selfie all the way. Gob. Smacked. She didn’t look around once.

    1. HM lets Andrew and Fergie do anything they want, considering HM really liked Fergie (and really liked Diana too).

      HM’s stupidity as always.

      1. This looks bad on everyone. That if you’re wealthy enough famous enough you too can have your party at BP? Throw in a real princess for the right optics too! Why would Eugenie be there? It just feeds the they’re just as bad as their parents stories. If they’re friends with the Beckham’s then have the party at your private residence not one owned by the people
        Even George doesn’t have his parties there!
        I hope there is outrage over this but I’m sure like everything else, it won’t matter

        1. I am outraged. Disgusted. Appalled. Angry . This is just disgusting, Fergie has no right to be offering tea parties at BP. Aaaagh I’m so angry. Beckham is not doing himself many favours after the scandal about moaning that he is not a Sir.

    2. It depends where did the money go towards BP or something else? People have had private events at BP as long as they could afford it nothing exactly new?

        1. Hmm the common factor in both these stories is that Andrew is involved?
          It’s one thing to rent the palace either for charities or advancement of British businesses and something different for a child of millionaire soccer player to have her bday party there.
          And they didn’t say they rented it just that it was “organized by duchess of York” so you know it was on the shady side for that reason alone.

          1. Others may be against this, but I would assume if the rf was smart they would have charged something *shrugs other that negative or positive BP does get some publicity especially since its close to tour season

    3. If they are going to rent out BP for princess parties then it needs to be done for everyone and not just celebrities. This was completely stupid for them to allow. There is no mention of charity either, which would be the only acceptable reason for this to happen.

  22. I wish this bashing of his phone comment would stop. This whole discussion is a perfect example how the misinterpretation or misconception of one single phrase develops into cyberbullying within a second.

    1. Harry’s super, duper bad now, perhaps worse than William, though, so you have to get with the program and hate him too!

      The level of vitriol shown to everyone and I mean even W&K who I don’t even like can get pretty insane. :/

      1. I don’t hate Harry, I just think he says some stupid stuff. But whatever crap he’s gotten from his interviews and speeches is nothing to the level of hatred and negativity that William and especially Kate has received. And Princess Sofia, too. I’m not excusing me poking a little fun at Harry’s poor wording, but nothing Harry has received compares to what Kate and Sofia have received and still receive from people on here. It sucks, and none of it is fun.

        1. Honestly, I’m dreading the start of W&Ks Poland/Germany tour because of what has already been said about their choice to bring their kids with them.

        2. Exactly. There is too much hate, negativity, pessimism and unnecessary nit picking going on. I’m guilty of that myself. But I’m done with it. Just can’t stand it anymore. All that gossip, the comments, the nit picking…feels so exhausting. I need a reload. Enjoy and have fun! I’m outta here #putdownyourphone #nobadenergy

          1. I don’t blame you. You won’t see this, but thanks for letting me know that I went too far with my joke about Harry’s speech. I will remember that for next time.

        3. Oh, I agree, he says dumb stuff. A lot. It’s unfortunate. I’ve noticed the level of anger/vitriol/etc has become kind of unbearable around here, it stinks since I do love the discussions and snark, but when it’s all basically bashing everyone–which I am trying not to do so much (even on people like Sofia for example)…

          Constructive or interesting discussions go by the wayside a lot. Is it because there’s just no substance to the royal threesome? Probably?

          It must be more exhausting for you to be honest!

  23. I am completely taken aback by the negativity in this thread regarding a pretty sensible and insightful speech given by Harry. This thread has really just proven the points he made.

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