Prince Harry has revealed he stepped back from his royal duties because the British press was “toxic” and was “destroying” his mental health.
The royal gave a candid interview to British talk show host James Corden’s The Late Late Show – with the pair touring Los Angeles on an open air bus with afternoon tea.
Harry opened up about why he withdrew from Royal duties, insisting “I did not walk away”, but had to leave due to the British press affecting his mental health.
He said it was a “really difficult environment, as I think a lot of people saw”.
“We all know what the British press can be like. And it was destroying my mental health. I was like… ‘this is toxic’.”
He added: “So I did what any husband and father would do – I need to get my family out of here.
“But we never walked away – and as far as I’m concerned, what decisions are made on that side – I will never walk away.
“I will always be contributing – my life is public service – so wherever I am in the world it is going to be the same thing.
He said that he and Meghan are “trying to bring some compassion and try to make people happy and change the world in any small way we can”.
In a wide-ranging interview he also revealed:
- The Queen bought Archie a waffle-maker for Christmas
- He knew wife Meghan was “the one” on second date
- He has seen little of LA because of lockdown
- He prefers The Crown’s portrayal of his family’s history because it “does not pretend to be news”
- He would like to be played in the series by Damian Lewis
On how he feels about the Netflix hit series The Crown, which is based on his family, he said: “They don’t pretend to be news – it’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth.
“Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle – the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else – what can come from that.”
He continued: “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself.
“Because it’s the difference between fiction – take it how you will – but this [news reports] is being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”
When Corden asked Harry who he would like to see play him on the show, he revealed without hesitation: “Damian Lewis”.
The red-headed actor, 50, is best known for his roles in Band of Brothers and Homeland.
Harry also opened up about wife Meghan and how he knew she was the one on their second date.
“It wasn’t so much where we went but the fact we hit it off with each other, and we were just so comfortable in each other’s company,” he said.
“Dating me or any member of the Royal Family is kind of flipped upside down. All the dates become dinners or watching the TV or chatting at home.”
He said the pair got to spend “an enormous time” getting to know each other without other distractions, saying it was “an amazing thing”.
“We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”
Former Suits actress Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, made a cameo in the interview via FaceTime when Harry and Corden paid a trip to the house from 90s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
When Corden suggested the couple should buy the house, Meghan said: “I think we’ve done enough moving”.
During the visit to the house, Corden and Harry spoke to the owner and jokingly made an offer to buy it, before Harry asked if he could use the toilet.
“I’m actually dying for a pee. Can I use your bathroom?,” he said, before heading for a toilet break.
Later on, Harry made the surprise remark that his grandmother the Queen bought his son Archie a waffle-maker for Christmas.
“My grandmother asked us what Archie wanted for Christmas, and Meg said a waffle-maker. So she sent a waffle-maker for Archie!”
He revealed Meghan now makes waffles with a “beautiful organic mix” and they eat them for breakfast with toppings including berries and syrup.
He also said both his grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip, know how to use Zoom, joking that his grandfather shuts the laptop physically when he finishes one of their calls instead of clicking off it.
Harry appeared to be enjoying fatherhood, saying his son Archie, aged one and a half year, is “hysterical”.
“He has the most amazing personality and is already putting three or four words together, he’s already singing songs,” he said.
The royal also revealed Archie’s first word was “crocodile”.
Pre-Christmas air travel surpassed 1 million daily passengers nationwide for three consecutive days this weekend — breaking the record for most weekend travelers of the pandemic and outpacing Thanksgiving numbers that assumed that title and worried health experts last month. The 3.2 million passengers screened Friday, Saturday and Sunday mark the only time during the pandemic that over 1 million air travelers were seen three days in a row.
The influx in air travel undercuts health officials’ guidance for Americans to stay home this holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance earlier this month that discouraged travel and urged those who need to travel to acquire coronavirus tests before and after their journey.
The next two contenders for busiest travel weekends were those before and after Thanksgiving, Transportation Security Administration spokesperson Daniel Velez said in an email. Pre-Thanksgiving weekend saw 3,052,139 travelers, with the following weekend logging 2,961,120.
On Saturday, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein noted the upswing in passenger volume on Twitter and shared images of TSA agents sanitizing security checkpoints, which have new touchless procedures and glass barriers between travelers and staff.
Farbstein also reminded passengers that they are permitted to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through security — more than the standard three-ounce limit that applies to other liquids — during the pandemic.
“Until further notice, passengers may bring one container of hand sanitizer up to 12oz in carry-on bags,” the TSA said in a tweet. “Expect containers to be screened separately, which may add time to the checkpoint screening experience.”
While the amount of people flying every day is still consistently less than half of the same numbers seen last year before the pandemic began, the influx marks a steady increase in the frequency of days in which travel volumes surpass 1 million daily passengers. Since March, there have been a total of eight days that saw more than 1 million screenings: One occurred in October, four in November, and three have been recorded so far this month.
“Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” the CDC said in updated guidance on Dec. 2. For those who do plan to travel, the agency recommends getting tested one to three days before the trip and three to five days afterward. It also says to “reduce non-essential activities for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative.”
Those unable to acquire a test, the guidance says, should “reduce non-essential activities for 10 days after travel.”
Christmas travel numbers are likely to plummet in some other countries, like England, where officials have imposed lockdowns and banned holiday gatherings because of a fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus. Canada and some nations in Europe have moved to ban travel from England through Christmas.
While the strain has not yet been reported in the United States, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) on Monday called for the country to follow suit and ban travel from the United Kingdom.
“Right now, this variant in the U.K. is getting on a plane and flying to JFK,” Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters. “We have about six flights a day coming in [to JFK airport] from the U.K., and we have done absolutely nothing.”
Winning tip: When Jesus fixed my Jeep, Chile
Our all-girls group’s plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve while camping and stargazing in Chile’s eerie Atacama Desert almost went wrong. Thanks to Jesus, it all worked out. Our tight budget led us to rent a Jeep from a backstreet car-hire firm in San Pedro. Result – a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, a friendly group of locals led by the aptly named Jesus, who had some mechanical knowledge, were also heading out to the desert and stopped to help us. Result: a shared trip, wine, food, campfires and songs in English and Spanish under the mystical Atacama skies to see out and welcome in the year in a stunning setting and with great company.
Cold night with hot music, New Orleans
One New Year’s Eve in the early 2000s, my partner and I were housesitting a friend’s shack in New Orleans. The temperature had plunged to -5C, remarkable for Nola. Totally unprepared for this unusual cold, we put on our onesie long johns and walked to Mid-City Lanes Rock‘n’Bowl. We rented a lane, ordered po’ boys (a Louisiana sandwich) and beers, bowled, and wandered downstairs to hear legendary local singer and guitarist Snooks Eaglin (sadly no longer with us). Around 10pm, the Iguanas came onstage and the bowling lanes were overrun with revellers juggling food, drinks and kids while dancing to the Latin-tinged R&B groove music. New Year’s Eve, but just a normal night a Noo Or-lins.
Donna J Hall
Out with the old, Bologna
To see in 2019 we went to beautiful Bologna where there is a traditional burning of a huge effigy of a man – known as the vecchione (the old one) – in the square at midnight. This symbolises the discarding of all the bad things that happened in the old year and the welcoming in of the new. The night starts with dancing and music where people of all ages drink and enjoy life. As the clock struck 12 we hugged and the flames engulfed the wooden figure as confetti fell from the sky and balloons bounced over the crowd.
A Méri old evening, France
In Méribel for New Year’s Eve, a couple from our chalet invites us to the local bar. We are a mixed bunch; some of us in snow boots, some dressed very fashionably. The champagne flows, glasses are raised, then raised again as the mellow sounds of a saxophonist flood the room. The fire crackles, while outside the crescent moon hangs amid twinkling stars; this is paradise. Later, we head to the village square where vin chaud is served by chalet staff as we watch expert skiers descend carrying lanterns while fireworks burst above them. The hour is upon us as we gather around a tree and welcome in the new year. Perfect.
Wine and jive, Cape Town
A sunset picnic on Table Mountain, washed down with silky-smooth Stellenbosch wines, was a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cape Town at the dawn of the new millennium. As the clock ticked towards midnight, I took the cable car down to the V&A Waterfront, looking down as the mountain tops of the 12 Apostles cast their dramatic shadows over the brooding Atlantic Ocean. An all-night open-air disco carried on the fun, welcoming in the new year for a crowd of all ages and races, with the then 81-year-old Nelson Mandela appearing on the big screen from his nearby home, jiving away, to join in the celebrations.
Salsa, sea lions and sculptures in San Diego
The welcome sunshine was not just a bonus for me, but also for the sea lions who were basking on the jetty. The Balloon Parade was a party open to everyone, and it was a friendly family atmosphere along with plenty of salsa moves. At sunset, stunning stone sculptures were silhouetted against the skyline. Standing on the boardwalk in Seaport Village was the perfect viewpoint for the midnight fireworks and their sparkling reflections in the sea. A great way to see in the new year – and all for free.
I found Paradise, Ethiopia
One year I spent 31 December at Paradise Lodge, overlooking Ethiopia’s Lake Chamo in the south-west of the country, where the individual tukuls (round huts) could be described as primitive or charmingly rustic, depending on your take. At the gala dinner we ate berbere-spiced wats (stews) and injera, a flatbread that reminded me of foam rubber in looks and taste. The music ranged from Amy Winehouse to traditional Ethiopian tunes, and a group of Indian visitors proved funky dancers whatever the beat. Midnight arrived, along with a huge cake, poppers, streamers and more dance music. The international partying continued until the early hours when I returned to what seemed like a palatial room.
The winter holidays are upon us, but this year, the pandemic has made family gatherings more difficult and potentially unsafe. How can we celebrate without increasing our or other people’s risk of COVID-19?
In the words of Andy Williams, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” However, this holiday season, some of the magic has been compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While countries around the world are slowly rolling out COVID-19 vaccination programs, the majority of the population will not have had the opportunity to get inoculated by the end of the year.
And since coming into close contact with other people is the main way in which SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — spreads, traditional gatherings with family and friends are unsafe this holiday season.
In this Special Feature, we explain how you can safely celebrate during this holiday season.
This may be a year unlike all others, but there is no reason why we cannot enjoy the holidays while looking after our own and our loved ones’ health and well-being.
According to recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
“The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is at home with the people who live with you.”
Research has suggested that almost half of those who contract the new coronavirus do not experience any telltale symptoms. That being the case, they may unwittingly spread it further.
If a person is unaware that they have a SARS-CoV-2 infection because they remain symptom-free, they may choose to meet up with family members over the winter holidays. In doing so, they could contribute to the risk of others contracting the virus, including those who may already be more vulnerable, such as older relatives or loved ones with existing chronic conditions, including diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
That is why the main piece of advice this season continues to be to avoid social gatherings and only celebrate with people from one’s own household.
However, according to some recent statistical data, approximately 36.2 million people in the United States were living on their own in 2020, and isolation can take a significant toll on mental health.
For those experiencing loneliness, further social isolation — especially during a season usually associated with family get-togethers — may seem like an unendurable option.
The CDC advise that people who may need to travel at this time should:
- avoid seeing people who may already face a heightened risk of COVID-19
- refrain from traveling to areas where the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise
- avoid traveling outside their town if cases in the region where they live have been on the rise, so as to stop the virus from spreading further
- drive rather than using public transportation, where possible, to avoid close contact with other travelers
- avoid traveling with people from other households to minimize the risk of exposure
The public health institute also remind people to wear a face mask when in public or in the close vicinity of people they do not live with, and to continue physical distancing — staying 6 feet apart — from those belonging to other households.
It is also important to keep washing the hands as often as possible. Previous research has suggested that if more than half of those who travel by air were to wash their hands often and correctly, the spread of viral infections could slow down by approximately 70%.
If there is limited or no access to soap and water, the CDC advise using hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content.
If you are planning to attend a small gathering, the CDC recommend making sure that you and the host are on the same page when it comes to health and safety measures.
Furthermore, it may be best to use single-use plates and cutlery and individual condiment packets. People may also wish to consider bringing their own food instead of sharing food with other guests.
To prevent the spread of viral particles, wearing face masks — both indoors and outdoors — for as long as possible remains best practice, as well as washing or sanitizing the hands before and after having contact with high-touch surfaces or commonly used utensils.
The same precautions apply to those who may wish to host a small gathering, with the added advice to:
- invite just a small number of guests, ideally only those who live locally
- hold the celebration outdoors, if possible
- ensure that any indoor celebrations take place in well-ventilated spaces
- keep commonly touched surfaces clean
The CDC also advise people to avoid singing or shouting to limit the emission of particles into the air.
People who are or have recently been unwell should not host or attend any social gatherings. They can opt for other ways of celebrating instead, such as holding get-togethers over video chat.
Most importantly, however, the best way of showing love and care this holiday season may be by not pressuring loved ones into attending festivities in person. Equally, a person should not give in to pressure to celebrate in ways that make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
In an article for the Knowledge Centre at the University of Warwick in Coventry, United Kingdom, Prof. Sarah Stewart-Brown, an expert in public health at Warwick Medical School, advises open and honest communication:
“Sometimes, balancing the needs of others with our own needs can be tricky, and it can take a while to work out what feels like the right thing to do. So the first piece of advice may be not to rush into decision making. Open discussion among family members about what they would like, and what feels safe and appropriate, will help.”
At the end of the day, loving care stands at the center of winter celebrations across cultures, so we should make our loved ones’ well-being the priority.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) emerging diseases unit, has recently expressed one driving sentiment, with which she encourages us all to align:
Did Thanksgiving cause a surge in COVID-19 cases? What should Americans look at ahead of future holiday travel? We talked to the nation’s top expert, Dr. Fauci.
WASHINGTON — The holiday season is still in swing, with more and more states doubling down on lockdown measures as coronavirus cases surge across the country.
With more and more people looking to travel to visit families, or already traveling and hosting gatherings for Thanksgiving, confusion over what’s allowed and what upcoming restrictions are have been rampant.
To help clarify guidance and get you the answers you want to know, our Verify team talked to one expert who has a lot of experience: the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“I think there is a considerable risk that a couple to three weeks from now, we might start seeing yet again, another surge,” Fauci told WUSA9.
From holiday travel repercussions to potential increases in state restrictions before Christmas, here’s a look at what Dr. Fauci said.
What will Thanksgiving mean for hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID in the coming weeks?
It’s impossible to know the ins and outs of every family’s safety measures for the country, Fauci said, making it difficult to give ballpark estimates or specifics on predicting what the numbers could look like as a result from recent Thanksgiving travel.
“We can’t do anything about the travel that has already occurred and that’s occurring now as people are returning from the Thanksgiving holiday,” he told WUSA9. “Having said all of that, I think we have to at least expect the likelihood that we will see a blip or a bit of a surge superimposed upon the current surge that antedated the Thanksgiving holiday, but we hope it is not substantial.”
Fauci continued, saying that a post-holiday surge is not unlikely — in fact, it’s reasonable.
“I’m afraid that there’s a reasonable chance, given the volume of travel that we’ve seen reported on TV and other media, and the millions of people at airports and train stations, that I think there is a considerable risk that in two, three weeks from now, we might start seeing yet again, another surge because what was happening in some states,” he said, adding that he hopes to see states that were on the decline to continue that trend.
“I’m afraid it may, you know, go back up again,” he said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
What should I do before traveling in December?
First and foremost, try and contain and limit your travel as much as possible, Fauci says.
“I know, particularly when you’re in a situation where you’re approaching another big holiday season, that before you start making plans that you would have to cancel, think seriously,” he said, adding the importance of creating a risk-benefit determination to see the extent of who you would be endangering and the safety measures you are taking.
“So just think about it, that we really need to say we are in an extraordinarily unique time, I mean, it is unprecedented in the last hundred and two years,” he continued. “But here’s what we’re going through — it’s real. The numbers don’t lie. You see, we’ve broken records of hospitalizations, we have over 266,000 deaths and over 13 million infections. Those are real numbers and real people, we’ve got to see as best as we possibly can to blunt that.”
What if I traveled during Thanksgiving? What do I need to do now?
Again, it’s hard to determine each person’s exposure, but for the most part, Fauci said people should continue getting tested and taking preventative measures to reduce future exposure.
“It depends upon the circumstances that they were in, in the circumstances in which they are coming in,” Fauci said. “If someone is coming back from travel, I don’t think we need to say that everyone needs to be quarantined for a period or even tested. But for example, if someone is coming back into a situation, where they will expose themselves to persons who are in a category of high-risk, you want to get tested. And you might want to come back, quarantine yourself for a few days, get tested and figure out that you’re okay, at least for now. But I don’t think every single person needs to do that.”
Does Fauci think states will need harsher restrictions ahead of Christmas?
The answer to that question will vary depending on the state, Fauci said.
“I had a couple of calls from health authorities in different states, trying to bounce off me my opinion of whether or not they should Institute harsher restrictions like selected types of lockdowns,” Fauci said. “Not countrywide lockdowns, but saying for a particular city, or a particular town, in which it’s clear they’re overrunning their health system, maybe the only thing you could do is a temporary two or three-week shutdown to try and relieve the burden.”
Fauci was very clear that mandated shutdowns are not something he wants to universally recommend
“One of the things you got to be careful about when you’re dealing with as large a country as the United States, with so many states, so many cities, so many towns, is that you want to be careful about making blanket strong recommendations,” he said. “States and cities should at least consider that [temporary lockdowns] if it looks like everything they’ve said everything they’ve tried, has not worked and they are on the brink of being overrun. If that is the case, then they should seriously consider some more stringent recommendations.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci has served as head director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and has advised six presidents on a wide range of domestic and global health issues.
Melbourne, Australia (CNN) — Australia’s Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has threatened to cancel the visas of any visitors caught breaking rules designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country, after hundreds of people attended a beach party in Sydney’s Bronte Beach on Christmas Day.
Local journalist Peter Hannam, who walked by the event at 5 p.m., said a number of people in attendance were talking loudly in British accents.
“These are the same people who would every summer gather at Bondi Beach or Bronte or somewhere else because they want to show off to their northern hemisphere friends that it’s Christmas and we’re in summer,” he said.
Authorities were eventually forced to break up the event, with the state’s riot police deployed to assist in removing the crowd.
One person, a 25-year-old man, was issued a court attendance notice for failing to comply with the “move on” direction, police said. “The remainder of the crowd complied and left the area,” police said in a statement.
“Visitors to Australia need to be very clear that if they breach public health orders they are threatening the health and safety of Australians and the federal government will look at their visas,” he said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on December 29.
Travel to and from Maine remained depressed over Christmas weekend.
Figures from the Maine Turnpike Authority show 60,429 vehicles passed through the York toll plaza Dec. 24-26, compared with 103,948 vehicles over the same three days last year. That’s a 42 percent decline.
That was a steeper decline than projected by the Maine Turnpike Authority before the holiday weekend, but it coincided with a rain and wind storm on Christmas Day. That not only made travel more hazardous, but Turnpike Authority Executive Director Peter Mills said the rain and mild temperatures may also have discouraged skiers and snowmobilers who might have otherwise driven north for a holiday weekend on the slopes and trails.
At the Portland International Jetport, the number of passengers going through security screening on those same three days was 2,869, down 68 percent from the same three days last year. However, Dec. 23 was a much busier day at the jetport, with 1,856 passengers, just 19.7 percent below the same day last year.
And Bangor International Airport reported its passenger traffic so far in December is running 43 percent behind December 2019.
Portland Jetport Assistant Manager Zach Sundquist said the decline in passengers flying out of Portland roughly matched the decline in flights serving the city, so flyers likely found their aircraft full.
As for maintaining social distancing in the terminal, Sundquist said, “The spoke airports like Portland, where you’re starting and ending your journey, the social distancing, the spreading out has been pretty easy to do.”
He said pictures of crowded airport terminals are likely hub airports where flyers change planes.
The story was different for in-state travel. Citing state transportation department figures, Mills said traffic on Maine’s other roads was down just 16 percent Dec. 20-26, compared with last year. That could represent many families and friends gathering for Christmas, which could lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the days ahead.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Holiday travel was hampered by the snow this weekend but canceled or rescheduled flights have been the trend throughout the COVID pandemic.
A spokesperson for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority told 2 On Your Side that the Buffalo Niagara International Airport saw a slight uptick this week for Christmas, but on average the airport is seeing only 30 percent of its usual travelers.
“Typically in this busy season we’re in right now we see 7,500 outbound travelers, currently that’s gone down to 1,700 travelers so that speaks volumes about where we are in respect to travel volume. It’s really really lower than normal,” according to NFTA spokesperson Helen Tederous.
Tederous added the airport has been fielding a lot of questions about when things will be back to normal. Even the NFTA doesn’t know.
She also said despite less traffic, the airport is doing OK financially with no layoffs thus far.