ITV's Tom Bradby says he "knew that everything wasn't entirely rosy behind the scenes."
The English reporter who spent a significant amount of time with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in South Africa for the upcoming documentary, "Harry & Meghan: An African Journey," is speaking out about how he perceived the royal couple both mentally and emotionally.
ITV anchor Tom Bradby appeared on "Good Morning America" Wednesday, where he explained that the people who stood before him on the 10-day journey appeared "bruised and vulnerable" -- adjectives not typically associated with members of the royal family.
When asked what he did or said in order to get his historically closed-off interview subjects to "open up," Bradby humbly explained that he "just told the story that was in front of me."
"I went intending to make a documentary that was always going to be about their work in Africa, and then a little bit about where they were at in life," he said, adding that he "knew that everything wasn't entirely rosy behind the scenes."
Still, Bradby maintained that his intentions were to do "a more conventional journalistic job," though he did warn the couple beforehand that he would be asking "some pretty pointed questions."
"The reality I found was just a couple that just seemed a bit bruised and vulnerable," he explained. "I think with mental health and all the rest, you have to be very careful [with] what words you use. But that was the story I found, and it seemed the right journalistic thing to do -- to try and tell that story as empathetically as I could."
Bradby, who's admittedly had a somewhat friendly relationship with Harry over the years, said he had "a pretty long chat" with the couple before they all left for Africa. Bradby said that conversation began to shape his "view" of where the new parents were at mentally and emotionally.
"I will say one thing about Harry," he added. "He's always been one of those people, if you ask him an honest question in private or in public, he will tend to give you an honest answer, for better or for worse."
That's maybe where he and his brother differ -- and where Bradby feels the "tension" lies.
After a clip from the documentary -- one of Markle seemingly fighting back tears when asked how she was doing in the midst of being a new mom in the public eye -- went viral, supporters and critics alike ignited the following debate: Are Harry and Meghan revealing too much, or are they modernizing the royal family?
Bradby's take: "[Prince] William is taking a more traditional approach to how to be a member of the royal family, and in a sense, he has to. He's going to be king. He can't afford to alienate any constituents, and he hasn't. He's playing it, in his terms, extremely well in quite a traditional way."
On the other hand, "Harry and Meghan have just decided to play things very differently... Some of what they were doing [in the documentary] was emotional; it was just saying, 'Well, this is where we're at.' Some of it was trying to do things differently."
Bradby said he's noticed that Harry and Meghan's approach has been generally well-received by those under 35, while "the older you get, the much more mixed it is."
"But I think the real issue here isn't so much interpersonal relationships," he went on, explaining he felt it was more so that William and Harry just have "two entirely parallel narratives about a whole bunch of stuff."
And one of those things is the circumstances surrounding their mother's death.
"Harry feels quite simply that the press killed his mother and is now in danger of trying to damage his wife," Bradby explained. "William has a more nuanced view of that, and he thinks that, yes, their mother did have a very hard time, but also that she made a mistake in allowing the press in. And he just is absolutely adamant that that shouldn't happen. He thinks his brother is sometimes too open and then sometimes tries to close up, and that doesn't work."
Bradby also feels that Harry is "trying something new" by "appealing to a new demographic," whereas William doesn't have that luxury. He "has to play things in a more traditional way."
"I supposed if I have a hope about this documentary, it's that everyone takes a really deep breath inside the royal family, outside the royal family with the public, with the media -- just to give them a little bit of space," Bradby said. "That's what I hope will happen. I kind of sensed that, in the end, things weren't going in a very good direction here, and if this documentary has an outcome, I do hope that it's that everyone -- perhaps including them -- takes a really deep breath and maybe thinks pretty hard about how the future might play out."
"Harry and Meghan: An African Journey" airs Wednesday, October 23 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
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