He’s spoken repeatedly about his need to earn a living, and on Wednesday night Prince Harry was doing just that: sitting down for a live-streamed chat to promote one of his contracts.
The 39-year-old spoke to the CEO of online coaching firm BetterUp, Alexi Robichaux, at the conclusion of a gathering of HR professionals coordinated by the firm.
Harry was hired as Chief Impact Officer of the San Francisco-based start-up in March 2021, for an undisclosed sum.
And on Wednesday he was diligently promoting the brand, telling Robichaux he offered BetterUp’s services to all his employees at his own company Archewell, and adding: ‘I’ve seen first hand what coaching can do.’
Harry carefully steered clear of any contentious topics, delivering vanilla answers during a 30-minute session which would have left his press advisors heaving a sigh of relief.
There’s likely to be few personal revelations left after his explosive memoir Spare, which touched on royal family feuds, Harry’s cocaine use – and even the loss of his virginity to an older woman.
Prince Harry on Wednesday evening took part in a live-streamed discussion with the founder of coaching firm BetterUp, which appointed him Chief Impact Officer in March 2021
Harry talked to Alexi Robichaux, who co-founded the firm in 2013
Perhaps the most remarkable note was sounded by the emcees and comperes, who performed a cringey rap before the prince and Robichaux came onto the stage, musing over the price of eggs.
One member of the warmup act invited a woman onto the stage, and – asking her for her preferred pronouns first – invited her to recount her day at the convention.
Harry and Robichaux then entered the stage – both men in jeans and suit jackets.
‘Alexis is going to start with a rap,’ joked Harry.
Audience members had been invited to submit questions in writing, and the pair then embarked on a self-congratulatory discussion of the company.
Rappers took to the stage to entertain the audience of HR professionals before the prince and Robichaux appeared
Robichaux is seen welcoming Harry to the stage
Robichaux was asked why he had hired the prince.
He said he and his co-founder, Eddie Medina, asked themselves a key question.
‘Who are luminaries in the world, who are leaders, who are talking about this – and it was a very, very short list,’ Robichaux said.
‘In fact it was one person.’
Robichaux told Harry: ‘It was a dream come true to be able to work with you.’
The prince was a little less gushing when asked why he had begun working with BetterUp, replying: ‘Because that’s all I was offered.’
Laughing, he then said he appreciated BetterUp’s focus on both doing good, and creating profit.
Asked what role coaching had played in his life, Harry did not mention the immense family trauma he has recently revealed in his memoir, Spare, and instead said it was his time in the military that showed the power of coaching.
‘I promise you we don’t shout at you, though,’ he said. ‘Unless that’s what you asked for.’
Harry answered questions which had been submitted in writing by attendees
The 38-year-old steered clear of contentious topics in his 30-minute chat
He made a brief reference to ‘my wife’, but did not expand.
Asked about holding the event on International Women’s Day, Harry praised the women in his life – and appeared to make a slight swipe at his father, King Charles, and brother Prince William, who he rounded on in his book.
‘I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by strong, empowered, confident women all my life,’ he said.
‘I wish that more women would have higher leadership roles. Less testosterone in the room – which I think would be a good thing.’
He also referenced his children – Archie, three, and Lilibet, who turns two in June.
‘Kids ground you,’ said Harry.
‘The longer you’ve been around, the more filters you have in life.’
The pair joked through the remainder of the session – a dialogue filled with Silicon Valley buzz-words, with Robichaux at one point announcing he wanted to ‘plus one thing you said.’
A baffled Harry asked: ‘Pus?!’
Robichaux replied: ‘Plus. Add to it, and make it a bit better.’
Robichaux urged those in the room to ‘reimagine work as a playscape’, and ‘inspire awe in your workforce’.
Harry added: ‘For me, personally, I get so much out of helping other people.
‘It’s what gets me out of bed every morning.’
It is not Harry’s first foray promoting the brand.
In February 2022, he sat down with Robichaux and Serena Williams to discuss the company in another live-streamed event.
And in July 2022, he interviewed three different people for a short film – including two-time Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Chloe Kim – about their own mental health practices, while promoting the company’s online life coaching services.
‘We all have greatness within us,’ the father-of-two says at the start of the five-minute film.
‘Mental fitness helps us unlock it. It’s an ongoing practice, one where you approach your mind as something to flex, not fix.’
The world according to Prince Harry! The Duke of Sussex’s tips for achieving ‘mental fitness’
AIM FOR THE PINNACLE OF MENTAL FITNESS: ‘Mental fitness is the pinnacle, it’s what you’re aiming for. The road towards that can be really bumpy… it’s called inner “work” for a reason.’
INNER WORK: ‘With everything else around you, the only way you can combat [burnout] and build resilience for the outside world and your entire environment is the inner work… Outer work becomes so much easier when you get to grips with the inner work… If everybody [had time] to do [inner work], the shift in global consciousness and awareness would be enormous, it would be vast.’
DAILY MEDITATION: ‘I know that I need to meditate every day… Put it [into your daily routine] like brushing your teeth every morning… You need to put it into your day diary as a habit otherwise it’s the first thing that drops away from your busy day.’
DAILY ME TIME: ‘I have now put in about half an hour, 45 minutes in the morning when one kid has gone to school and the other is having a nap, there’s a break in our program. It’s like, right, it’s either for a workout, take the dog for a walk, get out in nature, maybe meditate. I would hope that everybody would be able to do that.’
LISTEN TO LESSONS FROM THE UNIVERSE: ‘Life is about learning and if you’re in your 20s, your 30s, your 40s, and even your 50s and you think you’ve got it sorted then bad stuff is going to happen. But when bad thing happen I think, there’s a lesson here, I’m being schooled by the universe, there is something for me to learn.’
TURN NEGATIVES INTO POSITIVES: ‘Every single bad thing – or the things you perceive to be bad – that happen actually can be good.’
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH MENTAL COACHES: ‘You need to have someone there who is not only coaching you through life but challenging your perspective. That’s what I ask [my mental coach] for on a weekly basis… Professional help, friends, family, anyone can help you in that coaching process [and give you] the ability to be able to find somebody else to throw ideas off or feelings or thoughts.’
WIPE YOUR MENTAL WINDSCREEN: ‘Have different points of views in your life and friends who will not worry about pushing back on things you say or feel to be able to encourage you to be able to see it more clearly. I view that as trying to surround myself with people who will happily wash [my mental] windscreen and clear those filters… There is an endless filter system of what you think is happening.’
CREATE A MENTAL TOOL BOX: ‘I know how my nervous system is going to react to certain situations that are out of my control, [so I think], what have I got in my tool box? What tools can help me deal with this?’
HONE YOUR MENTAL SUPERPOWER: ‘Life is about discovery. In that discovery you are going to find things that you don’t like, you’re going to find things that make you uncomfortable, that are constantly pushing back on you but as you work your way around those things, all of a sudden the stresses, the chaos, and all of the things that were working against you in your life, be it private life, be it work life… all of the things getting in your way either fall away or you visualize them and are able to turn a negative into a positive and therefore make those things work for you. It almost feels like a superpower.’