Royal watchers are in a tizzy after a recording claiming to be that of Prince Harry being duped by a fake caller into making a few indiscreet comments surfaced online.
A video posted to YouTube on Wednesday by a pair of Russian pranksters has sent the internet into meltdown, as either a man impersonating Prince Harry, or the prince himself is recorded commenting on his departure from royal life, his thoughts on US President Donald Trump, and on his uncle’s relationship with Jefferey Epstein.
Reportedly pulled off by notorious Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus, Harry was allegedly fooled into thinking he was speaking with climate change activist Greta Thunberg and her father.
The bizarre situation is made stranger by a rudimentary animation made to accompany the audio in a version online.
The full recording is available on YouTube, though the original appears to have been removed. Give it a listen:
In the recording, a voice similar to Harry’s can be heard in conversation, freely speaking about his departure from senior royal life with wife Meghan.
“This decision certainly wasn’t the easy one but it was the right decision for our family, the right decision to be able to protect my son,” the voice the prankster’s claim is Harry’s can be heard saying.
“And I think there’s a hell of a lot of people around the world that can identify and respect us for putting our family first. But, yeah, it’s a tricky one, but we will start a new life.”
He also confirmed that post-royal life was ‘much better’ than life in The Firm.
“You forget, I was in the military for 10 years so I’m more normal than my family would like to believe,” he allegedly says.
“But certainly being in a different position now gives us the ability to say things and do things that we might not have been able to do.”
‘Harry’ was also recorded explaining how it was Meghan’s influence that helped him break free from what he described as the ‘fear’ of the tabloid media that kept him shackled.
“From the moment that I found a wife that was strong enough to be able to stand up for what we believe in together, has basically scared them so much that they’ve now come out incredibly angry, they’ve come out fighting, and all they will try and do now is try and destroy our reputation and try and, you know, sink us…” the voice can be heard saying.
“It hasn’t been very nice. It’s been horrible but we will come out of it stronger people.”
‘Harry’ weighs in on Donald Trump
There was also commentary on world leaders including one Donald Trump, a notoriously vocal opponent of his critics online.
Harry reportedly told the pranksters, “I don’t mind saying this to you guys I think the mere fact Donald Trump is pushing the coal industry so big in America, [means] he has blood on his hands.”
Meghan notoriously sat out of the president’s visit to the UK last year, though she was on maternity leave on the time.
The conversations were reportedly recorded on New Year’s Eve and January 22.
The audio is of course not confirmed, and beyond what could simply be an incredibly apt impersonation, nothing else has tied the prince to the rapidly circulating file.
Russian duo’s high profile pranking past
Raising some eyebrows, however, is the pranking pair’s history which does seem to nudge the recording into slightly more legitimate terrain.
Vovan and Lexus, or Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, who are apparently behind the call have previously duped Elton John into believing he was chatting with Vladimir Putin.
They also used Greta before in a prank call with Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who was led to believe Greta was keen for collaboration with Kanye West and Billie Eilish.
Buckingham Palace and Sussex Royal spokespeople have not responded.
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