KEY POINTS

  • An investigator said Prince Harry was dubbed "the new Diana" at the time
  • Gavin Burrows said he targeted Harry's ex, Chelsy Davy, to uncover stories for tabloids
  • The intense media scrutiny of Harry's relationships was "too much to handle"

A private investigator has apologized for “robbing” Prince Harry of a normal teenage life. In BBC’s documentary, “The Princes and the Press,” Gavin Burrows admitted he targeted the Prince of Sussex’s ex-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, saying he was part of the cruel media culture in the early 2000s.

“I was basically part of a group of people who robbed him of his normal teenage years,” said Burrows about Prince Harry, now 37. He also described the media culture at that time as “ruthless,” saying investigators back then would do everything to uncover stories about the young prince.

Burrows revealed that editors described Prince Harry as “the new Diana,” referring to his late mother, Princess Diana, who was the target of rampant press coverage ever since the moment her engagement with Prince Charles was announced. Diana died in a tragic car crash in 1997 while being pursued by a group of reporters.

Talking about how they tried to dig up stories on the young prince at the time, Burrows recalled how he targeted Davy, whom Prince Harry dated for six years until 2011, to create buzz about his private life.

“There was a lot of voicemail hacking going on, there was a lot of surveillance work on her phones, on her comms,” said Burrows. “Chelsy would brag to her friends when she was going to see him,” he added.

The private investigator also confessed to digging into Davy’s medical records, including whether she had abortions or sexually transmitted diseases. In the documentary, Burrows apologized and said he was “very sorry” for the way he acted at the time. “I was greedy, I was into my cocaine, and I was living in a fake state of grandeur,” he said.

According to Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times, who also appeared in the documentary, the attention given on Prince Harry’s girlfriends back then was too much for them to handle. “When you are dating or considering marrying a member of the royal family, the scrutiny you endure is enormous,” she said. “Harry’s previous relationships with Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas—a part of why neither of those went all the day was because neither of them wanted to endure that level of media scrutiny,” she added.

When Prince Harry confirmed his relationship with Meghan Markle in 2016, the duke made the announcement with a groundbreaking statement condemning the “wave of abuse and harassment” toward his new girlfriend.

Prince Harry LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images