Ad is loading...

What Happened When Prince Harry Interviewed Barack Obama

© Getty Images

It was his first interview since handing over the White House keys to Donald Trump so it was certainly a momentous occasion. Who better should Barack Obama choose for the task of interviewer than his Invictus pal, Prince Harry?

As part of his Guest Editorship of BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Prince Harry met with the former president in Toronto back in September to quiz him on his life post-White House. Together, the two discussed what Barack misses about his former role, his work with the Obama Foundation and how to combat the negative side to social media.

The Prince opened by asking what was different about his mornings, to which Barack quipped, 'I wake up later'.

He joked that he most misses the fact he 'didn't use to experience traffic', adding, 'I used to cause traffic, much to the consternation of any place that I was visiting!'

But went on to say seriously that he missed the camaraderie of his team and the 'fascinating' work that he did.

When conversation turned to the youth of today, Barack was generous in his praise for young people. 'The generation coming up is the most sophisticated, the most tolerant in many ways, most embracing of diversity, the most tech-savvy, the most entrepreneurial,' he said. 'But they don't have much faith in existing institutions.'

On the subject of social media – specifically the rise in fake news and cyber bullying – Barack said he was 'pretty firm about the merits of free speech'. The real question, however, was to do with 'how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesnt lead to a balkanization of our society but rather continues to promote ways of finding common ground?'

He continued, 'One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. They can be just cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases...'

A good way of fighting this, he said, was to make sure that online communities don't just stay online.

'I think social media is a really powerful tool for people of common interests to convene and get to know each other and connect,' he observed. 'But then it's important for them to get offline. Meet in a pub. Meet at a place of worship... Get to know each other.'

He added, 'It's also [...] harder to be as obnoxious and cruel in person as people can be anonymously on the internet...'

He said he was working with young people to build platforms for social change and to ensure that they understand hashtags raise awareness, yes, but have to be followed by action. 'You have to get on the ground and you actually have to do something.'

Finally, he revealed that he doesn't believe in New Year's resolutions, prefers Rachel to Monica (WHAT?!), and on the very important topic of The Good Wife or Suits, 'obviously' he prefers the latter.

'Good answer', Harry replied.

And a good interview, in our view. Here's hoping this is the first of many the two have together over the coming years.