LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry, who decamped from England to Southern California last year, rapped the theme song to the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” during a late-night talk show interview in which he said he didn’t walk away from his royal duties.

What You Need To Know

  • In an interview on “The Late, Late Show with James Corden," Prince Harry said he didn't walk away from his royal duties, but rather he wanted to step back. 

  • Harry blamed what he called a "toxic" British press for his decision and said he moved his family to California to protect them

  • He said he anticipates his post-pandemic life in the U.S. will be a continuation of the sort of public service he did in the U.K.

  • During the interview, much of which took place on an open-top tour bus, Harry also shared his feelings about the TV series "The Crown" and rapped "The French Prince of Bel-Air" theme song

During an appearance on the CBS television network’s “The Late, Late Show with James Corden” that aired early Friday, Harry said he decided to step away from his work as a front-line member of the royal family to protect his wife and son and his mental health. He blamed what he described as "toxic" media coverage of his family.

“It was never walking away," he said. "It was stepping back rather than stepping down. It was a really difficult environment, as I think a lot of people saw. We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health. I was like, ‘This is toxic.’ So I did what any husband and any father would do, is like, ‘I need to get my family out of here.’ But we never walked away. And as far as I’m concerned, whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away.”

The appearance marked Harry’s first interview since his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, stripped the prince and his wife, the former actress Meghan Markle, of their remaining royal duties earlier this month. Corden’s coup trumped Oprah Winfrey, whose interview with the couple is scheduled to air March 7.

During the segment, Corden and the prince tour Southern California on an open-top bus, at one point arriving outside the mansion where the opening sequence of Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince” was filmed.

“If it was good enough for the Fresh Prince, it’s good enough for a real prince,” Corden says, walking up the drive. “Do you remember the song?”

“Now this is the story, all about how, my life got flipped, turned upside down, now take a minute,” Harry raps before turning to Corden for help.

“And sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of town called…,” Corden chimes in.

“Bel-ir,” Harry finishes off the song.

The royal couple actually live north of Bel-Air in Santa Barbara County.

Harry said he anticipates his post-pandemic life in the U.S. will be "a slightly different version but a continuation of what we were doing back in the U.K."

"My life is always going to be about public service, and Meghan signed up to that, and the two of us enjoy doing that, trying to bring some compassion and trying to make people happy and trying to change the world in any small way that we can," he said.

After Harry mentioned he often watches Netflix, Corden asked him about what he thinks of the series "The Crown."

“They don’t pretend to be news," the prince said. "It’s fictional, but it’s loosely based on the truth. … It gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service about family and everything else, what can come from that.

“I’m way more comfortable with ‘The Crown’ than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself because it’s the difference between that is obviously fiction — take it how you will — but this is being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news.. I have a real issue with that.”

When asked if there's an actor he'd like to see cast to play him on "The Crown," Harry suggested "Homeland" and "Billions" star Damian Lewis, who, like Harry, has red hair.