Amid the drama following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s decision to step back as senior members of the royal family, the duke’s longtime friend came to his defense. Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras says his royal pal pal simply wishes to live a “normal life.”

“I spoke to Harry a few days ago,” Nachos, 42, revealed during the new ABC special Royal Divide: Harry, Meghan, and the Crown, which premiered on Wednesday, January 29. “He has suffered a lot from all of things that have happened to him. He suffers a lot from people judging him.”

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As the Black Watch Polo team star detailed what Harry’s life has been like for the past few years, he couldn’t have been more supportive. “He’s being a father … a guy who is trying to protect his cub and his lioness from whatever it takes,” Nachos sweetly insisted.

“He has become an incredible man, a man that his mother would be proud of,” the Polo Kid actor added of Harry’s beloved late mom, Princess Diana.

Nachos even had his friend’s back as he explained why Harry, 35, and the former Suits actress — who tied the knot in May 2018 and share son Archie, 8 months — ultimately chose to move to North America.

“As normal as his life is going to be, right?” he said of the couple’s choice to step back from the royal spotlight. “Because when you have 1,000 paparazzi outside your house in Canada waiting to get one picture of your son, that’s not very, very normal.”

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News of Meghan, 38, and Harry’s royal relinquishment first rocked Queen Elizabeth‘s monarchy when they revealed their plans to split time between the U.K. and North America, as well as become financially independent, in a statement shared to their joint Instagram account. In their January 8 announcement, Meghan and Harry insisted they’d continue “to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”

Since announcing their big plans, Harry and Meghan have been enjoying some R&R in the quaint Canadian town called Vancouver Island. In fact, a source close to the royal pair revealed how thrilled the Duke of Sussex was to reunite with his wife and son as he arrived in Canada on January 20.

“One of Harry and Meghan’s favorite things to do in Canada is go on long walks in the woods with Archie and their dogs without being disturbed. It’s a lifestyle Harry’s never experienced before, and he’s loving every minute of it,” a royal insider recently told Closer Weekly.

“Being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a beautiful landscape is heaven. That’s what Harry says,” the source added. “He finally feels at peace and has never been happier — and the same goes for Meghan.”