Prince Harry's most poignant statements from new mental health interview
21 May 2021, 12:35 | Updated: 21 May 2021, 13:12
Prince Harry opens up about his mental health journey following the death of his mother Princess Diana when he was aged just 12-years-old.
Prince Harry, 36, got candid about his mental health in a new programme with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can't See, in which he discussed a number of issues in his life, including his family, the death of his mother and leaving the royal family for a more simple life in the US.
The Duke of Sussex spoke about his wife, Meghan Markle, and her own mental health struggles during her pregnancy with Archie – which she has previously shared some details of during the explosive Oprah interview earlier this year.
Harry is joined by a number of celebrities also opening up about their mental health struggles, including Lady Gaga and Glenn Close.
As Harry reveals his history with drink and drug abuse, his therapy journey and his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, we take a look at the most significant things the Duke revealed during his latest interview.
An argument with Meghan led him to seek therapy
Prince Harry shared with Oprah that he has been in therapy for the past four to five years, in order to 'heal himself from the past'.
Harry also revealed that it was an argument with his wife Meghan which led him to seek out therapy, with her encouragement.
He explained: "I saw all sorts of people but it was meeting and being with Meghan.
“I knew that if I didn’t do the therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with.”
On feeling 'helpless' during Diana's struggles
Speaking about his mother, Harry told Oprah how he felt "helpless" when he was a child as he was too young to protect his mother from the paparazzi.
He recalled one heartbreaking memory with his mother, explaining: "Strapped in the car, seatbelt across, with my brother in the car as well, and my mother driving, being chased by three, four, five mopeds with paparazzi on, and she was always unable to drive because of tears. There was no protection."
On sharing his grief at Diana's funeral with the public
Harry admitted to having some bitter feelings during his mum's funeral due to the fact he had to share his grief with the rest of the world.
He was only 12-years-old when he walked behind his mother's coffin alongside his brother Prince William.
He told Oprah: "Sharing the grief of my mother’s death with the world… For me, the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses’ hooves going along the mall, red brick road.
“It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along, doing what was expected of me, showing one tenth of the emotion everybody else was showing."
He added: “I was like, this is my mum. You never even met her.”
On abusing drugs and alcohol
The Duke of Sussex was not shy in sharing his experience with drug and alcohol abuse following the death of his mother.
He said that in his late 20s and early 30s he struggled with "severe anxiety" and would use the substances to forget the pain.
At the time, Harry said he was "willing to drink, willing to take drugs", to "make me feel less like I was feeling".
He went on to add: "I slowly became aware that, okay, I wasn't drinking Monday to Friday but I would probably drink a week's worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night.
"And I was finding myself drinking not because I was enjoying it, but because I was trying to mask something".
On the day Meghan Markle told him about her suicidal thoughts
Harry opened up about the mental health struggles his wife, Meghan Markle, has also suffered over the past few years – something that was first revealed during the couple's interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In the new TV series, Harry said that the evening before they attended a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall, Meghan had shared with him “the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life”.
Harry said: “The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought. She hadn’t lost it, she wasn’t crazy, she wasn’t self-medicating, be it through pills or through alcohol, she was absolutely sober.
“She was completely sane, yet in the quiet of night, these thoughts woke her up.”
The Prince also told Oprah in The Me You Can't See that the reason Meghan did not act on her suicidal thoughts was because of how "unfair" it would be on him.
He said that what stopped Meghan was "how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mum and to now be put into a position of losing another woman in my life, with a baby inside of her, our baby”.
Meghan and Harry attended the charity event that evening in 2019 where they "pretended as though everything was okay", something he now says he is ashamed of.
On his father's comments that their lives would have to be the same
Harry became very candid about his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, which has been reportedly been strained over the years.
He told Oprah in the show that his father used to tell both him and his brother, Prince William, 'Well it was like that for me so it’s gonna be like that for you'.
“That doesn’t make sense", Harry said: "Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer.
"In fact quite the opposite, if you’ve suffered, do whatever you can to make sure that whatever experiences, negative experiences you had, that you can make it right for your kids.”
Prince Harry's new show The Me You Can't See is on Apple TV+ now.