Prince Harry Says Meghan Markle Encouraged Him to Go to Therapy

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It's no secret that mental health is a cause that's near and dear to Prince Harry's heart: Not only was he recently named the chief impact officer at Better Up (a mental health-focused startup), but he's also been collaborating with Oprah on a documentary series about emotional wellbeing, called The Me You Can't See, which will premiere on May 21 on Apple TV+.

Ahead of its debut, the Duke of Sussex sat down with Dax Shepard for an episode of his popular Armchair Expert podcast. During the 90-minute interview, Harry continued to open up about his struggles with life as a senior member of the royal family, which he described as a mix of "The Truman Show and living in a zoo."

"It’s the job right? Grin and bear it. Get on with it. I was in my early twenties and I was thinking I don’t want this job, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mum. How am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and family when I know it’s going to happen again?" He added later on in the conversation, "I've seen behind the curtain, I’ve seen the business model and seen how this whole thing works and I don't want to be part of this."

So instead, Harry became involved in causes and efforts he deeply believed in, like the Invictus Games, an international competition for wounded and injured veterans, which he founded in 2014. "Healing other people heals me," he said. "That's where the compassion comes in. Once you've suffered, you don't want anyone else to suffer."

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But it wasn't until he sought out therapy that he began to see how he could make a big difference, both in his own life and the lives of others. "Once I started doing therapy, it was like the bubble was burst," he said. "I plucked my head out of the sand and gave it a good shake off and I was like, you're in this position of privilege, stop complaining and stop thinking you want something different—make this different—because you can't get out. How are you going to do these things differently, how are you going to make your mum proud and use this platform to really affect change?"

Harry revealed that it had actually been Meghan who initially encouraged him to go to therapy. "She could tell that I was hurting and that some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry," he said. "It was making my blood boil." In fact, he admitted that his "helplessness" has always been (and continues to be) his greatest Achilles heel, recalling three moments when he felt entirely weak: in the back of a car with his mother, Princess Diana, while they were being chased by paparazzi, in an Apache helicopter while serving in Afghanistan, and most recently, during the well-documented invasions of his and Meghan's privacy by the media.

And in one of the episode's lighter moments, the soon-to-be father of two shared a story about the early days of his courtship with Meghan, when they were photographed just about everywhere they went. "The first time Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending we didn't know each other, texting each other from the other side of the aisles,” he said. “I was there texting her, saying, ‘Is this the right one?’ and she goes, ‘No, you want parchment paper.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, where's the parchment paper?’”

Despite his efforts to stay incognito, which included a baseball cap, he was quickly spotted (“There's people looking at me, giving me all these weird looks, and coming up to me and saying 'hi' or whatever"), but continued to keep his eyes on the ground. "It's amazing how much chewing gum you see, it's a mess," he joked.

These days, though, the couple and 2-year-old Archie, are enjoying the peace and quiet of Santa Barbara: "Living here now, I can actually lift my head. I feel different, my shoulders have dropped, so have hers," he said. "We can walk around feeling a little bit more free. I get to take Archie on the back of my bicycle."

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