Prince Harry Reveals He Went to Therapy to Deal with Princess Diana’s Death
By Hilary Weaver. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Twitter.
Prince Harry was only 12 years old when his mother, Princess Diana, died tragically. In a new interview with The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon on her podcast Mad World, Harry shared with Gordon that it took him 20 years to confront his feelings about his mother’s sudden death. It was only after going to therapy that he was able to deal with his grief.
Prince Harry, along with his brother, Prince William, and sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, is behind the mental-health campaign Heads Together,, which aims to remove the stigma around discussing mental health. In the interview Harry said that it was only recently that he has begun to face his own mental-health challenges. It’s extremely rare for the royals to open up about their personal lives, and even more rare for someone of Harry’s stature to speak out about seeking therapy.
“I can safely say that losing my mom at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well,” he told Gordon. “And it was only three years ago, funny enough, from the support around, and my brother and other people saying, ‘You really need to deal with this. It’s not normal to think that nothing has affected you.’ ”
Harry shared with Gordon that he “buried [his] head in the sand” when it came to facing his underlying challenges. He finally sought counseling for his grief after realizing his way of dealing with it had been by “refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help? It’s only going to make you sad; it’s not going to bring her back.”
The prince also discussed the “two years of total chaos” he went through in his late 20s after all of the grief he’d been suppressing finally surfaced. Though from the outside it looked less like chaos than a string of parties, many of the events were detailed publicly in the press, such as his reported wild night in Las Vegas, after which nude photos of the prince surfaced.
Harry added that, once he began to discuss his own struggles, his close friends opened up to him as well. “The experience that I have is that once you start talking about it, you suddenly realize that actually you’re part of quite a big club, and everybody’s gagging to talk about it,” he said.
In the past three years, as he has pursued therapy, Harry has transformed his public persona, from party boy to responsible royal. With an engagement to Meghan Markle heavily rumored, Harry may even be headed to a very public royal wedding—a milestone even he may agree he wouldn’t have been ready for five years ago.
Kensington Palace tweeted its support for the prince on Sunday.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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