Prince Harry, the second son of late Princess Diana granted a revealing interview to The Telegraph in which he revealed very personal details about his struggles following the death of his mother.
This interview comes as Harry launches the Heads Together mental health campaign with Prince William and Duchess Kate.
The 32-year-old Prince, who lost his mother at age 12, bottled up his grief till he was 28 and his brother William encouraged him to seek help by talking to someone. At that time, Harry said his life had been in total chaos for two years and he was on the verge of a breakdown, suffered anxiety during royal engagements and struggles in his personal life that he ‘didn’t know how to deal with’. He also disclosed that it did not help that he was a royal and had to be in the public eye.
“I can safely say that losing my mum 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 my work as well,” he told the paper.“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle. My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?”
“(I thought) it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back,’ he added. ‘So from an emotional side, I was like ‘right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything’. So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great’, or ‘life is fine’ and that was exactly it. And then (I) started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”
He added: “It was 20 years of not thinking about it and two years of total chaos.”
He finally addressed his grief when he was “on the verge of punching someone”. At a point, he turned to boxing to help ease his aggression and he said that also helped.
“Everyone was saying boxing’s good for you and it’s really good for letting out aggression. That really saved me, because I was on the verge of punching someone. Being able to punch someone with pads was certainly easier.”
He finally got his life under control by opening up about his feelings. For this reason is he doing all he can to help remove the stigma around mental health.
He revealed that had his brother not told him it was OK to talk to someone, he would have continued to struggle and suffer without knowing what was wrong. He finally saw a shrink, spoke about his feelings and was able to put his demons to rest.
“For me personally, my brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me. He kept saying this is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk to (someone) about stuff, it’s OK,” he said
Harry is launching a well-being initiative – the Heads Together campaign – alongside William and Kate. It is the 2017 London Marathon’s charity of the year and Harry will be joined by William and Kate to hand out medals to some runners as they cross the finish line.
Harry is now dating actress Meghan Markle and his life is now free of the scandals that plagued him in his twenties. There are also rumors that he has plans to be engaged to the actress.