Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died when he was only 12 years old, and he’s rarely talked about it since. But now, in an unprecedented interview, he’s opening up about what it was like losing his mother at such a young age, and how he eventually sought help nearly 20 years later.
Speaking with The Telegraph, he said that when his mother first died, he didn’t deal with the grief at all and rather shoved his emotions down.
“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.”
“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. So from an emotional side, I was like ‘right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything’.”
Prince Harry ended up a very angry young man and eventually used exercise to help him take out his aggression.
“During those years I took up boxing because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it’s a really good way of letting out aggression. And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”
He eventually did start talking about her little by little and admitted,
“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.”
After that, he went through two years of “total chaos” before he sought out treatment.
“I know there is huge merit in talking about your issues and the only thing about keeping it quiet is that it’s only ever going to make it worse.”
Still, Prince Harry is very nervous about going public about his struggles. He’s a relatively private guy and hasn’t even officially announced his romance with Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry joins his brother Prince William and Kate Middleton, who have both previously spoken out about the importance of seeking mental health treatment.
Although the interview just came out, we know Prince Harry’s honesty will have a huge effect on people. When he went on Facebook Live to get HIV tested, HIV test requests skyrocketed so we know that the Prince has a huge influence. We’re just glad he’s finally using that influence for good.
The above photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.