Prince Harry has said in a new interview that he suffered for years after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, before finally getting help about three years ago at the urging of his elder brother, Prince William.
The candid statement by the prince, in a podcast released on April 17 by The Daily Telegraph, is the latest indication of a shift within the British monarchy toward greater openness, led by a younger generation. The two princes, along with Prince William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, are leading a campaign called Heads Together to end stigma around mental illness.
Prince Harry, 32, said that not dealing with the trauma had contributed to years of “total chaos” in his late 20s.
“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 said.
He added: “I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and all sorts of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997, at age 36; she and Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, had divorced the previous year.
In the podcast, Prince Harry said he had tried to cope with the tragedy by not talking about it. “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?” he said. He recalled thinking: “‘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, who spent 10 years in the British armed forces and served two tours in Afghanistan, said in the interview that his struggles had consumed much of his 20s. (He was 27 in 2012, when tabloids published images of him naked while partying in Las Vegas, which prompted him to apologize for having “let my family down.”)
The prince also praised the virtues of getting professional help and speaking out about grief.
He added that staying quiet about emotional suffering in distress was “only ever going to make it worse,” and he urged people in such situations to seek help. “You will be surprised, firstly, how much support you get,” he said.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2017/04/30/2003669649