Prince Harry has said the trauma of his mother’s death led him to use alcohol and drugs to ‘mask’ his emotions and to ‘feel less like I was feeling’.
The Duke of Sussex was just 12 when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in August 1997 in a car crash while being pursued by the press in Paris.
In the first three episodes of Apple TV’s The Me You Can’t See, the royal addressed traumatic memories from his childhood including the moment he was famously photographed with his brother, father, uncle and grandfather walking behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral.
The 36-year-old told his series co-host Oprah Winfrey: ‘I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling.’
The royal said he would drink a week’s worth of alcohol on a Friday or Saturday night ‘not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something’.
It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along doing what was expected of me. (I was) showing one tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing: This was my mum – you never even met her.’
The series focuses on mental health, with Harry telling Winfrey the trauma of the loss caused him to suffer anxiety and severe panic attacks from ages 28 to 32.
‘I was just all over the place mentally,’ he said.
‘Every time I put a suit on and tie on … having to do the role, and go, “right, game face”, look in the mirror and say, “let’s go”. Before I even left the house I was pouring with sweat. I was in fight or flight mode.’
Recalling walking behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral, he said: ‘For me the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses’ hooves going along the Mall.’
During the programme the duke also accused of ‘total neglect’ when his wife Meghan was feeling suicidal amid harassment on social media.
That alleged abandonment was one of the ‘biggest reasons’ the couple left the UK, Harry said.
‘Certainly now I will never be bullied into silence,’ he added.
In the series of interviews, Prince Harry also accused the Royal Family of ‘total silence’ and ‘total neglect’ when Meghan was suicidal, claiming his father Prince Charles made him ‘suffer’ as a child.
He added: ‘That feeling of being trapped within the family, there was no option to leave. Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, ‘You can’t do this’, And it’s like, ‘Well how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?’. She [Meghan] was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.’
Harry described how his wife told him she wanted to kill herself, while six months pregnant with Archie, on the way to the Royal Albert Hall in London and she spoke of the ‘practicalities of how she was going to end her life’, claiming it reminded him of his mother’s final weeks in 1997.
He said: ‘Meghan decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life’, adding that she later decided against it because she didn’t want Harry to lose ‘another woman in my life’.
The Duke said ‘history was repeating itself’, because Princess Diana was with Dodi Fayed, who was Egyptian by birth, when she died in 1997, saying there was a real fear that he would lose Meghan.
He told Oprah: ‘History was repeating itself. My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone who wasn’t white. And now look what’s happened.
‘It’s incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life. Like, the list is growing. And it all comes back to the same people, the same business model, the same industry.’
Source | Daily Mail UK