He was only 12-year-old when his mother was killed in a horrific Paris car crash and for Prince Harry, dealing – or not dealing – with the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death became a mental struggle.
In an interview with the Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon for her Mad World podcast, Prince Harry revealed how not processing his grief led him to experience mental struggles, especially in his late 20’s.
Prince Harry: 'Mental fitness relates to every single one of us, together we can smash the stigma.' 'Everyone struggles, we are not robots.'
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 16, 2017
“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last twenty years has had quite a serious effect on not only my personal life, but also my work as well,” he told Bryony.
“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?” Prince Harry admitted.
By bottling up those feelings and refusing to experience grief over the loss of Princess Diana, Harry revealed it became a huge problem, sending him into two years of “total chaos” at the age of 28. But for Harry he learnt to work through those emotions with the help of a therapist and elder brother Prince William. He also told Mad World he used boxing as a coping mechanism.
“No matter who you are, the conversation has to be the beginning,” Prince Harry said.
He also spoke about the mental health charity, Heads Together, he works on alongside brother Prince William and sister-in-law Duchess Kate. The foundation hopes to shine a light on mental health issues and diminish stigmas surrounding mental health. It urges those suffering to speak out about issues they are facing.