Prince Harry explains that he shut down his emotions for 20 years after his mom's death
Our favorite royals — Prince William, Princess Kate, and Prince Harry — have already been changing the conversation when it comes to mental health in the U.K. and beyond, thanks to their organization Heads Together. But this charity is also personal for them, as Prince Harry showed by speaking about his mother’s death and his own struggles with mental health.
In Bryony Gordon’s “Mad World” podcast for Britain’s The Telegraph, Harry opened up about Princess Diana’s death. He specifically spoke about how he sought counseling as an adult to help him deal with the complex emotions that he had ignored for most of his life.
Although the death of Princess Diana was a tragedy that impacted the entire world, hearing one of her sons speak out now is not only heartbreaking, but incredibly inspiring. Because Harry, his brother, and sister-in-law, are normalizing mental health issues through Heads Together and candid conversations like this.
And you can listen to Harry’s full conversation with Gordon below.
When Gordon asks Harry about his own mental health, he goes into the details of his life that would put a tremendous amount of stress on anyone:
While Harry notes that many people who served in Afghanistan may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, he was lucky enough for that not to be the case. The real struggle for him in terms of mental health specifically goes back to his mother’s death in 1997.
He went to therapy and unpacked years of avoiding the pain of losing his mother. Though it was two years of “total chaos,” he has come out on the other side in a healthier mental state.
Although anyone being this open about a parent’s death is valiant, such a public figure as Harry doing this is something that can honestly change lives.
As the young royals continue to destigmatize the conversation around mental health issues, we will continue to be in awe of their essential work. And with a conversation like this, Prince Harry showed that anyone, regardless of their status, can benefit from discussing mental health.