Prince Harry on how he struggled after Diana's demise, facing panic attacks and fearing losing Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, who recently stepped back from his duties as a royal member along with his wife Meghan Markle, has now opened up about the lack of support from his family to support Meghan when she was dealing with racism from the British press.
The documentary series on mental health, which is titled ‘The Me You Can’t See’, was released on Apple TV+ today and featured several prominent figures including Harry, television host Oprah Winfrey, and Lady Gaga revealing the difficulties they faced in life in order to initiate a healthy discussion on other mental health issues people deal with.
A few weeks ago, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave an interview to CBC, hosted by Oprah, that shocked the world with their allegations of racism against the British royals.
In this documentary, Harry spoke more about the forms of racism that Meghan faced and explained the trauma he dealt with after his mother, Princess Diana passed away. The Duke of Sussex also made serious allegations against the UK media over her death.
Harry began by saying that days after he made his relationship with Meghan public, the press began chasing and harassing them, and numerous racist articles were published about her. Harry had reportedly said in the documentary, “Within the first eight days of our relationship being made public was when they said, ‘Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton’ and that her ‘exotic DNA will be thickening the royal blood’.”
He said that he had reached out to his family for help after this, but it was met with “total neglect.” Harry was quoted as saying, “I felt completely helpless. I thought my family would help, but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence or total neglect. We spent four years trying to make it work, we did everything we possibly could to stay there performing the role and doing the job. But Meghan was struggling.”
In the documentary, Harry also claimed his family did not speak about the death of his mother, and that they expected him to deal with the consequent media attention and stress.
He also pointed out that his father, Prince Charles told them to deal with the toxic media attention, saying, “My father used to say to both William and I (when we were younger), ‘Well it was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you’.”
“That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact quite the opposite - if you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences you had, you make it right for your kids,” Harry vehemently said.
He then moved on to talk about his mother Diana, who had died in a car crash after being chased and followed by the paparazzi. Speaking about this, Harry said, “The clicking of cameras and the flashing of cameras makes my blood boil. It makes me angry and takes me back to what happened to my mum and my experience as a kid.”
“My mother was chased to her death when she was in a relationship with someone who wasn’t white, and now look what’s happened,” he said, apparently making a reference to Diana’s Egyptian-born boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, who also died in the crash.
Harry explained the impact that his mother’s death had on his childhood and how he dealt with it. “I was so angry with what happened to her, and the fact that there was no justice at all. Nothing came from that. The same people that chased her into the tunnel, photographed her dying on the backseat of that car.”
He also described her funeral and said, “It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along doing what was expected of me - showing one-tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing.”
Later, he turned to drink and drugs after he became an adult. Harry was quoted as saying, “I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling. But I slowly became aware that, okay I wasn’t drinking Monday to Friday but I would probably drink a week’s worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night.”
Opening up about his bouts of panic attacks and severe anxiety, Harry described the time when he was 28 to 32 years old as a “nightmare.” He added that he would “freak out every time (he) saw a camera.”
The Duke of Sussex then decided to begin therapy four years ago and had been encouraged to seek help by Meghan after they had an argument. “I knew that if I didn’t do the therapy and fix myself, then I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with,” he said.
Explaining the ordeal he and Meghan had to go through before they did the viral interview with Oprah, Harry said the run-up to the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey took its toll because of “the combined effort of ‘the firm’ and the media to “smear” Meghan.
“I was woken up in the middle of the night to her crying in her pillow because she doesn’t want to wake me up because I’m carrying too much. That’s heartbreaking. I held her. We talked. She cried, she cried, she cried,” Harry said in a heartfelt tone.
He concluded by saying that he has no regrets about moving to the US, and that therapy has equipped him “with the ability to take on anything.”
Harry then added, “I’m now more comfortable in my own skin. I don’t get panic attacks. I’ve learned more about myself in the past four years than in the 32 years before it.”