Here is a break with the British monarchy’s stiff-upper-lip tradition, in the name of destigmatizating mental health struggles: Prince Harry has given an interview about his long-running emotional struggles in the wake of his mother’s very public death, culminating in finally getting some help in his late 20s.
He spoke to the Telegraph, admitting, “I can safely say that losing my mom at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had quite a serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well.” He explained:
“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?
“[I thought] 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’.
“So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great’, or ‘life is fine’ and that was exactly it.
“And then [I] started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”
“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle,” he admitted, explaining that his brother finally convinced him he needed to speak to a professional.
The context for this is that the trio of young royals have made mental health, especially for young people, a major part of their philanthropic efforts. He said he wanted to make a difference while he and the rest of his generation of the family are “still interesting” to the public, which frankly shows more self-awareness than one would expect from a literal prince. Good for Harry.