Prince Harry admitted in a recent and candid interview that during his 20s, he came very close to having a complete breakdown while struggling to deal with the loss of his mother. Princess Diana’s second son has revealed that on many occasions, he really felt like punching someone.
– Royal Central (@RoyalCentral) May 1, 2017
Page Six reported that Prince Harry, now 32-years-old, even took up boxing as a way of coping with the pain of his mother’s death.
“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 a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well. 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.”
Prince Harry revealed that he slowly sank into depression after his beloved mother, Princess Diana, died in a car accident in 1997. It wasn’t until he was about 28 that he was ready to grieve the devastating loss of his mother.
Admitting that he attempted to deal with the shocking incident by “sticking my head in the sand,” Prince Harry revealed that he refused to allow himself to even think about his mother.
“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.'”
– Jake Tyler (@blackdogwalks1) April 27, 2017
Prince Harry described himself as a “typical 20-, 25-, 28-year-old,” convincing himself that “life is great” or “life is fine,” but that one day after having “a few conversations,” he realized that he was filled with grief.
“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.”
According to Prince Harry, one of the best ways of venting his frustrations was to step into a boxing ring. He said it took around two years of total chaos before he was able to get his emotions in check.
He was also full of praise for his older brother, Prince William.
“My brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me.”
Prince Harry revealed that his older brother continued to encourage him to “talk to someone about stuff,” but that he didn’t because the “timing wasn’t right.”
“You need to feel it in yourself, you need to find the right person to talk to as well.”
– Lee Radziwill (@RadziwillLee) April 27, 2017
Instead, Prince Harry took up boxing as a way of dealing with his pain and anger, calling it “a really good way of letting out aggression.”
“And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, and Princes Harry and William will be commemorating the event with a statue and award ceremony in her honor. The celebrations will have typical Princess Diana themes – kindness, compassion, and service.
Prince Harry hopes that his revelations about his struggle with anger and depression will help bring mental health problems out into the open, and show sufferers that there are ways of dealing with life’s struggles.
“What we are trying to do is normalize the conversation to the point where anyone can sit down and have a coffee and just go, ‘You know what, I’ve had a really sh*t day, can I just tell about it?’ Because then you walk away and it’s done.”
– Heads Together (@heads_together) April 23, 2017
Harry said that today, he’s in a “good place.” He credits the “process” he’s been through over the past two and a half years and says that he is now able to take his work and his private life seriously.
“[I’ve] been able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else.”
The Telegraph reported that, following Prince Harry’s public acknowledgment of his struggle with depression, people are already speaking out.
Prince Harry was interviewed by Bryony Gordon from the Telegraph, and it appears that MPs are already speaking freely about their own experiences with depression.
The young royal is also happy to reveal that he has spoken to a professional about his mental health and said this has been very helpful. He admits that he only began to address his grief because of the ongoing anger and that he was facing anxiety during royal engagements.
Prince Harry and his brother Prince William created a mental health charity known as Heads Together, with the hope that a frank and open discussion about mental health will naturally follow. The Telegraph’s “Mad World” series was also created with the aim of bringing mental health issues out into the open.
– AFOLABI LUKMAN (@saintlukman) April 21, 2017
Many people have been affected by Prince Harry’s interview and have now opened up about their own struggles with anger and depression.
Chuka Umunna wrote, “Big, big respect to Prince Harry for opening up about his mental health and grief. Losing a parent so young is very tough. I lost my Dad at 13 – doing so in the public eye would have been harder still.”
John Woodcock wrote of his experiences, “Prince Harry opening up about the way he processed his grief will help a lot of people. My chaos and madness after losing my sister kicked in straight away. Grateful people stuck with me. Well done Harry for talking about this.”
John Nicholson MP said, “Good for Prince Harry. Having lost my dad as a young teenager I can relate to what he says about locking away grief.”
Matt Warman MP said, “My parents died when I was 28 – Prince Harry has done a huge service to all of us who struggled to deal with loss.”
[Featured Image by Adrian Dennis/Getty Images & John Redman/AP Images]