Harry turned to ‘drink and drugs’ as an adult over Diana's death

Harry turned to ‘drink and drugs’ as an adult over Diana's death

Prince Harry turned to ‘drink and drugs’ as an adult over Diana’s death

Prince Harry has accused the Royal Family of “total neglect” in a new docu-series about mental health – The Me You Can’t See. 

Speaking to Oprah, Prince Harry said he turned to drink and drugs as an adult to cope with the death of his mother, Princess Diana

Harry said he and Meghan were “followed, photographed, chased and harassed” within days of their relationship becoming public.

Harry turned to ‘drink and drugs’ as an adult over Diana's death
Harry and Meghan in the trailer for the docu-series The Me You Can’t See – now available on Apple TV+

He said they received little support as they were attacked on social media and in some newspapers. 

“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,” he said. 

“We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job.”

KEY POINTS

  • Prince Harry accuses royals of ‘total neglect’ 
  • Turned to drink and drugs as an adult to deal with his mother’s death.
  • The Series released just hours after Martin Bashir inquiry. 
  • Diana’s funeral was ‘out of body’ experience
  • Harry started therapy four years ago

The series – The Me You Can’t See – was released just a few hours after the explosive inquiry found Martin Bashir used ‘deceitful behaviour’ including falsifying documents to secure the 1995 interview with Princess Diana. 

In the doc, Harry claims his family did not speak about the death of Diana and just expected him to deal with the resulting press attention and mental distress. 

“My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to both William and I, ‘Well it was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you’,” Harry said.

“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, that you can make it right for your kids.”

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.”

Diana’s death

Speaking about Diana’s funeral he 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.”

Adding: “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.”

Harry turned to ‘drink and drugs’ as an adult over Diana's death
Princess Diana’s funeral: Prince William, then 15 and Prince Harry, just 12, walked behind their mother’s coffin

Prince Harry says he turned to drink and drugs as an adult.  He said: “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.”

Panic attacks and severe anxiety

The Prince described the time when he was 28 to 32-years-old as a “nightmare” as he was suffering from panic attacks and severe anxiety – “freaking out every time I jump in a car or see a camera”.

He revealed he began therapy four years ago, after being encouraged by Meghan following an argument between the couple. 

“I knew that if I didn’t do the therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with,” he said.

“There was a lot of learning right at the beginning of our relationship. She was shocked to be coming backstage of the institution – of the British Royal Family.”

Harry turned to ‘drink and drugs’ as an adult over Diana's death
Princess Diana with Prince Harry and Prince William at Thorpe Park

‘Media smear’ 

Harry said the run-up to the couple’s interview with Oprah 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,” he said.

‘No regrets’ 

Harry said that he has no regrets about moving to the US, and says therapy has equipped him “with the ability to take on anything”.

He 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.”

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