Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, says he abused alcohol and took drugs to numb the pain of the death of Princess Diana, his mum.
The 36-year-old, who had previously likened his “unbelievably tough” split from the royal family to the experience of his late mother, brought the latest revelation to light during his new Apple TV+ show.
The AppleTV+ docuseries titled ‘The Me You Can’t See’ is co-created by Harry and Oprah Winfrey.
Diana died in August 1997, in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris while the driver was fleeing the paparazzi.
“I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling,” he said.
“But I slowly became aware that, OK, 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.
“And I would find myself drinking, not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something.”
Harry, while opening up on his mental health, revealed that he has been in therapy for four years to heal himself from his past.
The duke also claimed his family didn’t speak on Diana’s death, leaving him to face the mental distress of press attention.
“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’. That doesn’t make sense,” he added.
“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 whatever negative experiences you had, that you can make it right for your kids.
“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.”
The duke described the time when he was 28 to 32 as a “nightmare” marked for its panic attacks and severe anxiety. He added that he was often “freaking out” every time he got in a car or saw a camera.
Harry said he began therapy four years ago and was encouraged to seek help by Meghan Markle, his wife, after they had an argument.
“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. There was a lot of learning right at the beginning of our relationship,” he noted.
On moving to the US, the duke 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.”
The spotlight had beamed on Harry and Meghan in March following their explosive interview with Oprah wherein they bared lurid details of their struggles with the British royal family.
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