Prince Harry was just 12 years old when his mother, Princess Diana died.
The whole world watched in horror as the news broke that the Princess of Wales had passed away after being involved in a horrific car accident in Paris in 1997.
Memorials have been underway to mark the twenty year anniversary of her death, but in an unusually candid interview Prince Harry has decided to lift the lid on his own mental health struggles following the death of his mother.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Harry spoke about verging on the brink of a “complete breakdown” following years of “total chaos”, and also discussed how he eventually processed his grief.
“I can safely say that losing my mum 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,” he said.
“My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand… 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.”
Harry admitted that his brother, William (who was just 15 when their mother died) had encouraged him to deal with his demons, but Harry had largely ignored him until recently.
However, when Harry did decide face his grief head-on, he opted for counselling which he says was “great”. He also found that boxing was a brilliant release for letting out his “aggression”.
The 32-year-old royal, who is a promoting mental health charity Heads Together ahead of the London Marathon alongside Prince William and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, felt it was important to talk about his own experiences.
“Because of the process I have been through over the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve now been able to take my work seriously, been able to take my private life seriously as well, and 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.”