Prince Harry has challenged his father, the Prince of Wales’ commitment to traditional royal parenting and believed he should have done for him following the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Speaking his new series The Me You Can’t See, he gave a rare insight into his royal life and how the stereotypical stiff upper lip is maintained across the generations.
The show is going to hit the streaming service Apple+ TV on 21 May, and it will touch upon themes such as death, mental health and therapy.
It is the second time the Duke of Sussex has worked with American broadcaster Oprah Winfrey, who interviewed him and his wife The Duchess of Sussex in March. They spoke about similar topics in the CBS interview and revealed that Meghan had dealt with suicidal feelings and there were ‘concerns’ about their son Archie’s skin tone.
In keeping with the royal’s new honest approach to talking to the media, he used the show to express the difference between his and father’s upbringing, in contrast to the one he intended for Archie and his unborn daughter.
In episode three, he talked to Sanja Oakley, a therapist specialising in EDMR trauma therapy, and spoke about what his father used to tell him when he was struggling emotionally.
“Cause 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 gonna be like that for you’,” he said to her.
Much has been made about Prince Charles emotionally spartan upbringing, which included being sent to Gordonstoun, a tough boarding school in the Scottish Highlands, and being unable to marry first-love Camilla Parker-Bowles. This has been famously depicted in the Netflix show the The Crown.
He added: “That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer. In fact quite the opposite, if you’ve suffered, do whatever you can to make sure that whatever experiences, negative experiences you had, that you can make it right for your kids.”
In the episode, he described how the loss of his mother had triggered anxiety and panic which caused him seek therapy. A lot it manifested from being in London and he talked about the restorative power of travel to places like Africa.
He said that he was putting mental health as the number one priority now in his new life in California alongside wife Meghan Markle.
“We chose to put our mental health first. That’s what we’re doing and that’s what we will continue to do,” he said.
Speaking on the aftermath of Diana’s death, he said: “I don’t want to think about her. Because if I think about her, then it’s going to bring up the fact that I can’t bring her back and it’s just going to make me sad.
“What’s the point in thinking about someone that you’ve lost and you’re never going to get back again? I just decided not to talk about it.”
Asked by Oprah if anyone who was around him talked about the tragedy and the grief that followed, Harry said “no one was talking about it.”
When people asked him how he was, Harry would say he was fine because “fine was the easy answer”.