Prince Harry lists the 'only four times' he’s felt ‘totally helpless’ in book
Prince Harry has listed the four times in his life that he has felt "totally helpless" in his new book, Spare.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, shared several intimate moments from his past in his highly-anticipated memoir, which went hit shelves today - five days after a leak in Spain.
Two of the instances involved his wife, Meghan Markle, one referred to his time in Afghanistan and a fourth was experienced alongside his brother and late mother.
"In my life I’ve felt totally helpless only four times," he wrote.
The first, the royal noted, was as a child "in the back of the car while Mummy and Willy and I were being chased by paps". While it is unclear when this took place, Princess Diana passed away in 1997 when the duke was 12 years old.
The duke has commented on the involvement of the paparazzi in relation to his mother's death in a Paris car crash on a number of occasions. Most recently during both his Netflix docuseries with Meghan and in interviews promoting his book.
Talking to Tom Bradby for an ITV1 tell-all on Sunday night, the prince admitted he had driven through the same tunnel his mother died in at the same speed in a bid to understand what happened. In the same interview, he admitted to being "eternally grateful" that his then-press secretary had shown him photos of the crash after he had asked for evidence she had died.
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The second example of experiencing helplessness was "in the Apache above Afghanistan, unable to get clearance to do my duty," he wrote.
The duke served in the British Royal Army for 10 years, including two tours in Afghanistan – the second stint of which, from 2012 to 2013, he was an Apache helicopter pilot. He trained for the position after a tour was cut short when his position was leaked by the media.
Speaking to The Guardian during his latter tour, he revealed how seriously he took his responsibility fighting as Captain Wales – including, as revealed in his book, killing 25 members of the Taliban.
He told the newspaper: "If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose.
"Take a life to save a life…the squadron's been out here. Everyone's fired a certain amount."
Then the father-of-two moves on to more recent history, sharing: "At Nott Cott [Nottingham Cottage, the home Meghan and Harry shared on the grounds of the Kensington Palace estate when working royals] when my pregnant wife was planning to take her life."
It is understood that the Duchess of Sussex's mental health deteriorated after the couple's wedding in May 2018 when she was carrying their baby son Archie, who was born a year later.
The duchess spoke about her experience of this time to Oprah Winfrey during the couple's 2021 interview.
She said: "Look, I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn't say it, then I would do it. I just didn't want to be alive anymore."
Recalling his fourth helpless moment in his new book, the duke takes the reader to the time shortly after he and his wife discovered she had miscarried.
He explained: "And now. We left the hospital with our unborn child. A tiny package. We went to a place, a secret place only we knew.
"Under a spreading banyan tree, while Meg wept, I dug a hole with my hands and set the tiny package softly in the ground."
Read more: Prince Harry reveals Princess Diana 'blocked' King Charles' first name choice for him
The duchess shared her miscarriage with the world in November 2020, in a piece for The New York Times. She revealed in the article that she had lost their baby that July when they were already living in California.
In the Netflix docuseries she created and starred in, alongside Prince Harry, Meghan explained she hoped that by sharing her pregnancy loss experience she may help others in similar situations.
"So when I reveal things that are moments of vulnerability, when it comes to having a miscarriage and maybe having felt ashamed about that, like it's okay, you're human. It's okay to talk about that," she said.
"I could make the choice to never talk about those things or I could make the choice to say that with all the bad that comes with this, the good is being able to help other people.
"The point of life is connection and community like that," she added.
Meghan happily went on to give birth to the couple's second child, daughter Lilibet, in June 2021.
Watch: Readers rush to buy first UK copies of Prince Harry's memoir