Prince Harry turned to drink and drugs to mask pain of mother Diana's death

·3-min read

Prince Harry turned to drink and drugs to mask the mental anguish he faced after the death of his mother.

The royal was just 12 years old when Diana tragically died in 1997, and Harry confessed he later used booze and drugs to try and cover up the trauma.

The 36-year-old has joined forces with broadcasting icon Oprah Winfrey for the new Apple TV+ show The Me You Can't See, and in the first three episodes, Harry opened up about his experiences after losing his mother.

He revealed that he began suffering from crippling anxiety and severe panic attacks when he was 28, and finally sought help four years later.

"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," Harry explained.

"I was just all over the place mentally. Every time I put a suit on and tie on... having to do the role, and go, 'right, game face', look in the mirror and say, 'let's go'. Before I even left the house I was pouring with sweat. I was in fight or flight mode," he added, telling Oprah that he would drink a week's worth of alcohol in one night "because I was trying to mask something".

Harry also spoke about his mother's funeral, and recalled walking behind her coffin with his brother Prince William, father Prince Charles, uncle Earl Spencer, and grandfather Prince Philip.

"For me the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses' hooves going along the Mall. It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along doing what was expected of me. (I was) showing one-tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing: This was my mum - you never even met her," he stated.

Harry then touched upon his father's reaction to the unrelenting media coverage and press attention following his mother's death, with the royal adding he shares many characteristics with his late mother.

"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'," he shared. "I've got a hell of a lot of my mum in me. The only way to free yourself and break out is to tell the truth."

Harry added that he and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, were faced with "total silence or total neglect" when they asked for help after Meghan's mental health began to suffer as a result of the negative press attention she receives.

He also insisted the couple did "everything that we possibly could to stay here and carry on doing the job" as serving members of the royal family before deciding to permanently leave the U.K. and set up home in America with their young son Archie.

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