The Duke of Sussex has accused the royal family of “total silence and total neglect” as his wife, Meghan, struggled to adjust to palace life, saying the family was trying to keep the couple from leaving.
In a new mental health documentary series starring Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry tells how he turned to drink and drugs to mask the trauma of his mother’s death, as well as his fears that media harassment would end with his death. own wife.
Over five episodes of The Me You Can’t See, shown on Apple TV +, he revealed that before the couple’s earlier Oprah interview, “the combined efforts of the company and the media” to infect Meghan overnight. crying in her pillow.
His biggest regret, he said, was that he was not prompting racism in traditional and social media, saying that Diana, Princess of Wales “was haunted to her death while in a relationship with someone who was not white. And now look what happened. You want to talk about the repetition of history. They don’t stop until she dies. “
The extensive interview was about his therapy and how he thinks his mother would be proud of him.
Harry said, “I thought my family would help, but every question, every request, every warning, whatever it is just got total silence, total neglect.
“We’ve been trying to make it work for four years. We have done everything we can to stay there and continue to do the role and the job. But Meghan struggled. “
Meghan, who was six months pregnant with Archie, had told him about her suicidal thoughts just before the two were due to show up at a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall in southwest London.
“What kept her from going through it was how unfair it would be for me after all that had happened to my mother, and now be in a position to lose another woman in my life with a baby in her, our sweetheart, “he said. He added,” I was ashamed it had gotten so bad. I was ashamed to go to my family because to be honest, like many other people my age is likely to be with I know that my family will not give me what I need. “
That Oprah interview
In a clear reference to allegations of bullying against Meghan that emerged before the March interview, he said: “Because of their headlines and that combined effort by the company and the media to smear her, I woke up in the middle of the night. crying to her in her pillow … That’s heartbreaking. I held her. We talked. She cried and she cried and she cried. “
Speaking of the interview, in which an unnamed member of the royal family was accused of racism, he said: “I like to think we were able to speak the truth in the most compassionate way possible, and therefore leave it open. for reconciliation and healing.
“The interview was about being real, being authentic and hopefully sharing an experience that we know is incredibly recognizable to many people around the world, despite our uniquely privileged position.”
Leaving the royal fold
“That feeling of being trapped in the family, there was no option to leave. When I finally made that decision for my family, I was still told you can’t do this. And I was like, ‘How bad does it have to get before I can do this? She was going to end her life? It shouldn’t come to that. ‘ “
Making the switch to the US “was really scary. As with every possible occasion, the forces worked against us to make it impossible. Did I expect to find ourselves in this situation so soon? No. I think we did very well. And I don’t regret it. It’s unbelievably sad. But I have no regrets at all because now I am in a place where I feel like I should have been four years ago. “
The death of Diana
When he walked behind his mother’s coffin at the age of 12, he said, “What I remember is the sound of horses’ hooves going along the Mall.” He and William were “both in shock.” “It was like being out of my body and just doing what was expected of me. Show one-tenth of the emotion everyone else showed. He recalls being angry with the crying crowd and thinking, ‘This is my mom. You didn’t even meet her.’
Overwhelmed by her loss, he suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. ‘I just decided not to talk about it. Nobody talked about it. “
He escaped to the military, where he “felt most normal” in his early years, especially in Afghanistan “away from the media”. “But I was going to have to deal with my past because there was anger there.”
Drinking and drugs
He was in “fight or flight mode”. “Panic attacks, severe anxiety from 28 to probably 32 was a nightmare in my life.
‘I was ready to drink. I was willing to use drugs. I was willing to try to do the things that made me feel less the way I felt.
Okay, I didn’t drink Monday through Friday, but on a Friday or Saturday night, I would probably drink in one day for a week. And I found myself drinking not because I enjoyed it, but because I was trying to mask something. “
“Towards the end of my twenties, I started asking questions about whether I would really be here. And then suddenly I started to say, “You can’t keep hiding from this.” “
He’s been in therapy for over four years, which he started in earnest because he was afraid of losing Meghan if “I didn’t do therapy and I didn’t recover.
“A lot was learned at the beginning of our relationship. She was shocked to come backstage from the institution of the British Royal Family. “
He said, “I became aware that I have been living in a bubble within this family, this institution. And I was almost stuck in the thinking process, or a mindset. “
Shown in a video session with eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, he reveals that all his life flying back to London has caused fear ‘because of what happened to my mother, and what I experienced and what I saw’. His negative thoughts are “like being rushed and helpless”.
The therapy has equipped him to “handle anything,” he said. ‘That’s why I’m here now. That’s why my wife is here now. “
His greatest regret is “that he did not take a position earlier in my relationship with my wife” and exclaims racism. “History repeated itself, my mother was shot to death while in a relationship with someone who was not white. And now look what happened. You want to talk about the repetition of history. They won’t stop until she dies. Referring to the media, he said, “And it all comes back to the same people, the same business model, the same industry.
“My dad used to say to me when I was younger, he said to William and I, ‘Well, it was like that for me. So it will be for you. ‘ That makes no sense. Just because you suffered doesn’t mean your kids have to suffer. In fact quite the opposite. “
“They are desperately trying to get the story under control. Because they know that if they lose it, the truth will come to light, ”he said of the media coverage.
He added, “Family members have said, ‘Just play the game and your life will be easier.’ But I have a lot of my mother in me. I feel like I’m outside the system, but I’m still stuck there. ”
“I have no doubt that my mother would be incredibly proud of me. I live the life she wanted to live for herself. Live the life she wanted us to live. So I know not only that she is incredibly proud of me, but that she helped me get here. And I have never felt her presence the way I did in the past year. “
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