In this image provided by Apple, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, appears in a scene from “The Me You Can’t See.” (Apple via AP)

In this image provided by Apple, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, appears in a scene from “The Me You Can’t See.” (Apple via AP)

‘I was afraid’: Prince Harry reveals his journey with mental health

He describes instances of feeling helpless as a young boy while riding in the car with his mother, Princess Diana, who cried as they were surrounded by paparazzi

For Harry, returning to London to attend Prince Philip’s funeral last month meant once more facing a place where he felt trapped and hunted by cameras. It would be a test of his ability to cope with the anxiety that was bubbling up again.

“I was worried about it, I was afraid,” Harry told The Associated Press during a recent joint interview with Oprah Winfrey to promote a mental-health series they co-created and co-executive produced for Apple TV+.

He was able to work through any trepidation using coping skills learned in therapy.

“It definitely made it a lot easier, but the heart still pounds,” said Harry, the Duke of Sussex and grandson of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband Philip.

In “The Me You Can’t See,” which debuted Thursday night on Apple’s streaming service, Harry reveals that he first saw a therapist approximately four years ago at the encouragement of then-girlfriend Meghan. They’d had an argument and she recognized his anger seemed misplaced.

The series is another chapter in the unprecedented openness that Harry has brought to his life and his royal family relationships since stepping away from his duties and moving with his wife to California. In March, he and Meghan gave a headline-making interview to Winfrey that elicited a rare public response from the palace.

Harry’s self-work may be relatively recent but he and older brother William, The Duke of Cambridge, have long championed the importance of mental health. In 2016, Harry, William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, launched Heads Together, an initiative to speak up and not be ashamed to ask for help when mental well-being is at stake.

Their collective work led to interactions with people across the globe, from all walks of life, and they recognized a common thread. “Sharing your story in order to be able to save a life or help others is absolutely critical,” said Harry.

Harry is practicing what he preaches and laying bare his own struggles with trauma and grief. He describes in “The Me You Can’t See,” the instances of feeling helpless as a young boy while riding in the car with his mother, Princess Diana, who cried as they were surrounded by paparazzi and she struggled to drive.

Years later, Diana was killed in Paris after the car she and friend Dodi Fayed were riding in, crashed during a high-speed chase to flee cameras. Harry was 12 and suppressed his own feelings to meet the mourning public gathered outside Kensington Palace.

Cameras rolled and snapped away as he walked behind her casket to Diana’s funeral, alongside William, father Prince Charles, Philip and Diana’s brother Charles Spencer.

Harry’s revelations coincide with Queen Elizabeth’s official confirmation a few months ago that he and Meghan will not return to their senior royal positions within the family, following a one-year trial period.

The couple now lives about 90 minutes north of Los Angeles in an exclusive area near Santa Barbara called Montecito. They count Winfrey, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom as neighbors. The paparazzi still lurk but it’s less intense than in Los Angeles.

This new, outspoken prince who shares his emotions is a contrast to the “never complain, never explain,” “keep calm and carry on” mantras that are part of the prototypical British way.

The British tabloids have had a field day picking apart his statements. Some royal commentators have also cried foul over a contradiction between seeking a private life yet granting interviews and revealing family strife.

Harry appears to be cautious in choosing what he wants to speak about, and neither he nor Meghan seem interested in sharing their every move with the world. They do not operate a social media account.

He is undeterred by naysayers, he says, because there’s a greater good in being honest about his struggles. “I see it as a responsibility. I don’t find it hard to open up,” he said. “Knowing the impacts and the positive reaction that it has for so many people that also suffer, I do believe it’s a responsibility.”

Winfrey was already working with Apple to develop a series on mental health when a conversation with Harry sparked the idea to join forces.

“We were having a conversation and I asked him, ‘What are the two most important issues you think facing the world today?’ And he said immediately, ‘climate change and mental health.’”

She mentioned the project and Winfrey recalls him later saying, ‘Oh, by the way, if you ever need any help with that … give me a call.’ And I went and turned around and said, ‘What’s your number?’”

Winfrey’s existing partnership with Apple created a rare opportunity to reach the vast number of people who use the company’s devices, Harry said.

“If that’s in a billion pockets on a billion screens, then maybe we can really start a global conversation about this,” he said.

Winfrey said Harry pushed to present a global perspective. “This has got to be a world thing and not just a U.S. thing,’” she recounted him saying, adding: “I think we’ve accomplished that really well.”

Harry jokes he’s “slowly catching up” to Winfrey’s decades of inner-work and encouragement of others to do the same whether on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” or her “Super Soul Sunday” interviews on OWN. Even Winfrey said she’s had a lot to learn.

“I have dealt personally with one of the girls from my school (Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa), who had schizophrenia,” Winfrey said. “Only after hearing the doctor say that ‘it’s a diagnosis. It’s not your life, it’s not who you are,’ that I had my great awakening about it. … ‘That is not you. You are a person who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia.’ That is powerful.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Royal family

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

(Big White Ski Resort/Contributed)
Big White’s big clean-up: Large turnout for post-melt mountain tidy

More than 165 people showed up to help gather the litter left behind from the winter season

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read