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Harry says he turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with Princess Diana’s death


Harry says he turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with Princess Diana’s death


The pain of his mother’s passing, according to Prince Harry, caused him to use alcohol and drugs to’mask’ his emotions and ‘feel less like I was feeling.’

On the first episode of “The Me You Can’t See,” an Apple+ docuseries he co-created and executive produced with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex spoke with her about his childhood challenges and current coping mechanisms.

Harry also launched a scathing assault on the royal family, claiming that they failed to help him while he grew up.

When Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a traffic accident while being chased by the press in Paris in August 1997, the Duke of Sussex was just 12 years old.

Harry reflects on the challenges he encountered in the years following the Princess of Wales’ death in the first episode of the highly awaited series, which premiered on Friday.

“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. But I slowly became aware that, OK, I wasn’t drinking Monday to Friday, but I would probably drink a week’s worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night,” Harry recalled.


“And I would find myself drinking, not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something,” he said, adding that he was “completely unaware of it.” He said he felt like his brain was telling him he was “in a fight.”

The royal discussed painful memories from his youth in the first three episodes, including the time he was famously pictured with his brother, father, uncle, and grandfather walking behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral.

Harry characterized the period between the ages of 28 and 32 as “a nightmare time in my life.” He described having panic attacks and extreme anxiety that intensified whenever he saw a camera and left him exhausted.

He said the 10 years he spent in the army during his 20s and early 30s were the “happiest time” of his life because it made him to feel more normal.

He clarified that because of his identity, he was never given “special treatment” and just had to go through army life like any other soldier, which helped because he grew up trying to be “normal.”

“That was where I felt my most normal and actually, you know, in my younger years, the most comfortable I felt was out in Afghanistan, away from the media,” he said.

The Prince claims that he was never given the space or time to grieve his mother’s death, leading him to resort to alcohol and drugs to ease the pain.

As a coping tactic, Harry said he would attempt to “feel less” about what he was feeling by abstaining from alcohol for a week and then drinking “a week’s worth” in one sitting.

Charles allegedly sent Harry to rehab when he was 17 after he was found smoking cannabis.

Harry had “experimented with the drug on several occasions,” according to St James’s Palace, but he was not a “regular” consumer.

During the series, Harry also admitted that when performing royal duties, he suffered from “panic attacks [and] severe anxiety”

“I would feel as though my body temperature was two or three degrees warmer than everybody else in the room,” Harry remembered. “I would convince myself that my face was bright red and therefore, everybody could see how I was feeling, but no one would know why, so that was embarrassing.”

He explained that a lot of his tension stemmed from his “burnout” as the royals’ “yes man,” adding that he would be jetted around the world in a “hectic” way.

‘I was just all over the place mentally,’ he stated.

‘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.’

‘The sound of the horses’ hooves running down the Mall was the one I remember the most,’ he said, recalling walking behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral.

‘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.’

Despite how happy he was at the moment, Harry admitted that he knew he still had problems from his life to deal with.

He explained, “I was gonna have to deal with my past because there was anger there,” “Towards my late 20s, I was starting to ask questions of, ‘Should I really be here?’ … that was when I suddenly started going, ‘You can’t keep hiding from this.'”

On Friday, AppleTV+ launched the five-part celebrity-packed docuseries, which also stars Lady Gaga and Glenn Close.

The Duke chastised his father, Charles, for failing to assist him in his difficulties.

“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.’

“That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean your kids have to suffer. Actually quite the opposite.

“If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences you had, you can make it right for your kids.”

Harry said in the series that he went to therapy for four years and heard from his psychiatrist that he had “never processed” his mother’s death and that his emotions were “coming up in different ways as projection.”

“It was like someone had taken a lid off all of the emotions that I’ve suppressed for so many years suddenly came to the forefront. And I saw GPs [general practitioners], I saw doctors, I saw therapists, I saw alternative therapists. I saw all sorts of people,” the royal said. “But it was meeting and being with Meghan, I knew that if I didn’t do therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with.”

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