Prince Harry tells Oprah Diana’s death led him to drugs, alcohol and anxiety

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Prince Harry is speaking openly about his troubles.


Apple TV Plus screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Prince Harry isn’t done publicly sharing the struggles he’s faced behind the curtain of royal life. On Friday, The Me You Can’t See, his new docuseries series exploring mental health, debuted on Apple TV Plus. In it, Harry tells series co-creator Oprah Winfrey how he fought to cope with the death of his mother Princess Diana in 1997.

“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,” the Duke of Sussex said.

He called the years between ages 23 and 32 “a nightmare time in my life,” citing anxiety and panic attacks. He said he would drink to excess not because he liked to, but “because I was trying to mask something.”

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Although Harry rarely directly mentions members of the royal family, in the series he spoke about his father, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. His father did not talk about Diana’s death, he said, expecting him to simply deal with the press attention and other problems Harry faced.

“Well, (life) was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you,” Harry said Charles told both him and brother William. But Harry, who now lives in California with American-born wife Meghan Markle, who is expecting their second child, didn’t buy that statement.

“Just because you suffered doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer,” Harry said. “In fact quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences you had, that you can make it right for your kids.”

Harry has spoken out two other times in 2021. In March, Harry and his wife spoke to Winfrey for an explosive TV special, and more recently, the duke appeared on Dax Shepard and Monica Padman’s Armchair Expert podcast.

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