The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, has revealed that he used to drink large quantities of alcohol and also took drugs to deal with the death of his mother and his anxiety.
The Duke claimed that when he was between 28 and 32 that it was “a nightmare time” in his life when he suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. He also said that he was drinking approximately a week’s worth of alcohol on a Friday or Saturday night.
Harry made the revelations while chatting to Oprah Winfrey during their Apple TV+ documentary on mental health, The Me You Can’t See. The series was produced by both Harry and Oprah and will first air on Friday, May 21.
He says he hopes that speaking out will help alleviate the social stigma surrounding mental heath issues.
Prince Harry says, ‘I was willing to take drugs’
In the frank discussion with Oprah, the Prince talked candidly about his mental battles dealing with life in the Royal Family. He spoke about how he felt anxious and was pouring with sweat every time he put on a suit to participate in a royal engagement. He said he was “in fight or flight mode.”
Worryingly, Harry admitted to drinking and taking drugs, but not because he enjoyed the effect but to alleviate the stress and anxiety. He said: “I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling… not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something.”
Harry also discussed his mother’s funeral in 1997, which he attended at just 12 years old. Harry and William both walked behind Princess Diana’s coffin in a funeral procession witnessed by millions of people.
He went on to claim that there was a reluctance among Royal Family members to talk about his mother’s death. In another dig at Prince Charles, he said that he and William were expected to suffer in silence.
Harry said: “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.'”
Prince Harry hopes to break cycle of pain with Archie
Harry spoke about breaking the cycle with his children: “Just because you suffered doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer.” The Prince previously spoke in an interview with Dax Shepard about breaking the cycle of pain and suffering with Archie that he feels Charles passed on to him and William.
Check out the trailer for Harry and Oprah’s documentary on mental health The Me You Can’t See.
The Me You Can’t See will air from May 21 on Apple TV+.