Prince Harry has revealed that he sought counselling on more than one occasion, after he spent nearly 20 years not processing the death of his mother Princess Diana. Harry, 32, said he shut down his emotions to the extent that it affected his personal life, as well as his work. It was only until his older brother Prince William said his behaviour was "not normal" that he decided to see a therapist.
Speaking candidly in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Harry said: "It was 20 years of not thinking about it and two years of total chaos." When asked whether he had ever been to see a shrink, he replied: "I've done that a couple of times, more than a couple of times, but it's great."
Prince Harry says he's in a "good place" now
The Prince was 12 years old when his mother Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. He admitted that he didn't process his grief until his late twenties, saying: "My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help? (I thought) it's only going to make you sad, it's not going to bring her back. So from an emotional side, I was like 'right, don't ever let your emotions be part of anything.'
"So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going 'life is great', or 'life is fine' and that was exactly it. And then (I) started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with."
Prince Harry was 12 when his mum passed away
He sought counselling after his older brother William, 34, told him: "Look, you really need to deal with this. It is not normal to think that nothing has affected you." Harry took up boxing to deal with his emotions, which "saved" him, he adds, having come close to "punching someone" when he was 28.
The royal added that he is now in a good place because of the process he has been through over the past two and a half years. He said: "I've now been able to take my work seriously, been able to take my private life seriously as well, and been able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else."
Harry is spearheading the Heads Together mental health campaign alongside his brother William and his sister-in-law Kate. Heads Together is the London Marathon's charity of the year, and the trio are hoping to make the race the "mental health marathon". They will be cheering on runners from the sidelines this weekend, and also give out medals to winners. Harry was being interviewed by Bryony Gordon, who is running the 26.2 mile course for the campaign, and has previously spoken of her struggles with bulimia and obsessive compulsive disorder.