The Me You Can’t See: Key moments from Prince Harry’s mental health docuseries

·8-min read
<p>Prince Harry </p> (Apple TV+)

Prince Harry

(Apple TV+)

The Duke of Sussex’s mental health documentary series, which he co-created with Oprah Winfrey, was broadcast on streaming service Apple TV+ on Friday.

In the five-episode series, Harry, 36, discussed his mental health struggles, his therapy journey and his decision to leave the royal family for a new life in California.

Harry spoke abut the childhood trauma he suffered following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and how he turned to drink and drugs to help “mask” his grief. He accused the Royal family of “total neglect” in allegedly not acting to help him and wife Meghan, 39, when they were struggling with life in the limelight.

He spoke about how Meghan felt suicidal during her first pregnancy - and how her confession that she wanted to end her own life was a wake up call that something needed to change for the couple.

The Prince also spoke about Archie, two, and how Princess Diana’s absence from his son’s life saddened him - revealing “grandma” was among the toddler’s first words.

Here are the key moments from The Me You Can’t See.

Prince Harry says he used drugs and alcohol to ‘mask’ trauma and pain

The Duke of Sussex said the trauma of his mother’s death led him to use alcohol and drugs to “mask” his emotions and to “feel less like I was feeling”.

Harry was just 12 when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in August 1997 in a car crash while being pursued by the press in Paris.

In the first moments of the first episode of Apple TV’s The Me You Can’t See, the royal addressed traumatic memories from his childhood including the moment he was famously photographed with his brother, father, uncle and grandfather walking behind Diana’s coffin.

“For me the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses’ hooves going along the Mall,” Harry told his series co-host Oprah Winfrey.

“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.”

The series focuses on mental health, with Harry telling Winfrey the trauma of the loss caused him to suffer anxiety and severe panic attacks from ages 28 to 32.

“I was just all over the place mentally,” he said.

“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.”

He said: “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.”

He told Winfrey he would drink a week’s worth of alcohol on a Friday or Saturday night “not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something”.

Harry accuses royal family ‘total neglect’ of he and Meghan

Harry accused the Royal family of failing to act when he went to them and told him the couple were struggling.

“Every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, to stop just got met with total silence or total neglect,” he told Winfrey, referring to his attempts to get assistance from his family with the attacks levelled at the Sussexes online.

“We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job.”

Harry talks about Meghan’s suicidal thoughts

The royal detailed how Meghan told him he was suicidal, and that he felt “ashamed” the situation had got “that bad.”

“Meghan decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life,” he said.

“The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mum and to now to be put in a position of losing another woman in my life — with a baby inside of her, our baby.

“The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought. She hadn’t ‘lost it.’ She wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t self-medicating, be it through pills or through alcohol.

“She was absolutely sober. She was completely sane. Yet in the quiet of night, these thoughts woke her up.”

Harry continued: “I’m somewhat ashamed of the way that I dealt with them [the thoughts].

“And of course, because of the system that we were in and the responsibilities and the duties that we had, we had a quick cuddle and then we had to get changed to jump in a convoy with a police escort and drive to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event. Then step out into a wall of cameras and pretend as though everything’s okay.

“There wasn’t an option to say, ‘you know what, tonight, we’re not going to go’ because just imagine the stories that come from that.”

He said that the night was a wakeup call and made him realise they could not continue as they were.

“While my wife and I were in those chairs, gripping each other’s hand, the moment the lights go down, Meghan starts crying. I’m feeling sorry for her, but I’m also really angry with myself that we’re stuck in this situation,” Harry said.

“I was ashamed that it got this bad. I was ashamed to go to my family.

“Because to be honest with you, like a lot of other people my age could probably relate to, I know that I’m not gonna get from my family what I need.”

Harry also suggested the firm blocked the couple from trying to leave their positions as senior royals.

Harry said: “That feeling of being trapped within the family, there was no option to leave. Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, “You can’t do this”, And it’s like, “Well how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?”. She [Meghan] was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.”

Harry speaks about his relationship with Prince Charles

Harry also spoke about his strained relationship with Prince Charles.

In The Me You Can’t See, Harry said of Charles: “He’s treated me the way he was treated, so how can I change that for my own kids?”

He picked up the theme with Winfrey, telling her in the series released on Friday: “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 doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, 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,” he said.

Harry suggested his family told him to “play the game” and life would improve.

But he objected, telling Winfrey: “I’ve got a hell of a lot of my mum in me. The only way to free yourself and break out is to tell the truth.”

It came after, earlier this month, he suggested he sought professional help as he wanted to “break the cycle” of “genetic pain and suffering” for the sake of his own children on a podcast.

Harry talks about the impact of the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah

Harry said he and Meghan believed their March interview with Winfrey would help reconcile them with the Royal Family.

In the fifth episode of the series, Harry described the chat as “real and authentic”. He added: “I like to think that we were able to speak truths in the most compassionate way possible, therefore leaving an opening for reconciliation and healing.”

He continued: “Before the Oprah interview had aired, because of the combined efforts of The Firm and the media to smear her, I was woken up in the middle of the night to her crying into her pillow because she doesn’t want to wake me up because I’m already carrying too much. That’s heartbreaking.”

The interview laid bare the extent of the couple’s rift with the Queen and other senior royals and accused The Firm of racism.

Harry on feeling Diana’s presence and his sadness she never met Meghan or Archie

In the final moments of the series, Harry revealed his sadness that his son Archie and Meghan will never get to meet his late mother.

Harry said: “I got a photo of her in his nursery, and it was one of the first words that he said — apart from ‘mama’, ‘papa’, it was then ‘grandma’. Grandma Diana.

“It’s the sweetest thing, but at the same time, it makes me really sad because she should be here.”

Harry added “I have no doubt my mum would be incredibly proud of me, living the life she wanted for herself. I know she’s incredibly proud of me [...] she has helped me get here. I have never felt her presence more than in the past year.

“I wish she could have met Meghan, I wish she was around for Archie.”

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