Prince William has chatted about the dismal Scottish weather with Nicola Sturgeon as the relationship between the Royals and Prince Harry ‘hangs by a thread’ following his latest ‘truth bomb’.
The Duke of Cambridge met the First Minister at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh on the second day of his Royal visit.
He wore his order of the thistle and diamond and golden jubilee medals as he appeared in his capacity as the Earl of Strathearn and Lord High Commissioner, a role appointed by the Queen.
It comes as the Royal Family’s relationship with Prince Harry ‘hangs by a thread’ after the Duke of Sussex dropped yet more nuclear ‘truth bombs’.
Prince Charles is ‘deeply hurt’ by his son’s latest accusations as the Royals ‘struggle to understand what he hopes to achieve’ with his continued barrage of attacks.
The Prince of Wales’ ties with his youngest son are ‘at their lowest ever point’ and he is sad he was again painted as the villain in the Duke of Sussex’s latest explosive sit down with Oprah Winfrey.
The 72-year-old ‘is at a loss about what to do’ but also ‘frustrated he cannot respond publicly’ to Harry’s blitz of accusations over his parenting style.
In his latest attack, part of a series on mental health for Apple TV+, Harry suggested Prince Charles had allowed his children to ‘suffer’ when it came to the media because of his own negative experiences.
He also accused the monarchy and the media of attempting to ‘smear’ his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, in the run-up to the couple’s bombshell interview with Miss Winfrey in March.
In the documentary, Harry describes how Meghan shared her darkest thoughts with him, including ‘the practicalities’ of how she had considered ending her life.
He said: ‘I felt completely helpless. I thought my family would help – but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence or total neglect.’
Harry, referring to the racism he believed Meghan experienced in the UK, also suggested his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, had been hounded to death because she was dating ‘someone that wasn’t white’ – Dodi Fayed.
Buckingham Palace and Clarence House were last night retaining what sources described as a ‘dignified silence’ on the claims.
But insiders said Harry‘s relationship with the Royal Family was ‘hanging by a thread’ and revealed ‘deeply hurt’ Prince Charles was ‘at a loss about what to do’.
Prince William has chatted about the dismal Scottish weather with Nicola Sturgeon as the rift between the Royals and Prince Harry ‘hangs by a thread’ a day after his latest ‘truth bomb’
The Duke of Cambridge met the First Minister at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh on the second day of his Royal visit
He wore his order of the thistle and diamond and golden jubilee medals as he appeared in his capacity as the Earl of Strathearn and Lord High Commissioner, a role appointed by the Queen
It comes as the Royal Family’s relationship with Prince Harry ‘hangs by a thread’ after the Duke of Sussex dropped yet more nuclear ‘truth bombs’. Prince William is pictured in Edinburgh today
Prince Harry’s relationship with the Royal Family was ‘hanging by a thread’ last night after he detonated another nuclear ‘truth bomb’, accusing them of ‘total neglect’, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey (pictured)
The Prince of Wales’ ties with his youngest son are ‘at their lowest ever point’ and he is sad that he was again painted as the villain in the Duke of Sussex’s latest explosive sit down with Oprah Winfrey. Pictured: At the Invictus Games in 2014
The former royal suggested his father, Prince Charles, had allowed him and his brother Prince William (pictured yesterday) to ‘suffer’ when it came to the media because of his own negative experiences
Prince Harry accused the monarchy and the media of attempting to ‘smear’ his wife, the Duchess of Sussex (pictured together in March 2020), in the run-up to the couple’s bombshell interview with Miss Winfrey in March
A royal source told the Sun: ‘Father and son relations are at their lowest ever point. Harry says he wants reconciliation, but has clearly decided to villainise his father. Charles is just at a loss about what to do.
‘Harry doesn’t seem to take into account that parenting styles have radically changed over recent years, especially the role a father plays.
‘It’s just so wounding to him (Charles), he’s a sensitive man and these personal attacks hurt deeply. He can’t understand why Harry is doing this to him.’
They pointed out the huge undertaking Charles committed to with Harry and Meghan’s wedding in Windsor in 2018 as well as helping him move to Canada.
The Prince of Wales is said to be frustrated he cannot hit back at the barrage of claims his son has made and annoyed the way he is doing it does not give him a right of reply.
One royal aide said the Queen’s statement following the couple’s previous interview with Miss Winfrey – in which the monarch famously said ‘recollections may vary’ about allegations, but that they wanted to work out issues privately as a family – still stood.
However, an exasperated insider told the Mail the family appeared to be at the end of their tether over Harry’s never-ending forays from across the Atlantic and that relationships were hanging by a thread.
They said: ‘Everyone is struggling to understand what he gets from, or hopes to achieve, by interventions like this. It is perfectly possible to campaign effectively on the issue of mental health without talking in such intimate detail about his own experiences.’
The five-episode The Me You Can’t See series – part-televised therapy session and self-help guide, part-confessional – was released in its entirety yesterday.
It contains a number of ‘truth bombs’, an insider told the New York Post earlier this week.
Harry was billed as an executive producer alongside Miss Winfrey, who originally bagged the lucrative Apple TV deal.
But it also included large segments of him in conversation with the chat show host, as well as interspersed footage of Harry at his mother’s funeral and her being chased by paparazzi as a young woman.
It set the tone for what was another slew of accusations against the Royal Family, the monarchy and the British media.
He accused the Royal Family of treating Meghan with ‘total neglect’ while she was suicidal and said they had felt ‘bullied into silence’.
Harry told how frightened he was by Meghan’s ‘clarity of thought’ about how she wanted to kill herself when she was six months pregnant with their son Archie.
Going back to his childhood, the prince talked in moving terms of how much he had been scarred by the loss of his mother.
In the documentary which aired yesterday, Harry describes how Meghan shared her darkest thoughts with him, including ‘the practicalities’ of how she had considered ending her life
Going back to his childhood, the prince (pictured with his wife in the new documentary) talked in moving terms of how much he had been scarred by the loss of his mother
Harry, referring to the racism he believed Meghan experienced in the UK, also suggested his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, had been hounded to death because she was dating ‘someone that wasn’t white’ – Dodi Fayed
Buckingham Palace and Clarence House were last night retaining what sources described as a ‘dignified silence’ on the claims. Pictured: Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk behind Diana’s coffin for her funeral in 1997
Prince Harry accused the Royal Family of treating Meghan with ‘total neglect’ while she was suicidal and said they had felt ‘bullied into silence’. Pictured: The royal family watch the RAF flypast in 2018
He is still clearly traumatised at having to walk behind her coffin and said he can still hear the sound of the horses’ hooves in his head.
He said it was his wife who persuaded him, after a row in which she said he had regressed back to his 12-year-old self – the age at which he lost his mother – to seek professional help. This included Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
The fear of losing his wife and raising Archie alone ‘was one of the biggest reasons to leave the UK’, he added.
He said at the time that he was ‘feeling trapped and feeling controlled through fear both by the media and by the system itself, which never encouraged the talking about this kind of trauma… But certainly now I will never be bullied into silence.’
Displaying what many will see as paranoia, however, Harry claimed that ‘forces were working against us’ as they attempted to quit as working royals, but that he and Meghan were proud of what they had achieved and ‘had no regrets’.
Drinks, Drugs. Bullied into silence by the uncaring royals: His explosive ‘truth bombs’
BY REBECCA ENGLISH
Prince Harry has again bared his soul to the world, this time in a five-part AppleTV+ series with Oprah Winfrey, called The Me You Can’t See. In more detail than ever before, the Duke of Sussex reveals his grief and anger over his mother’s death, his battle with his mental health, and why he had to leave the Royal Family.
His unresolved anger over Diana’s death
Prince Harry said when he thinks back to his childhood and his mother, he remembers crying in the back of her car while she was being chased by paparazzi.
He claimed there was ‘no protection’ for her and he found it frustrating ‘being too young, being a guy’ and not being able to protect her.
To a backdrop of footage around her death in 1997, Harry said when his mother was ‘taken away from me at the age of 12’, he knew he ‘didn’t want the life’ of being a royal. He talked about having to ‘share the grief of my mother’s death with the world’ and says his most vivid memory of her funeral is hearing the sound of the horses’ hooves along the cobbles as her coffin approached The Mall.
‘I always wanted to be normal, as opposed to being Prince Harry,’ he said. ‘It was a puzzling life’
He said both he and William were ‘in shock’ at her funeral and he felt as if he was ‘outside’ his body, doing ‘what was expected of me’ but being able to show only ‘one tenth’ of the emotion that the crowds who gathered were able to. ‘This is my mum, you never even met her,’ he recalls thinking.
He also raged against the paparazzi who chased Diana in Paris and who photographed her dying on the back seat of the car.
‘I was so angry with what happened to her and the fact that there was no justice at all.’
On being ‘Prince Harry’ and self-medicating
‘I always wanted to be normal, as opposed to being Prince Harry,’ he said. ‘It was a puzzling life.’
The prince said he was encouraged to put his ‘head in the sand’ and just ‘crack on’ with his life. But inside he was ‘all over the place’ and struggled with being on show, and having to put on his ‘game face’.
As a result, he said he suffered panic attacks and severe anxiety, particularly between the ages of 29 and 32.
On official engagements, he would start sweating and looking red in face, panicking about what people were thinking.
Harry admitted he started drinking heavily and taking drugs, although he does not specify when this was or what the drugs were
Harry admitted he started drinking heavily and taking drugs, although he does not specify when this was or what the drugs were.
He said his decade in the Army was the happiest time in his life as it made him feel normal, there was no special treatment and he was away from the media.
His ‘suffering’ as a child, and criticism of Charles
Harry said he was told to ‘play the game’ when it came to public expectations and the media. But he added: ‘I’ve got a hell of a lot of my mum in me. I feel as though I am outside of the system but I am still stuck there.
‘The only way to free yourself and break out is to tell the truth.’
Harry again hit out at Prince Charles, saying: ‘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 every thing you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences you had, that you can make it right for your kids.’
How he was ‘bullied into silence’
Despite his family being among the leading mental health campaigners in the country, Harry said he was ‘ashamed’ to go to them when he and Meghan were struggling, because he knew they could not give him what he needed.
‘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’.’
Despite his family being among the leading mental health campaigners in the country, Harry said he was ‘ashamed’ to go to them when he and Meghan were struggling, because he knew they could not give him what he needed
‘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.’
He added: ‘That was one of the biggest reasons to leave, feeling trapped and feeling controlled through fear, both by the media and by the system itself which never encouraged talking about this kind of trauma. Certainly now I will never be bullied into silence.’
‘I was the Royal Family’s yes man’
Complaining about his jet-set lifestyle when he was in his 20s, Harry described himself as his family’s ‘yes man’.
He said he would go wherever the family sent him around the world – specifically mentioning an official visit to Nepal in 2016 – that led him to a catastrophic ‘burnout’.
He said his life ‘became really hectic but to the point of exhaustion’. Yet he did not mention that all members of the Royal Family travel whenever and wherever the Government asks them to.
Meghan convinced him to leave
Harry said he sought help only after ‘a couple of people close to me’ told him his behaviour was ‘not normal’ and he needed to seek help. He does not name his estranged brother William as being one of them, even though he has previously said he was.
He said he was treated by GPs, doctors, therapists and alternative therapists – but ‘meeting and being with Meghan’ changed everything. ‘I knew if I didn’t do therapy and fix myself then I was going to lose this woman I could see spending the rest of my life with.’
‘I became aware that I had been living within a bubble of this family, this institution,’ he said. Pictured: Prince Harry has to be restrained by his security and staff of Pangaea night club, during an alleged scuffle with photographers in 2004
He said there was a ‘lot of learning’ at the beginning of their relationship and claimed Meghan had been ‘shocked to be coming backstage of the institution, of the British Royal Family’. The prince said it was following a row with Meghan that she convinced him to seek professional help.
‘In that argument, not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry.’
Harry said his therapist immediately picked up on it. ‘I felt somewhat ashamed and defensive… ‘how dare you call me a child’,’ he said. But his therapist explained she was expressing sympathy for him as he was never allowed to ‘process’ or talk about his issues.
‘I became aware that I had been living within a bubble of this family, this institution,’ he said.
More claims of racism
The prince claimed his late mother was hounded in part because she was dating half-Egyptian Dodi Fayed. Asked by Miss Winfrey if he had any regrets, Harry also said he wished that he had taken a stronger stance on ‘the racism’ aimed at Meghan early in their relationship.
‘By this point, both of us were in shock,’ he said. ‘My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t white. And now look at what’s happened.
‘And it all comes back to the same people, the same business model, the same industry.’
Asked whether he had regrets, he replied: ‘My biggest regret is not making more of a stance. Calling out racism when I did. History was repeating itself.’
His family’s ‘total neglect’
He claimed he felt ‘helpless’ in the face of media attention and social media trolls.
‘The clicking of cameras and the flashes of cameras makes my blood boil. It makes me angry. It takes me back to what happened to my mum, what I experienced as a kid,’ he said.
‘But it went to a whole new depth, with not just traditional media but social media platforms as well. I felt completely helpless.’
He said he thought his family would help, ‘but every single ask, request, warning, got met with total silence or total neglect’. ‘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. But Meghan was struggling.’
He dramatically claimed he felt that the media would never stop until it had destroyed him and his wife. ‘You want to talk about history repeating itself ? They’re not going to stop until she dies. It’s incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life.’
Meghan’s suicidal thoughts
The prince points to a photograph of himself and Meghan, taken in January 2019, squeezing each other’s hands as they arrived for a charity performance at the Royal Albert Hall when she was six months pregnant. Earlier that evening, he said, his wife ‘decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life’.
‘The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought,’ he said.
‘She hadn’t lost it, she wasn’t crazy, she wasn’t self-medicating through pills or alcohol. She was absolutely sober, she was completely sane, yet in the quiet of night these thoughts woke her up.’
Harry claims that it was only him and their unborn child that kept her going.
‘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 be put in a position of losing another woman in my life, with a baby inside of her, our baby.’
He said he was ‘somewhat ashamed’ of the way he dealt with it, suggesting that rather than prioritising their official duties they should have pulled out. But at the time, Harry said, that was not an option, because of ‘the system’.
Using therapy to fix his pain
Harry is dismissive of his family, saying he ‘wasn’t in an environment’ that dealt with his issues properly.
He said he was ‘holding on to’ his pain for many years, not even aware of it, but she decided in order to ‘fix it’ he needed to ‘go back to the past, go back to the point of trauma, deal with it, process it and then move forward’.
Harry is also filmed in California trying online EMDR therapy, a relatively new form of treatment for PTSD, with London-based consultant Sanja Oakley.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) looks at the life events that may have caused the relevant symptoms. Harry is seen using ‘bilateral stimulation’ – tapping himself – while thinking negative thoughts in order to associate it with something more positive.
London is a ‘trigger’
He said he always feels ‘worried, concerned, a little bit tense and uptight’ at flying back into London. ‘I could never understand why,’ he said, before explaining that he believes London is a ‘trigger’ for him as it is intrinsically linked with what happened to his mother, and what he experienced and saw as a child.
Closing his eyes, he describes his feelings of anxiety, nervousness, hollowness and fear’. Asked what negative thoughts it makes him feel about himself, he says it is being ‘the hunted and being helpless and knowing you can’t do anything about it, there is no escape, there is no way out of this’.
Harry strongly defended the couple’s decision to speak to Miss Winfrey, despite the anguish it has wreaked on the Royal Family. He is pictured in Hvar, Croatia in 2011
Harry refers going to Africa for two weeks following his mother’s death – a trip suggested by his father – which offered him a sense of ‘escapism’ and how scared he felt coming home again.
He adds: ‘One of the biggest lessons I have ever learnt in life is you have to go back and to deal with really uncomfortable situations and be able to process it in order to heal. For me, therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything. That’s why I am here now. That’s why my wife is here now.’
No regrets about Oprah interview
Harry strongly defended the couple’s decision to speak to Miss Winfrey, despite the anguish it has wreaked on the Royal Family.
‘I like to think we were able to speak truth in the most compassionate way possible, therefore leaving an opening for reconciliation and healing,’ he says. ‘The interview was about being real, being authentic and hopefully about sharing an experience that we know is incredibly relatable to a lot of people around the world despite our unique, privileged position.’
But he claimed a ‘combined effort’ of the media and ‘The Firm’ to ‘smear’ Meghan in the run-up to the interview, left his wife in tears the night before it aired.
‘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,’ he says.
‘I held her, we talked, she cried and cried and cried.’
Prince Philip’s funeral
The prince said he was ‘worried and afraid’ to return to London for Prince Philip’s funeral last month.
He said he used the skills he has learned during his therapy sessions to cope, adding: ‘It definitely made it a lot easier, but the heart still pounds.’
He still feels Diana’s presence
Pointedly, Harry said he had ‘no doubt that my mum would be incredibly proud of me’.
‘I am living the life she wanted to live for herself. Living the life she wanted us to be able to live,’ he says. ‘So not only do I know she’s incredibly proud of me, but she’s helped me get here.
‘I wish she could have met Meghan, I wish she was round for Archie. I have got a photo up in his nursery and one of the first words that he said apart from ‘mama’, ‘papa’ was ‘Grandma’, ‘Grandma Diana’. It’s the sweetest thing but at the same time it makes me really sad, because she should be here.’Now I am on my way to having healed that part of my life.’