Prince Harry today warned the ‘majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss or grief’ and proclaimed ‘we are all human’ as he spoke ahead of his upcoming Apple TV+ series on mental health with Oprah Winfrey.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, is the co-creator and executive producer on The Me You Can’t See, a new programme with the US chat show queen which will start on the £4.99/month streaming service next Friday, May 21.
The multi-part series will feature interviews with celebrities including singer Lady Gaga, actress Glenn Close and NBA basketball star DeMar DeRozan that will ‘help lift the veil’ on mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Apple has said the new programme ‘transcends culture, age, gender, and socioeconomic status to destigmatise a highly misunderstood subject and give hope to viewers who learn that they are not alone’.
The hotly-anticipated date was announced in a press release as well as a social media post by Oprah at 2pm this afternoon, with the Duke saying he hopes his latest project shows ‘there is power in vulnerability’.
It comes just two months after Harry and his wife Meghan Markle opened up about their mental health struggles during their bombshell interview with Oprah which first aired on CBS on March 7, then on ITV one day later.
Speaking at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Harry said as he launched the show: ‘We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences.
‘But our shared experience is that we are all human. The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss or grief, which feels – and is – very personal. Yet the past year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy and strength in honesty.’
Prince Harry makes an impassioned speech at the Global Citizen’s Vax Live in Inglewood, California
Oprah Winfrey interviewing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in March, where they discussed racism and mental health
The Duke of Sussex , 36, has co-created and executive produced with the US chatshow legend an Apple TV+ series called The Met You Can’t See, which will start on Apple TV+ on May 21. The series will feature interviews with celebrities including singer Lady Gaga and actress Glenn Close that ‘help lift the veil’ on mental health and emotional wellbeing
Prince Harry, from left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey
According to a statement issued ahead of the series, Harry and Oprah are set to ‘guide honest discussions about mental health and emotional well-being’ while opening up about ‘their own mental health journeys and struggles’ throughout the series.
They have also partnered with 14 experts and organisations to ‘shed light on different pathways to treatment’.
Oprah said: ‘Now more than ever, there is an immediate need to replace the shame surrounding mental health with wisdom, compassion and honesty. Our series aims to spark that global conversation.’
During their series, Harry and Oprah will speak with people from around the world living with the challenges of mental health issues. They will address their emotional wellbeing, while trying to ‘destigmatize a highly misunderstood subject and give hope to viewers’.
Speaking to CBS about the project earlier this year, Oprah said: ‘I asked [Prince Harry] the question, ‘What do you think are the most important issues facing the world right now?’ and he said there are two.
‘He said climate change and mental wellness, mental fitness and mental health. As you know, he’s spoken about his own issues and what he went through after his mother died and how being able to talk about it has benefited him.
‘So it’s a passion of his and, at the end of the conversation, I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to be doing this thing with Apple’. ‘It’s a big concern of mine too and I want to try to erase the stigma,’ and he said at the end of the conversation, ‘If there’s anything I can do to help’.’
Meghan Markle told Oprah about her mental health struggles during her bombshell interview in March
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child
The series was originally announced on the now defunct SussexRoyal Instagram page in 2019, before the couple quit as working royals and moved to an £11million mansion in California to strike out on their own.
Kensington Palace said at the time that it was intended to inspire viewers to have ‘an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces’, and how to equip ourselves with the ‘tools to thrive, rather than to simply survive’.
It had been due to be broadcast in 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The duke has spoken about the struggles he has faced since the 1997 death of his mother Princess Diana, and has made mental health one of the biggest focuses of his work.
In 2017, Harry revealed he had not sought counselling for more than two decades after Diana’s death in a Paris car crash, eventually doing so after enduring two years of ‘total chaos’ while still struggling in his late 20s to come to terms with his loss.
In March, he drew on his own experiences of grief to write the foreword for a children’s book, created for young people who had lost loved ones over the last year.
The duke, who was 12 when his mother died, described how her death had left a ‘huge hole’ inside him but highlighted the importance of seeking professional help, writing: ‘I will make a promise to you – you will feel better and stronger once you are ready to talk about how it makes you feel.’
Harry also spoke about his mother during his interview with Oprah, revealing that he had ‘felt her presence’ throughout the process of stepping back from royal life – popularly dubbed Megxit.
The duke said of the mental health series two years ago: ‘Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive – sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better.
‘I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series which we have been developing together for several months.’