Harry didn't want to lose another important woman in his life. He lost his mom at the age of 12.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 8, 2021. It has since been updated.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle, have been mired in controversy for a while now. Ever since they stepped down as senior royals, there has been curiosity about why they did so. One of the primary reasons was their mental health, the couple said. Their mental health was getting affected as British tabloid media kept attacking Markle.
It reached a point where Markle was contemplating suicide, and Prince Harry didn't want to lose another important woman in his life. He lost his mom at the age of 12 when she died in a car crash in Paris, France. Princess Diana's death haunted him until recently, and he revealed how he was abusing substances to cope with it. So, it's natural that he didn't want to face another tragedy in his life.
He was also worried as the father of his children and wanted to protect them. The Duke opened up about his wife's struggles right before they decided to leave the Royal Family. During the Apple TV documentary The Me You Can't See, Harry spoke to Oprah Winfrey about his wife.
"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. The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought. She hadn’t ‘lost it.’... She was completely sane. Yet in the quiet of night, these thoughts woke her up," he said, according to The Mirror.
He told Oprah, "My mother was chased to her death when she was in a relationship with someone who wasn't White, and now look what's happened. You're talking 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."
He added that he was "somewhat" ashamed of how he dealt with her situation. "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 added.
The 38-year-old Duke also added that when he finally asked his family for help, they were less than forthcoming. "I felt completely helpless," he said, as per Paper Mag. "I thought my family would help — but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just 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," he said, as per The Mirror.
He also revealed that he struggled for years to cope with his own mental health, and received no help. "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 Oprah, as per Paper Mag. He said that he suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. His early 20s to early 30s was "a nightmare time in my life," said the father-of-two.
One of the reasons he tried to cope in unhealthy ways might be because his own father didn't offer any help. King Charles, said Harry, didn't speak about Diana and wanted the young Harry to handle the press attention and other problems by himself. "Just because you suffered doesn't mean that your kids have to suffer," Harry said. "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."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) WPA Pool ; (R) Princess Diana Archive