After their well-known but controversial interview in 2020, Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey created a docuseries about mental health called The Me You Can’t See. In the series, Prince Harry tells about how Meghan Markle was treated by the royal family and how triggering it was. It reminded him very much of his own late mother, Princess Diana, who was “chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t white, and now look what’s happened. You want to talk about history repeating itself? They’re not gonna stop until she dies.“
“How bad does it have to get?”
In the docuseries, Prince Harry speaks about how he regrets not calling out the racism toward Markle earlier. “My father used to say to me when I was younger, ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s going to be like that for you,‘” he said. “That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure whatever negative experience you had, you can make it right for your kids.“
In 1992 Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, separated from his father Prince Charles, and divorced him in 1996. After that, she dated Dodi Fayed, who was born in Egypt. The two of them lost their lives in Paris in a car crash in 1997 while they were chased by the paparazzi. In 2008, Mohammed Al-Fayed, Dodi’s father, accused the royal family of being racist toward his son. He referred to them as the “Dracula family” who couldn’t get over the idea of a Muslim marrying the princess.
Speaking of the paparazzi, in the interview with Oprah, Meghan Markle spoke about her suicidal thoughts. Markle said she “didn’t want to be alive anymore” because of the cannonade of damaging media coverage about her. These racist headlines included blaming Meghan for “fueling human rights abuses, drought, and murder” for eating avocados and describing her mother’s hometown as “(almost straight outta Compton” and “gang-scarred”.
Meghan’s poor mental health influenced Prince Harry’s decision to leave the royal family. When they told him “you can’t do this,” he didn’t accept that. “I was like, well, ‘How bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this? When she was going to end her life?’ It shouldn’t have to get to that.”
Prince Harry’s Struggle with Mental Health
In the docuseries, Prince Harry speaks openly about his struggle with mental health as he grew up. When Princess Diana died he was 12 and he was never encouraged to seek help. “If people said, ‘How are you?’ I’d be like, ‘fine.’ Never happy. Never sad, just fine.’ Fine was the easy answer. But I was all over the place mentally,’” he explained. “Family members have said just play the game and your life will be easier.”
Prince Harry endured severe anxiety and panic attacks from his life with the royal family. It all got worse in his late 20s when he had turned to partying, drugs, and drinking heavily. “I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling,” he said. “But I slowly became aware that I wasn’t drinking Monday to Friday, but I would probably drink a week’s worth in one day on a Friday or a Saturday night. And I would find myself drinking, not because I was enjoying it, but because I was trying to mask something,”
After that, he hit his breaking point. “It was like someone had taken a lid off the emotions that I’ve suppressed for so many years suddenly came to the forefront,” Prince Harry said.
Markle, who was his girlfriend at the time, recommended him to see a therapist during an argument. “Therapy has equipped me to be able to take on everything,” Prince Harry explained. “That’s why I’m here now. That’s why my wife is here now… I became aware that I’d been living in a bubble, within this family, within this institution. I was almost trapped in a thought process or mindset.”
This is the trailer for The Me You Can’t See:
“She should be here”
The couple now lives in Montecito, California, and are expecting a daughter. They also raise their son Archie, who is 2 years old. Harry honors Princess Diana’s memory by keeping a photo of her in Archie’s room. “I wish she could’ve met Meghan. I wish she was around for Archie…”
“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.”