This morning, Kensington Palace released an intimate, 7-minute video of Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry talking to each other about their personal struggles with mental health. It’s the latest in their campaign to encourage people to talk openly about mental illness, in support of their organization Heads Together, the upcoming London Marathon’s charity of the year.
In the video, the two princes were candid about how they struggled with the loss of Princess Diana, their mother.
“We’ve never really talked about losing a mum at such a young age. And then when you speak to other people’s families and little kids and stuff, you think, ‘Wow, I don’t want them to have to go through the same things,'” Prince Harry said. “[Y]ou want to help as much as you can and try and empower them to have that conversation, to be brave enough for themselves to talk about it at a young age rather than bottling it up [like I did] for far too long.”
Kate Middleton commented on the brothers’ closeness-something Prince William explained is partly a result of their dealing with Diana’s death together. “We are uniquely bonded because of what we’ve been through,” he said, adding, “But even Harry and I over the years have not talked enough about our mother.”
“Never enough,” Harry agreed. “I always thought to myself, ‘What’s the point of bringing up the past? What’s the point of bringing up something that’s only going to make you sad? It ain’t going to change it. It ain’t going to bring her back.’ And when you start thinking like that, it can be really damaging.”
The video marks a further departure from the royal family’s practice of the “stiff upper lip,” where they kept their mental issues private. Earlier this week, Harry made headlines when he admitted he had been close to a breakdown multiple times before seeing a therapist in in his late 20s. “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” he said then. “I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”
William and Kate have also talked about how parenthood has challenged them. The Duchess admitted yesterday that she has felt lonely as a mother. And in the video above, William explained that parenthood has wreaked havoc on his emotions. “It’s been interesting understanding why I get to upset about some things or why some things really affect me,” he said. “I feel quite a lot more than I used to.”