Diana Pearl
August 22, 2017 05:24 PM

Prince William is speaking out about his late mother Princess Diana‘s eating disorder — and how she inspired others by sharing her story.

In the new documentary Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia, William talks about Princess Diana’s own struggles with bulimia, which came to light in Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story, and she further discussed in her talked-about 1995 interview on Panorama. The interview marks the first time William has publicly discussed Diana’s bulimia.

Tim Graham/Getty

British news anchor Mark Austin was inspired to create the documentary after his own daughter Maddy dealt with anorexia.

During a conversation with Austin and Maddy, William reiterates the message that Heads Together, the mental health awareness campaign he champions along with Princess Kate and Prince Harry, has been sharing over the past year: That talking about these issues is imperative to overcoming them.

“We need to normalize the conversation about mental health,” he said. He also commended Austin and Maddy for opening up about the issue, and spreading awareness. “The fact that you are speaking out is incredibly brave.”

Princess Diana with Prince William
Tim Graham/Getty

After Maddy tells William that Diana’s openness about her eating disorder helped her, he said: “We need to be matter-of-fact about it, and not hide it in the dark where it festers.”

William also said he was “absolutely” proud of his mother for speaking out about her struggles with bulimia during her own lifetime.

“These are illnesses,” he said. “Mental health needs to be taken as seriously as physical health.”

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