Prince Harry on How Meghan Markle Inspired His Therapy: 'I Was Going to Lose This Woman'

"I quickly established that if this relationship was going to work, I was going to have to deal with my past," Prince Harry says in The Me You Can't See

Duke and Duchess of Sussex - The Me You Can't See
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Photo: Apple TV +

Prince Harry is opening up about how his wife Meghan Markle was the one who inspired him to seek help for his mental health.

In his new docuseries The Me You Can't See, which he co-created with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex, 36, gives emotional retellings of his upbringing and how much he's grown stronger mentally after four years of working with his therapist.

In the first episode, Harry talks candidly about growing up in the royal family and the impactful years of his childhood, specifically the years after he tragically lost his mother, Princess Diana, in August 1997 after she died in a car crash in Paris. "I am one of the first people to recognize that firstly, I had a fear of -- when I first went to therapy — a fear of losing," he says.

And in the following episodes, Harry talks about how therapy wasn't a topic of conversation in his family. But his inner circle had noticed changes in his ways.

"It was only when a couple of people close to me started to say, 'This isn't normal behavior, perhaps you should look into this or perhaps you should go and seek help.' Now immediately, I was like, I don't need help," he recalls in the second episode, during which he also discusses how his late 20s, specifically age 28-30, was a "nightmare" period full of anxieties and exhaustion due to royal duties.

prince harry
Prince Harry talking to Oprah as part of their AppleTV+ series on mental health.

Then, in his early 30s, he met his future wife, who inspired him to pursue therapy more seriously than ever.

"It was meeting and being with Meghan, I knew that if I didn't do therapy and fix myself, that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with," he says.

Harry and Meghan began dating in July 2016 and in November 2017, the news of their engagement was publicly announced. Less than a year later, Harry and Meghan wed on May 19, 2018.

"There was a lot of learning right at the beginning of our relationship. She was shocked to be coming backstage of the institution of the British royal family," he says. "When she said, 'I think you need to see someone,' that was in reaction to an argument we had. And in that argument, not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry.

"The moment I started therapy and probably within my second session, my therapist turned around to me, and said, 'That sounds like you are reverting to 12-year-old Harry.' I felt somewhat ashamed and defensive. She said, 'I'm not calling you a child. I'm expressing sympathy and empathy for you for what happened to you when you were a child. You never processed it. You were never allowed to talk about it. And all of a sudden now, it's coming up in different ways as projection.'

"That was the start of a learning journey for me. I became aware that I'd been living in a bubble, within this family, within this institution, I was sort of almost trapped in a thought process or a mindset."

Listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Prince Harry.

"I quickly established that if this relationship was going to work, that I was going to have to deal with my past because there was anger there and it wasn't anger at her. It was just anger and she recognized it. She saw it," Harry shares in the third episode. "So how do I fix this? And it was a case of you need to go back to the past, go back to the point of trauma, deal with it, process it and then move forward."

Prince Harry; Meghan Markle; Archie
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Archie. Misan Harriman/Instagram

Through therapy, Harry says he gained "one of the biggest lessons" in his life. "You've sometimes got to go back and to deal with really uncomfortable situations and to be able to process it in order to be able to heal. For me, therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything. That's why I'm here now. That's why my wife is here now."

Harry later adds, "We chose to put our mental health first. That's what we're doing. And that's what we will continue to do."

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

Since stepping down as working royals in March 2020, Harry and Meghan have established their new life in Montecito, California, with their son Archie. This summer, the couple is expecting their second child, a baby girl.

In addition, they've launched new business ventures, with Netflix and Spotify, as well as expanded their platform with their Archewell Foundation. And this week, Harry and Meghan celebrated their third wedding anniversary.

Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey's mental-health docuseries, The Me You Can't See, will be available to stream on Apple TV+ starting May 20 at 9 p.m. ET.

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

Related Articles