Prince Harry Says He Turned to Alcohol and Drugs to Numb the Pain of Princess Diana's Death
"I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling," the Duke of Sussex says in the new docuseries The Me You Can't See
"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," Harry says in his new AppleTV+ docuseries The Me You Can't See, which he co-created with Oprah Winfrey.
"But I slowly became aware that, okay, 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."
When Oprah asks Harry if he knew he was masking his emotions at the time, he replies, "No. Completely unaware of it."
"My brain telling me that I'm in a fight? I never knew that," he continues. "Why would I know that?"
Harry was just 12 years old when Princess Diana tragically died in a car crash in Paris while being chased by paparazzi. Together with Prince William, then 15, he joined their father Prince Charles, grandfather Prince Philip and uncle Charles, Earl Spencer in walking solemnly behind his mother's casket through the streets of London for her funeral.
"I was so angry with what happened to her and the fact that there was no justice at all," Harry adds in the AppleTV+ docuseries, where he talks at length about how his mother's death has affected everything from his early romance with Meghan Markle to his personal relations within the royal family.
"Nothing came from that," Harry adds about Diana's sudden death in Paris. "The same people who chased her into the tunnel photographed her dying on the backseat of that car."
On Thursday, Harry also spoke out about the role the media played in his mother's death following the results of an official inquiry into Martin Bashir's controversial 1995 interview with the princess.
Diana's interview, during which she famously claimed there were "three of us" in her marriage to Prince Charles, swiftly led to an order from Queen Elizabeth that Diana and Charles should divorce. They separated in 1992 and officially divorced in 1996. Diana died the following year in August 1997. She was 36.
"The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life," the Duke of Sussex, 36, said in a statement about the inquiry, which concluded that Bashir, 58, breached the BBC's editorial guidelines by creating two false bank statements to improperly manipulate Diana into giving the interview.
"To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it," Harry continued. "That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these— and even worse—are still widespread today. Then, and now, it's bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.
"Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let's remember who she was and what she stood for," he ended his statement.
Harry's brother Prince William also released a strongly-worded statement in the wake of the report's findings, calling Judge Lord John Dyson's conclusions "extremely concerning."
"It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said," William added. "The interview was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse and has since hurt countless others. It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC's failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.
"But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived," he continued. "She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions."
The father of three concluded, "In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too."
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.