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25th Jul 2016

Prince Harry opens up about his mental health and how he dealt with the death of Diana

Harry was only 12 when his mother died.

Declan Cashin

Prince Harry has opened up about his mental health, and how he didn’t start dealing with the trauma of his mother until well into adulthood.

The royal was only 12 when his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in Paris in August 1997.

Harry spoke to the BBC to publicise his work with the British mental health charity Head Together, and during the discussion talked about his own struggle to process his feelings of loss.

He said:

“It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem.

“A lot of people think if you’ve got a job, if you’ve got financial security, if you’ve got a family, you’ve got a house, all that sort of stuff, everyone seems to think that is all you need and you are absolutely fine to deal with stuff.”

Harry spoke about his mother during a chat with former footballer Rio Ferdinand, whose wife Rebecca died last year from cancer.

“You know, I really regret not ever talking about it,” he said. “For the first 28 years of my life I never talked about it.

12 Oct 1991: HRH Princess Diana and HRH Prince Harry stand for the National Anthem at the Wales v Australia match during the 1991 World Cup at Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, Wales. Australia won the match 34-3. Mandatory Credit: David Cannon/Allsport

Rio said he asked the prince for advice as his own three children are going through the same grief that Harry did at a young age.

“He’s gone through different stages in his life that my kids are going to be going towards,” Rio said. “So to get some of his experiences is very rewarding for me and very educational in many ways.”

Harry is continuing very much in his mother’s footsteps by working tirelessly with charities close to his heart. Just last week, the prince got a HIV test live on Facebook to raise awareness of sexual health.