“The Me You Can’t See,” which Harry co-created with Oprah Winfrey, explores mental health and emotional well-being through the stories of people from around the world. For the final episode, he sat down with Winfrey to open up about one of the earliest influences on his own mental health: his father.
“My father used to say to me when I was younger …’Well, it was like that for me, so it’s going to be like that for you.'”
Harry, now a parent himself, takes issue with this attitude.
“That doesn’t make sense – just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact quite the opposite,” he said, “If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids.”
“Isn’t this all about breaking the cycle?” he added, rhetorically. “Isn’t this all about making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself?”
The toxicity did not end in childhood, however. As he and wife Meghan Markle revealed in their infamous Oprah interview from March, a major factor in their departure from the monarchy last year was the palace’s inability to acknowledge (let alone address) the couple’s mental health struggles.
“Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, ‘You can’t do this.'” Harry explained, “And it’s like, ‘Well, how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?’ She was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.”
In the same March interview, Markle revealed that she’d struggled with suicidal thoughts for much of her time as Duchess. Harry’s mother, Diana, was killed being pursued by the press and he feared history may repeat itself, albeit less directly, when it came to the media’s impact on his wife.
“It’s incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life,” he said in the latest conversation with Winfrey, “Like the list is growing, and it all comes back to the same people, the same business model — the same industry.”
Prior to the March interview’s broadcast date, there were a number of negative headlines circulating about Markle, leading many to speculate that the stories were planted to discredit her claims. Prince Harry confirmed that this was the case.
“Before the Oprah interview had aired, because of their headlines and that combined effort of The Firm and the media to smear her, I was woken up in the middle of the night to her crying in her pillow – because she doesn’t want to wake me up because I’m already carrying too much.” he said.
“That’s heartbreaking. I held her. We talked. She cried and she cried and she cried.”
In an effort to the break the cycle he mentioned, Prince Harry enlisted a number of famous names to participate in the series and speak candidly about their own struggles from Lady Gaga to the San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan.