Prince Harry lost his mum at age 12, and dealt with mental health struggles afterward

Facing the loss of a loved one is undoubtedly a difficult task. However, when forced to deal with it as a child in the public eye, who is also a prominent member of the Royal Family, there must be an added layer of difficulty.

For Prince Harry and Prince William, this was a reality when mother Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997 – and now, Harry has given a frank chat about his mental health battle after the tragic event, revealing that he was close to having a ‘complete breakdown’.

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Harry, 32, opened up about his trauma after his mother’s death in a podcast with Telegraph journalist Bryony Gordon – and stated that he used sport to let his inner aggression out.

‘I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.

‘During those years I took up boxing, because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it’s a really good way of letting out aggression.

‘And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.’

Prince Harry in December 2016

Prince Harry has been increasingly open with his support for mental health causes over the years, after coming in close contact with those serving in the armed forces. However, in his past he found it nearly impossible to face up to his pain, instead choosing to bury his feelings:

‘My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?

‘[I thought] it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back. So from an emotional side, I was like ‘right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything…’

And as he had a well-documented, party-loving period during his twenties, this mentality led him to ‘two years of total chaos’:

‘So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great’, or ‘life is fine’ and that was exactly it.’

However, through using sport as an outlet and speaking to servicemen and women, he was able to pinpoint his feelings and deal with them adequately.

And now, he’s in a much better place – loved up with Suits actress Meghan Markle, he then went on to say that he could soon welcome kids of his own.

‘I’m a godfather to five or six of my friend’s children…I would love to have kids.’