London: Britain’s Prince Harry has expressed regret that he did not speak about his mother Princess Diana’s death until years later.
The 31-year-old fifth in line to Britain s throne spoke out about the loss of his mother in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at an event he hosted at Kensington Palace in London last week for the mental health charity, Heads Together.
“I really regret not ever talking about it. For the first 28 years of my life, I never talked about it,” he told former England captain Rio Ferdinand in a programme aired in the UK today.
Ferdinand, a father of three who lost his wife to cancer last year, said of the prince: “He’s gone through different stages in his life that my kids are going to be going towards. So to get some of his experiences is very rewarding for me and very educational in many ways.”
Harry was just 12-year-old when Diana – Princess of Wales, died suddenly in the tragic accident, leading to an outpouring of public grief. On 31 August 1997, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris, which also caused the deaths of her companion Dodi Fayed and the driver.
The royal told the BBC the charity event was an opportunity to highlight that anyone can suffer from mental health issues. “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,” he said.
Prince Harry had formed Heads Together in May this year with his brother William, Duke of Cambridge, and sister-in-law Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, to bring together leading mental health charities.
The event was attended by a number of British sports stars, including athletes Dame Kelly Holmes and Iwan Thomas, and cyclist Victoria Pendleton, to show that “unflappable” sporting personalities can suffer from mental health problems like everyone else, including members of the royal family.
“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,” the prince said.