Prince Harry Says He Drank and Used Drugs to Cope With His Mother’s Death

In his new mental health docuseries with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can’t See, Prince Harry opens up about turning to drinking and drugs following the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

“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,” Prince Harry tells Winfrey, per People.  “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.”

Tim Graham, Getty Images

Asked by Winfrey whether he recognized this behavior as a coping mechanism at the time, he says, “No. Completely unaware of it.” Though he’s been in therapy since, Prince Harry said he never used to explore the reasons behind his feelings. “My brain telling me that I’m in a fight? I never knew that…Why would I know that?” he told Winfrey. 

Prince Harry was angry, he says, in part because there seemed to be no consequences for the way the media hounded his mother. “I was so angry with what happened to her and the fact that there was no justice at all…Nothing came from that…,” he said. “The same people who chased her into the tunnel photographed her dying on the backseat of that car.”

He said in a separated statement about his mother, according to People, “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life. To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. 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.” 

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