Prince William and Prince Harry were filmed on Wednesday speaking candidly about the death of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, with Kate Middleton as part of the Heads Together campaign, which aims to change the conversation around mental health.
When the Duchess of Cambridge asks whether working on the campaign has made them think about the ways they coped with their mother’s death as young teenagers, William said that he and Harry have become particularly close because of the experience they shared.
“We are uniquely bonded because of what we’ve been through,” he responded. “But even Harry and I over the years have not talked enough about our mother.”
Harry interjected, “No, never enough,” before adding: “I always thought to myself ‘what’s the point of bringing up the past, what’s the point of bringing up something that’s only going to make you sad? It ain’t going to change it. It ain’t going to bring her back.’”
He went on to say that he had been wrong and that this attitude had only hindered his ability to cope with what happened.
“When you think like that it can be really damaging,” Harry said.
“You have to prioritize your mental health,” William added. “Someone has to take the lead and be brave enough to force that conversation.”
In the six-and-a-half minute video, the three Royals reflected on the Heads Together campaign that they’ve worked on for nearly a year.
Middleton assured fellow mothers during a meeting at the Global Academy on Thursday that feeling isolated after having children is not foreign to her.
“It is lonely at times and you do feel quite isolated, but actually so many other mothers are going through exactly what you are going through,” she said. “It is being brave enough, like you obviously were, to reach out to those around you.”
Harry has been breaking the royal tradition of maintaining silence about mental health issues by speaking candidly of his severe emotional problems following the death of his mother.
The 32-year-old prince told The Daily Telegraph in an interview published April 17 that he had nearly suffered breakdowns since his mother’s 1997 death in a car crash and had needed counselling in his late 20s.
WATCH BELOW: Prince Harry sought counselling to process Diana’s death
“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?” he said of his teens and 20s. It was a period in which he embarked on a successful military career but also occasionally attracted unwanted headlines, notably for being photographed playing “strip billiards” in Las Vegas.
He said the long suppression of his grief eventually led to “two years of total chaos.”
“What my mother believed in is if the fact that you are in a position of privilege or a position of responsibility and if you can put your name to something that you genuinely believe in … then you can smash any stigma you want,” Harry said during the interview on Bryony Gordon’s Mad World.
On Tuesday, William brought Lady Gaga on board with his efforts to persuade people to be more open about their mental health.
WATCH BELOW: Prince William, Lady Gaga share stories of mental health struggles in new Heads Together video
He released a video in which he speaks with the pop superstar in a FaceTime call from his home in London to her home in Los Angeles in order to crush the stigma associated with mental health.
William said it is “time that everyone speaks up and really feels very normal about mental health. It’s the same as physical health.”
Lady Gaga said that talking more openly about mental health would allow people to feel like “we are not hiding anymore.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues.
—With files from The Associated Press