Speaking to Oprah Winfrey on their new Apple TV+ program about mental health, Prince Harry said the royal family met “every single ask, request, warning for help with harassment he and his wife Meghan faced in the press and on social media with silence or total neglect,” building on revelations from a bombshell interview with Winfrey earlier this year where Meghan revealed she suffered from suicidal thoughts and was refused help from the royal establishment.
The Me You Can’t See
The revelations, reported on by multiple outlets, were made on his newly released mental health documentary series with Winfrey titled, “The Me You Can’t See.” Key points include;
“I felt completely helpless with the attention Meghan and I were getting in the press and on social media,” Harry said, “during the four years we tried to make it work as members of the royal family.”
The Prince, sixth in line to the throne, further explained “my family did not discuss my mother’s death (he was 12 at the time) and expected me and my brother to just deal with the resulting distress and press attention.”
Prince Harry, who revealed he turned to alcohol and drugs in order to cope with the trauma of his mother’s death, said “I was told to play the game to make his life easier, but felt bullied into silence.”
Prince Harry said that concerns over he and his wife’s mental health was “the biggest reason they stepped away from the royal family, and that he felt ashamed he could not go to his family when Meghan was feeling suicidal.” He continued. "We felt trapped and controlled through fear, both by the media and by the British Royal family itself, which never encouraged discussion about this kind of trauma.”
Apple TV’s The Me You Can’t See, made up of five episodes, aired on May 21st, and Oprah and Prince Harry are set to appear on Good Morning America this morning to discuss the series.
The Paradox of Response & Reply
Both Princes William and Prince Harry responded to the ‘Martin Bashir Inquiry’ last week, which found “the BBC fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency” related to a Panorama interview with Princess Diana in 1995. The internal, though independent investigation outlined a multitude of moral and professional failings over BBC reporter Martin Bashir’s extortion tactics which ultimately lured the princess into the 1995 interview with devastating consequences.
The Princes Harry and William issued statements last week excoriating the press’ treatment of their late mother, Princess Diana, and explained how the ripple effect from the interview triggered their parent’s divorce > caused Princess Diana to lose her security detail > systematically be stalked by the paparazzi for the next several years > and ultimately die in a fatal car crash in Paris.
“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed,” Harry said, noting that he stepped away from royal life due to the similarities in which the British tabloids treated both his wife and mother. However, Harry and Meghan’s big Hollywood deals may be helping to weather the storm.
The pair have been shrewd about planning their future amid a tumultuous split from the royal family. The duo signed a multiyear deal with Netflix to produce documentaries, series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming. Though it remains unconfirmed, estimates and reports peg the value of the deal somewhere north of $100 million.
Never Complain, Never Explain
Its often misunderstood that Her Majesty The Queen is the United Kingdom’s Head of State. She — along with several senior members of the Royal Family — serve a constitutional role designed to promote the common welfare and economic commerce throughout the Commonwealth. While Americans often look to celebrities as their influencers, the British have and continue to look to their Queen. She is the emblem of deference, a manifestation of dignity, and a calming presence to every economic crisis, World War, even COVID-19.
In fact, despite any commercial deal, more people around the world tuned-in to the Queens Coronavirus Broadcast on April 5th than to any other program in 2020. “We will endure,” she said, of her nearly 70-year reign, harkening back to the Second World War when parents and children throughout the world were often separated. “Then as now,” she said, “we will meet again.”
The brief and compelling broadcast reached more viewers than Netflix entire subscriber base of 200 million combined. While the Queen was not compensated for her appearance, she inadvertently reminded the world that a commercial deal is something quite different from the common good.