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  1. ITV Report

Prince Harry: I nearly had breakdown after mum's death

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

Prince Harry has revealed he had to have counselling following the death of his mother Princess Diana.

The royal said losing his mum aged 12 led to him experiencing two years of "total chaos" when he was in his twenties as he bottled everything up.

The Prince said he was “very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions” as he described the “quite serious effect” losing his mother had on his life.

Harry, now 32, was just 12 years old when Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Harry with his mother Princess Diana when he was a boy. Credit: PA

Harry made the admission in a new Telegraph podcast 'Bryony Gordon's Mad World.'

He said: "I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well.

"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?"

Harry with his mother as a baby. Credit: PA
Harry said he nearly had a breakdown multiple times after his mum's death. Credit: PA

He added the trauma caused two years of "total chaos" before he learned to talk about it.

"I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I just didn’t know what was wrong with me."

When asked if he had sought professional help to process his grief, he said: "I’ve done that a couple of times, more than a couple of times, but it’s great."

Harry, Kate and William set up mental health charity Heads Together. Credit: PA

Harry set up charity Heads Together with his brother Prince William and Kate Middleton to challenge the stigma of talking about mental health.

They are closely linked with the Virgin Money London Marathon which takes place next weekend and will help raise money for the charity.

Recently a host of celebrities spoke out about their own mental health in a series of films for the Heads Together campaign.

Actor Stephen Fry, rapper Professor Green and ex-England cricket captain Freddie Flintoff were among those who told their stories.