Prince Harry said he used drink and drugs to cope with Diana grief as he reveals he felt 'afraid' to return to UK

ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship has the details from Harry's latest explosive interview with Oprah

Prince Harry has said the trauma of his mother’s death led him to use alcohol and drugs to “mask” his emotions and to “feel less like I was feeling”.

Harry was just 12 when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in August 1997 in a car crash while being pursued by the press in Paris.

In the first three episodes of Apple TV’s The Me You Can’t See, the royal addressed traumatic memories from his childhood including the moment he was famously photographed with his brother, father, uncle and grandfather walking behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral.

After two revealing interviews from Harry - what else could emerge as he opens up about growing up a Royal?

The Duke of Sussex, who co-created and co-executive The Me You Can’t See with Oprah Winfrey, lays bare his own struggles with trauma and grief following his mother's death.

He describes feeling helpless as a young boy while riding in the car with his mother, Princess Diana, who cried as they were surrounded by paparazzi and she struggled to drive.

“For me the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses’ hooves going along the Mall,” the 36-year-old told his series co-host Oprah Winfrey.

“It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along doing what was expected of me. (I was) showing one tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing: This was my mum – you never even met her.”

“You're heart still pounds.” Prince Harry tells Oprah Winfrey returning to the UK for his grandfather's funeral was "a trigger".

The series focuses on mental health, with Harry telling Winfrey the trauma of the loss caused him to suffer anxiety and severe panic attacks from ages 28 to 32.

“I was just all over the place mentally,” he said.

“Every time I put a suit on and tie on … having to do the role, and go, ‘right, game face’, look in the mirror and say, ‘let’s go’. Before I even left the house I was pouring with sweat. I was in fight or flight mode.”

He said: “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 said that by opening up about his own challenges, he hoped others would be inspired to seek help.

Harry and the then Meghan Markle watch Wheelchair Tennis at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada (Danny Lawson/PA) Credit: Danny Lawson

"The best that we can all do collectively is continue to talk and share stories that are so relatable to so many people round the world," he told US TV show Good Morning America.. "There are no many people of all ages that need to heal, and that also for one reason or another unable to heel, or maybe unaware they need to heal."

In an exclusive interview alongside Oprah, he said: "If you hold onto grief, it manifests itself and appears later in life. That's what I've learnt from this process."

The duke said starting the Invictus Games had been been part of his "healing process".

"I think that compassionate element of that, being able to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and being able to somehow be able to help in that healing process is absolutely critical."

Prince Charles leads members of the Royal Family walking behind the coffin. Credit: PA

In an interview to promote the series, the Duke of Sussex also revealed to Oprah that felt "afraid" returning to the UK to attend his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral last month, and used skills he had learned in therapy to cope during his visit.

“I was worried about it, I was afraid,” Harry told The Associated Press during a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey to promote the new mental-health series.

Harry said he first saw a therapist around four years ago at the encouragement of then-girlfriend Meghan Markle.

His therapy-learned skills "definitely made it a lot easier, but the heart still pounds,” he said.

It comes as the duke and his brother Prince William issued strongly worded statements following an investigation into the BBC Panorama interview with their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales which exposed "deceitful behaviour" and a "cover up" by the corporation.

Prince of Wales, Prince Harry and Prince William walking behind the funeral cortege of Diana, Princess of Wales. Credit: PA

The Duke of Cambridge described the findings of the inquiry as "deeply concerning" adding that the BBC's failures "contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation, that I remember from her final years with her".Prince Harry said in a statement that the "ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life".Harry and his older brother William, The Duke of Cambridge, have long championed the importance of mental health.

In 2016, Harry, William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, launched Heads Together, an initiative to speak up and not be ashamed to ask for help when mental well-being is at stake.

The series also features accounts from both regular people and celebrities including Lady Gaga and Glenn Close, who speak candidly about their own experiences with mental illness.

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