Why Prince Harry Is More Open About His Mental Health Struggles Than Prince William, According to Expert

Though both Prince Harry and Prince William are vocal about mental health awareness, Prince Harry has been more open about his own struggles over the years. One royal expert shared the reason why Harry has shared more about his mental health than his brother.

Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey after attending the annual Commonwealth Service in London
Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge | PHIL HARRIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry struggled with processing his mother’s death

Losing his mother Princess Diana at such a young age was traumatic for Prince Harry, but he buried the grief down deep and carried on. Eventually, repressing his sadness bubbled to the surface and he found himself battling some significant mental health issues.

Prince Harry opened up about his mental health struggles during a 2017 interview with The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon on the Mad World podcast. “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,” he shared.

“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle,” he added.

In his 20s, it came to a head, as Prince Harry shared that “all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”      

Prince Harry is more open than his brother

Prince Harry has been more open about his personal issues than William for a good reason. CEO of mental health clinic Smart TMS, Gerrard Barnes, shared with Express why there’s such a difference in the way each brother discusses mental health.

“Harry has a different role in the monarchy if he even has any role at all at the moment,” Barnes noted. “Prince Harry is not an heir to throne in a direct way that Prince William is, he is able to speak out in ways that William doesn’t feel able to talk about.”

He added, “He has got more latitude and opportunity than William. One would hope that if Prince William has any mental health issues of his own he has a support network around him.”

“People he can rely on when he needs them, these people, you would imagine are confidential,” Barnes shared. “They keep these things to themselves as it would not be good for these things to become public without his say so.”

Kate Middleton has been candid as well

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was praised for her candid interview in February on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, in which she shared how she experiences mom guilt just like everyone else.

Royal author Leslie Carroll told Express that Kate might have been inspired by the way Harry has been so open. “Perhaps the duchess was inspired by Harry’s candid guest podcast appearance discussing his 20-year struggle to cope with the death of his mother,” Carroll explained.

She added, “And the mental health issues that dog him to this day when he’s in large crowds such as walkabout. Fears about paparazzi that have led him to be so protective about Meghan and Archie because he was unable to protect his mum.”