Mental health on the mind
When Harry met Meghan in 2016, he had reached a pivotal moment in his life. In 2015, the prince made the decision to end his career with the British Army following a decade of service. According to a source, he was reportedly suffering panic attacks when he attended royal engagements. The source told the authors that one time when Harry left an event for a humanitarian emergency response charity, “he just started taking in deep breaths” and was “on edge”.
His army service added to the mental impact of losing his mother in 1997, when he was 12 years old. In 2005, Harry told reporters of the close bond he shared with his older brother William, saying that the pair can “talk about anything”. “We understand each other and give each other support,” he said.
Fast-forward 11 years, and Harry, William and Kate Middleton have launched Heads Together, a mental health campaign that the brothers largely credit the Duchess of Cambridge for beginning. According to the Finding Freedom authors, the initial idea for the initiative was “scribbled on the back of a cigarette pack one night”.
The campaign marked a turning point for the younger members of the royal family, who shed the British stiff upper lip to speak openly about struggles they had experienced with their mental health and to inspire others to do the same.