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Wednesday 18th October 2017

Prince Harry reveals he's been "very close to a complete breakdown"

He shut down his emotions for 20 years after Diana died

Prince Harry laid himself bare during a breathtakingly honest interview, in which he admitted coming “close to a complete breakdown”.

The 32-year-old revealed that, four years ago, his life was in “total chaos” having “shut down all emotions” since the death of his mother.

Princess Diana died following a car crash in Paris in 1997, when her youngest son was just 12.

Harry now recognises that he didn’t address her death for two decades – and older brother William, 34, begged him to face his grief.

My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum.

At the age of 28, and “on the verge of punching someone”, the Prince eventually sought help.

Speaking in an incredibly powerful Podcast to mental health campaigner and journalist Bryony Gordon, the popular royal revealed: “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.

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

“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? “(I thought) it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back.

“So from an emotional side, I was like, ‘Right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything’.

“So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going, ‘Life is great’, or, ‘Life is fine’ and that was exactly it.”

Harry, who says he is now in a good place, went on to reveal that, once he recognised he needed to sort himself out, he took up boxing.

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He said: “During those years I took up boxing, because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it’s a really good way of letting out aggression.

“And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”

The Queen’s grandson also spoke openly about talking to a therapist, confirming: “I’ve done that a couple of times, more than a couple of times, but it’s great.”

Harry, currently dating actress Meghan Markle, is now a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness and support - and his candidness during this interview will doubtless enable many more conversations about the issue.

You can listen to the full interview by visiting The Telegraph online.

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