In a new interview, Prince Harry dives deeper into his New York Times bestselling memoir Spare, touching on the trauma that’s been a part of his life ever since he was a little boy.
On Saturday, The Duke of Sussex sat down for a virtual interview with Dr. Gabor Maté, who specializes in trauma, addiction, stress and childhood development, to unpack his memoir, which included a conversation about coping with loss and the importance of healing.
During the candid discussion, Harry expressed feelings of not fitting in with the rest of the royal family, something that his late mother Princess Diana also felt.
“Certainly throughout my life, throughout my younger years, I always felt slightly different to the rest of my family,” he told Maté. “I felt strange being in this container, and I know that my mum felt the same. It makes sense to me — it didn’t make sense at the time — I felt as though my body was in there, but my head was out, but sometimes it was vice-versa. The times that I ventured towards being myself, being my authentic true self, whether it was through media or family or whatever it was, it was almost like, ‘Don’t be yourself, come back to what you’re expected to be,’ if that makes sense.”
Harry, who felt relieved writing Spare, went on to explain why it was crucial for him to open up about his life story.
“I really hope, and I hoped right from the beginning, when I turned around to the people that were helping me write this book, I said, ‘I want this to be an act of service, it needs to be, because I know important it is, because you’re almost giving permission for people to talk about their own stuff, and be their own selves, and society doesn’t really help us,” he said. “And I would say even more so within my family, because of the expectations and because of how you’re cast as individuals.”
Commenting on his experience doing therapy, the estranged royal family member said, “A lot of families are complicated, a lot of families are dysfunctional, but for me when I was doing therapy regularly… I felt that I learned a new language.”
Prince Harry, 38, noted that other family members “didn’t speak that language,” ultimately putting him at crossroads.
“This is working for me and I’m starting to go back to the point of trauma and unpack everything so I can be truly happy… but at the same time I’m feeling more and more distant from my loved ones and my family.”