Princess Diana explained what it was like to be the first person in the royal family to openly speak about her experience with post-natal depression.
“I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discusses, post-natal depression, you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time,” Diana said during an appearance on BBC’s Panorama in 1995.
“You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn’t want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself.”
She added that it took her by surprise because she had “never had depression in my life.”
“I received a great deal of treatment, but I knew in myself that actually what I needed was space and time to adapt to all the different roles that had come my way,” she added.
“I knew I could do it, but I needed people to be patient and give me the space to do it.”
When asked by the interviewer what the family’s reaction to it was, Diana said: “Well maybe I was the first person ever to be in this family who ever had a depression or was ever openly tearful.
“And obviously that was daunting, because if you’ve never seen it before how do you support it?” she said.
The princess added that “it gave everybody a wonderful new label — Diana’s unstable and Diana’s mentally unbalanced.”
“And unfortunately that seems to have stuck on and off over the years,” she said.
Prince Harry said Prince William convinced him to get counseling after he was “very close to a complete breakdown.”
The Duke of Sussex got candid about his mental health for the first time in 2017, which he said had been negatively impacted following the death of his mother.
“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 said.
He added that it was his brother who encouraged him to seek professional help.
“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.
He also mentioned that boxing had “saved [him]” because he was “on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”
Meghan Markle admitted that she was “not really OK” during an emotional ITV documentary in October 2019.
The Duchess of Sussex appeared close to tears as she spoke to Tom Bradby about the struggles she had been facing dealing with the press intrusion as a new mother.
“Look, any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” she said.
“And especially as a woman, it’s really — it’s a lot. So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed, it’s …” she said, trailing off.
She added: “Also, thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
To this, Bradby asked: “And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really OK? As in it’s really been a struggle?”
“Yes,” Markle responded.
In the same documentary, Harry said he was reminded of his mother every time he sees a camera flash.
Harry described the loss of his mother as a “wound that festers” and said that being in front of the cameras was the “worst reminder” of her life.
“I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back, so in that respect it’s the worst reminder of her life, as opposed to the best,” he said.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been candid about mental health since launching the “Heads Together” campaign with Prince Harry in 2016.
Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry teamed up four years ago to end the stigma surrounding mental health with their “Heads Together” campaign, spearheaded by The Royal Foundation.
“Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health,” The Duchess of Cambridge said at the time of the launch.
“This fear of judgment stops people from getting the help they need, which can destroy families and end lives. Heads Together wants to help everyone feel much more confident with their everyday mental health, and to have the practical tools to support their friends and family.”
In 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched Shout, a 24/7 mental health textline service.
By texting “SHOUT” to 85258 you can be put in touch with a trained Crisis Volunteer (CV) who will be able to support you over text.