Prince Harry admits he turned to alcohol and drugs to 'mask' pain in the aftermath of his mother Princess Diana's death

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Alamy)

Prince Harry has opened up on his drug taking and alcohol binges used to 'mask' the pain of losing his mother Princess Diana.

Prince Harry has confessed to drinking too much and trying drugs as he tried to 'mask' the pain felt in the aftermath of his mother's death.

The Duke of Sussex was just 12 years old when his mother was tragically killed in a car crash in 1997, and the Prince has opened up on the trauma of Princess Diana's death, telling Oprah Winfrey he used alcohol and drugs to "mask" his emotions and to "feel less like I was feeling".

Harry, 36, recalled the 'unresolved' traumatic memories from his childhood in the first three episodes of Apple TV's The Me You Can't See - a series that focuses on mental health.

He told Oprah, "I was willing to drink, I was willing to take drugs, I was willing to try and do the things that made me feel less like I was feeling." He also confessed he would drink a week's worth of alcohol on a Friday or Saturday night "not because I was enjoying it but because I was trying to mask something," he said.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry, who stepped down as a senior working member of the royal family, also described the moment he was photographed with his brother Prince William, father Prince Charles, uncle Earl Spencer, and grandfather Prince Philip walking behind Diana's coffin at her funeral.

He said, "For me the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses' hooves going along the Mall. It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along doing what was expected of me. (I was) showing one-tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing: This was my mum - you never even met her."

Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles follow the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, into Westminster Abbey September 6

(Image credit: Alamy)

Her untimely death also caused him to suffer anxiety and severe panic attacks from ages 28 to 32. He explained, "I was just all over the place mentally. Every time I put a suit on and tie on ... having to do the role, and go, "right, game face", look in the mirror and say, "let's go". Before I even left the house I was pouring with sweat. I was in fight or flight mode.'

Prince Harry previously revealed his mother’s death left a ‘huge hole’ as he writes emotional foreword for a new book.

This July would have been Diana's 60th birthday and a Princess Diana memorial visit has been planned for the 1st of July. The commissioned statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace and is expected to see brothers Prince Harry and Prince William reunite for a second time following the ‘fall out’ that came after the Oprah Winfrey interview.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)