Prince Harry joined Dr. Gabor Mat? for an hour-long session that was streamed live, and the Duke of Sussex opened up about his trauma but also about how Meghan Markle “saved me.”
Speaking for the first time since releasing his bombshell memoir, Spare, Harry touched on a number of topics, including self-victimizing, seeking therapy, losing his mother, Princess Diana, and parenting alongside Meghan. And it was while discussing the importance of Meghan on his healing journey when he revealed just how much she truly means to him.
“My wife saved me. I was stuck in this world,” he said. “And she was from a different world and helps sort of draw me out of that. But none of none of the elements of my life now would have been possible without me seeing it for myself. As we know, it’s the one. It’s, hard to change, it’s almost impossible to change other people. You got to start with changing yourself, and allow that growth to happen. But yes, my partner is an exceptional human being. And I’m eternally grateful for the wisdom and the space that she’s been able to give to me.”
In his memoir, Harry touched on Meghan challenging him to seek therapy, and he opened up about it a bit more with Dr. Mat?.
“I needed that push back. I needed that moment, again, scared of losing them,” he said. “And it was a real moment because of the question that she asked, ‘Is it because that was how you’re brought up, or that you’ve experienced or seen or heard other people within your life speak to women like that?’ And it was like a lightbulb moment. Like, wow, yeah, that is where it comes from. No excuse. Just an understanding of how these things manifest themselves and how we were; how we are so much a product of our own upbringing. And the two of us have had our own stuff, you know, with our families.”
Following his exit from the royal family, critics pointed to Harry’s media appearances — on top of his Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan — as someone looking to paint himself as a victim. He said that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I certainly don’t see myself as a victim. I am really grateful to be able to share my story in the hope that it will help empower and encourage others,” he said. “In some shape or form we are all connected through trauma. I have never looked for sympathy in this. For me, the experience that I have had throughout my childhood, my life, my 38 years — albeit relatively short; I am not looking forward to becoming 40, that is for sure — those experiences and through the work I have done for two decades now around mental health and mental illness, I have always felt as though sharing what I can of my story will help someone or some people out there.”
Harry, who said he’s experienced small bouts of depression and is grateful for the experience as it helps him understand what others go through, also opened up about going to therapy to deal with his feelings about losing his mother at such a young age.
“One of the things I was most scared about was losing the feeling that I had of my mom,” he said. “I thought that if I went to therapy, that it would cure me and that I would lose whatever I had left, whatever I had managed to hold on to of my mother. And it turns out that wasn’t the case. I didn’t lose that. It was the opposite. I turned what I thought was supposed to be sadness — to try to prove to her that I missed her — into realizing that, actually, she really just wanted me to be happy. And that was a huge weight off my chest.”
Harry, who wrote in his book about how his father did not hug him after informing him of his mother’s death, said that when it comes to showing his two children affection, it’s something he’ll do with abundance.
“Now, as a father to my kids of my own, making sure that I smother them with love and affection,” he said. “Not smother them to the point where they’re trying to get away. But in the sense that I, as a father, feel a huge responsibility to ensure that I don’t pass on any traumas or negative experiences that I’ve had as a kid or as a man growing up.”
Being vulnerable, he said, is key to being a good father and husband.
“I’ve managed to find a vulnerability, strength in vulnerability, and I believe that exists for all of us,” he added. “And that is contrary to what we are led to believe. But it’s scary. But I want to be the best and I want to be the best version of myself. I want to be the best husband. I also want to be the best dad. And the best dad that I know that I can be means being vulnerable, while also being strong. And those are the two things for me that I think are completely aligned. Being able to talk about our sensitivities or issues, our emotions as men is needed more now than it’s ever been needed. So I will conduct that is how I’m going to spend the rest of my life and I hope that other men will join me on that journey.”
Harry also opened up about the tough decision to leave the royal family, but one he says he looks back on as a move that was completely necessary.
“When there are tough decisions that are put in front of you I think there’s a lot of fear involved where you, perhaps as an individual, as a husband, as a father, you know what the right decision and the necessary decision is, but you’re afraid of making it because you know you’re going to lose,” he explained. “By the nature of where I am now, what has happened in the process, I’ve lost a lot. But at the same time, I’ve gained, again, to see my kids grow up here the way that they are. I just can’t imagine how that would have been possible back in that environment. The way that I understand it is, you can every day try your best to make sure that you don’t hand any traumas that you have as a parent. But if you’re still stuck within the same environment, it kind of almost feels self-defeating. So, to be able to change the root cause of so much of those issues, to be able to up and move, that, to me, feels as though it gives me much more of a chance — and my wife, as parents — to be able to bring our kids up in a way that is really, really beneficial and good.”
Harry, of course, made a number of stunning revelations when he released his memoir back in January, including that King Charles used to make jokes about not being Harry’s real father and that he drove through the Paris tunnel (“not 120 miles per hour, as the press originally reported”) where his mother, Princess Diana, died in 1997 in a horrific car crash.
He also opened up about allegedly taking mushroom chocolates at a party hosted by Courteney Cox. Harry writes about attending a party, where he met the voice of the Batman LEGO Movie, Will Arnett. Harry says he drunkenly forced Arnett to “do the voice,” and after he obliged, Harry claims he spotted “a huge box of black diamond mushroom chocolates” that were “for everybody” at the apparent house party.
“My mate and I grabbed several, gobbled them, washed them down with tequila,” he wrote. Harry claimed he took the mushrooms and became fascinated with a trash can with a foot pedal in the bathroom that started to look like a “head” to him. “I stepped on the pedal and the head opened its mouth,” he wrote. “A huge open grin. I laughed.”
Harry claimed that his friend had a very different experience with the alleged psychedelics and freaked out when he thought his puffer jacket was a dragon. “My delightful trip had been his hell,” the former senior royal said. “How unfortunate. How interesting.”
Cox recently addressed Harry’s story while speaking with Variety, and recalled, “He did stay here for a couple of days, probably two or three. He’s a really nice person.” The Scream star noted that she hasn’t read the book, but did hear about Harry’s claims inside the bombshell memoir.
Harry also alleged in Spare that his brother, Prince William, physically attacked him in 2019. Harry said he would have 100 percent fought William in that alleged altercation had it not been for therapy.
“I can pretty much guarantee today, that if I wasn’t doing therapy sessions like I was and being able to process that anger and frustration, that I would’ve fought back, one hundred percent,” Harry said.
Harry recalled William allegedly shouting at him, “Come on, hit me, you’ll feel better if you hit me…Come on, we always used to fight, you’ll feel better if you hit me.”
“No, only you’ll feel better if I hit you. Please, just leave,” Harry said he replied.
Harry also opened up about the rift between him and his brother, Prince William in the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan. He called the wedge that the situation had driven between them “the saddest thing,” saying that William let his communications team affect their relationship, which he called “heartbreaking.” He added that while having a summit with the senior royals about his intended exit, it was “terrifying” to have William allegedly “scream and shout” at him.
While a source close to the royal family previously told ET that William feels Harry “crossed a line” in making such stunning claiims, royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET that she believed the palace would extend Harry an invitation to his father’s upcoming coronation in May as an “olive branch.”
ET learned that, as of late last month, Harry and Meghan had not yet received an invite.
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