Prince Harry drew attention to the importance of talking openly about grief as he hosted a mental health charity event at Kensington Palace.
The Prince admitted that he regrets not talking about the death of his mother Princess Diana sooner than he did as he revealed he hadn’t spoken about it for the first 28 years of his life. The 31 year-old who lost his mother at the age of 12 when she was killed in a car crash in 1997, opened up to English footballer Rio Ferdinand who attended the event for the Prince’s alongside other famous figures from the world of sport.
Ferdinand, who lost his wife last year, reportedly asked Harry about how the loss of their mother would impact his three children, to which Harry said: “I really regret not ever talking about it…It’s OK to suffer, as long as you talk about it.”
“It’s not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem,” He continued.
The footballer expressed his appreciation for Harry’s advice, saying: “He’s gone through different stages in his life that my kids are going to be going towards… So to get some of his experiences is very rewarding for me and very educational in many ways.”
The event for Heads Together, the mental health charity the prince founded alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, was a chance to show that even sporting personalities can suffer from mental health problems like everyone else.
“The key message here today is that everyone can suffer from mental health,” said Harry. “Whether you’re a member of the Royal Family, whether you’re a soldier, whether you’re a sports star, whether you’re a team sport, individual sport, whether you’re a white van driver, whether you’re a mother, father, a child, it doesn’t really matter.”