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Entertainment Why Prince Harry feels so 'at home' in California: 'Speaking his truth'

06:25  12 may  2021
06:25  12 may  2021 Source:   honey.nine.com.au

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Prince Harry may be born and bred British, but he feels right at home 'spiritually' in the United States, according to a friend.

Journalist Bryony Gordon says the American mentality towards discussions of mental health chimes with the Duke of Sussex, who holds the issue close to his heart.

"California is not just Harry's physical home for now – it is also his spiritual one, where nobody thinks anything of openly discussing their struggles," Gordon writes in The Telegraph.

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Prince Harry looking at the camera © Getty Images for Global Citizen

"[He is] speaking his truth in the hope of helping those who are unable to, and not caring how cheesy anyone might think that sounds."

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Gordon's remarks come ahead of Harry's documentary series with Oprah, The Me You Can't See, premiering on Apple TV+.

The series features an array of people who have lived with, or are experts in, various mental health conditions and experiences like trauma.

As Gordon highlights, the duke knows all too well the challenge of speaking openly and publicly about mental health issues.

Diana, Princess of Wales et al. posing for the camera: Prince Harry had his classmates sing 'Happy Birthday' to his mother over the phone. © Getty Prince Harry had his classmates sing 'Happy Birthday' to his mother over the phone.

Over the years, he has become increasingly open about the trauma of losing his mother Princess Diana when he was 12, and how hard he found it to address his grief.

He has previously admitted he "shut down" his emotions over his mother's death for two decades, with "quite serious" impacts.

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"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions … The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you're part of quite a big club," he told Gordon in a 2017 interview.

During a 2016 event for the Heads Together initiative — championed by Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton — he said he regretted not talking about how he felt.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry posing for the camera: Harry, William and Kate pictured at an event for Heads Together, their mental health initiative. © Getty Harry, William and Kate pictured at an event for Heads Together, their mental health initiative.

Much of Harry's royal work in recent years, including with military veterans, has been focused on breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health.

Though the conversations in The Me You Can't See echo a long-standing "language of recovery", Gordon says Harry's contribution to the discourse is still significant, given his position in the "traditionally tight-lipped" monarchy.

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The journalist says the shift in Harry's actions has come from within, rather than being a change brought about by wife Meghan, as some have claimed.

"He is no longer living in fear of the repercussions of existing as himself, as he wants and needs to be ... he now sees that the most efficient way to live is truthfully, and not just by the expectations of others."

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have both publicly addressed their mental health struggles. © Getty The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have both publicly addressed their mental health struggles.

Meghan has also spoken openly about her mental health struggles, including in a 2019 royal tour documentary and in her Oprah interview with Harry this year.

"Not many people have asked if I'm OK, but it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes," she told ITV journalist Tom Bradby of the scrutiny she endured.

To Oprah, the duchess recalled feeling suicidal during her time in the royal family, claiming she was denied the opportunity to seek support from a health facility.

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