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Prince Harry warns the majority of people ‘carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss or grief’

Prince Harry today warned the ‘majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss or grief’ and proclaimed ‘we are all human’ as he spoke ahead of his upcoming Apple TV+ series on mental health with Oprah Winfrey. 

The Duke of Sussex, 36, is the co-creator and executive producer on The Me You Can’t See, a new programme with the US chat show queen which will start on the £4.99/month streaming service next Friday, May 21.

His comments in advance of the show will be viewed as a reference to his mental health struggles after the death of his mother Princess Diana – and that of his wife Meghan Markle following her involvement in the Royal Family.  

The multi-part series will feature interviews with singer Lady Gaga, actress Glenn Close and NBA basketball stars DeMar DeRozan and Langston Galloway that will ‘help lift the veil’ on mental health and emotional well-being.   

Apple has said the new programme ‘transcends culture, age, gender, and socioeconomic status to destigmatise a highly misunderstood subject and give hope to viewers who learn that they are not alone’.

The hotly-anticipated date was announced in a press release as well as a social media post by Oprah at 2pm this afternoon, with the Duke saying he hopes his latest project shows ‘there is power in vulnerability’.

It comes just two months after Harry and his wife Meghan, 39, opened up about their mental health struggles during their bombshell interview with Oprah which first aired on CBS on March 7, then on ITV one day later. 

During that interview, Meghan also claimed she had suffered from suicidal thoughts after being plunged into royal life and that palace staff had ignored her pleas for help after taking away her keys and passport. 

Speaking at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, Harry said as he launched the show today: ‘We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences.

‘But our shared experience is that we are all human. The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss or grief, which feels – and is – very personal. Yet the past year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy and strength in honesty.’

It is not yet clear whether Harry will be paid for the project, which was first announced by Kensington Palace in 2019 before Megxit, but it comes after the couple also signed multi-million pound deals with Netflix and Spotify. 

Prince Harry makes an impassioned speech at the Global Citizen’s Vax Live in Inglewood, California, on Saturday night

Prince Harry and Oprah have co-created and executive produced an Apple TV+ series called The Me You Can't See

Prince Harry and Oprah have co-created and executive produced an Apple TV+ series called The Me You Can’t See

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in an interview first aired on March 7 on CBS in the US

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in an interview first aired on March 7 on CBS in the US

US Olympic boxer Virginia ‘Ginny’ Fuchs and celebrity chef Rashad Armstead will also appear in the programme.

According to a statement, Harry and Oprah will ‘guide honest discussions about mental health and emotional well-being’ while opening up about ‘their own mental health journeys and struggles’ throughout the series.

Meghan makes first TV appearance since Oprah

Meghan appears on Global Citizen Vax Live on Saturday

Meghan appears on Global Citizen Vax Live on Saturday

The heavily pregnant Duchess of Sussex has made her first television appearance since the Oprah Winfrey interview in March.

Wearing a red dress emblazoned with poppies plus Cartier jewellery, she made a plea for women to be prioritised in pandemic recovery plans.

Meghan had been due to attend a celebrity charity concert but is thought to have pulled out at the last minute and instead recorded a message.

Her speech was seen by millions of US viewers on Saturday night watching the Global Citizen Vax Live broadcast. Prince Harry appeared in person at the SoFi stadium in Los Angeles, addressing a large crowd to rapturous applause.

Meghan, who is soon due to give birth to their second child, a sister for Archie, two, also wore her long hair loose over her shoulder. Its length led to speculation she could have used extensions but her stylist during her time in Britain, George Northwood, has previously denied such claims.

Meghan is believed to have been filmed in the garden of the Sussexes’ £11million California mansion. 

Her £1,200 Carolina Herrera dress was paired with a £17,800 Cartier watch thought to have belonged to Princess Diana, which was a gift from Harry. The duchess was also wearing what is believed to be a £5,000 Cartier love bracelet and a ‘woman’s power’ necklace.

Meghan said ‘women have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out’ in the pandemic. Telling of her joy at expecting a daughter, she said women and girls worldwide ‘must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward’. 

Others working on the show including Terry Wood and Catherine Cyr from Oprah’s Harpo Productions, who will also be executive producers, along with RadicalMedia’s Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick, and Alex Browne.

The series will be directed and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Dawn Porter and Oscar-nominated Asif Kapadia, and produced by Jen Isaacson and Nell Constantinople.

The team have partnered with 14 experts and organisations to ‘shed light on different pathways to treatment’.

Oprah said: ‘Now more than ever, there is an immediate need to replace the shame surrounding mental health with wisdom, compassion and honesty. Our series aims to spark that global conversation.’   

During their series, Harry and Oprah will speak with people from around the world living with the challenges of mental health issues. 

They will address their emotional well-being, while trying to ‘destigmatise a highly misunderstood subject and give hope to viewers’.

Speaking to CBS about the project earlier this year, Oprah said: ‘I asked [Prince Harry] the question, ‘What do you think are the most important issues facing the world right now?’ and he said there are two.

‘He said climate change and mental wellness, mental fitness and mental health. As you know, he’s spoken about his own issues and what he went through after his mother died and how being able to talk about it has benefited him.

‘So it’s a passion of his and, at the end of the conversation, I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to be doing this thing with Apple’. ‘It’s a big concern of mine too and I want to try to erase the stigma,’ and he said at the end of the conversation, ‘If there’s anything I can do to help’.’ 

The series was originally announced on the now defunct SussexRoyal Instagram page in 2019, before the couple quit as working royals and moved to an £11million mansion in California to strike out on their own.

Kensington Palace said at the time that it was intended to inspire viewers to have ‘an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces’, and how to equip ourselves with the ‘tools to thrive, rather than to simply survive’. 

It had been due to be broadcast in 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Duke has spoken about the struggles he has faced since the 1997 death of his mother Princess Diana, and has made mental health one of the biggest focuses of his work. 

In 2017, Harry revealed he had not sought counselling for more than two decades after Diana’s death in a Paris car crash, eventually doing so after enduring two years of ‘total chaos’ while still struggling in his late 20s to come to terms with his loss.

The new programme on Apple TV+ will come two months after Oprah interviewed Harry and Meghan in the US in March

The new programme on Apple TV+ will come two months after Oprah interviewed Harry and Meghan in the US in March

Meghan Markle spoke on the Global Citizen Vax Live broadcast on Saturday night with a recorded message

Meghan Markle spoke on the Global Citizen Vax Live broadcast on Saturday night with a recorded message

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, pictured in South Africa in October 2019

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, pictured in South Africa in October 2019

In March, he drew on his own experiences of grief to write the foreword for a children’s book, created for young people who had lost loved ones over the last year.

William and Kate to visit West Midlands to mark mental health week

Kate, at the National Portrait Gallery in London last week

Kate, at the National Portrait Gallery in London last week

The Duchess of Cambridge has spoken about her wish to ‘break the stigma’ around mental health as a week-long campaign to raise awareness about the issue began.

In a video posted on her YouTube channel, Kate said there was ‘no shame’ in talking about the subject as she chatted to a student about how changes brought about by the pandemic was affecting young people.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are marking Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday, by visiting the West Midlands on Thursday to highlight the work of local organisations that support children and young people, in many cases using nature.

On Friday the couple will again take part in the annual Mental Health Minute – a special message broadcast by a host of famous faces to more than 20 million listeners across 500 radio stations.

The YouTube video featured Kate in conversation with Niaz Maleknia, whose photograph of her student daughter Romy was selected for the final 100 pictures of the duchess’ Hold Still project to document life during the pandemic.

Asked by the duchess how young people were ‘managing with all this change’ Romy said some had struggled with their mental health during the pandemic but were prepared to talk about their problems.

She said: ‘I think people have become more open about it because it’s so common now that people have struggled with it, and it’s natural to struggle with it in these circumstances.’

Kate replied: ‘Absolutely, because everyone’s experienced something together in a way, so there’s no shame in talking about it. And that’s what we’ve been really keen to do, is break that stigma and try to start conversations around mental health which is great to hear that people are being a lot more open about it.’

The duke, who was 12 when his mother died, described how her death had left a ‘huge hole’ inside him but highlighted the importance of seeking professional help.

He wrote: ‘I will make a promise to you – you will feel better and stronger once you are ready to talk about how it makes you feel.’

Harry also spoke about his mother during his interview with Oprah, revealing that he had ‘felt her presence’ throughout the process of stepping back from royal life – popularly dubbed Megxit.

The duke said of the mental health series two years ago: ‘Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive – sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better.

‘I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series which we have been developing together for several months.’ 

It comes as the heavily pregnant Duchess of Sussex has made her first television appearance since the Oprah interview, as she made a plea for women to be prioritised in pandemic recovery plans.

Meghan had been due to attend a celebrity charity concert but is thought to have pulled out at the last minute and instead recorded a message.

Her speech was seen by millions of US viewers on Saturday night watching the Global Citizen Vax Live broadcast.

Prince Harry appeared in person at the SoFi stadium in Los Angeles, addressing a large crowd to rapturous applause.

The Duke and Duchess were chairs of Vax Live, organised by campaign group Global Citizen which aims to encourage the equal distribution of coronavirus vaccines around the world.

The show featured live speakers and performances from Jennifer Lopez and other stars.

Meghan said ‘women have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out’ in the pandemic. 

Telling of her joy at expecting a daughter, she said women and girls worldwide ‘must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward’.

Earlier this week, the Sussexes penned an open letter to five of the world’s leading Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers, urging them to share vaccines with the world’s poorest countries.

They called on all firms to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights applied to Covid vaccines, and for a ‘global public-private collaboration’ so production methods for the jabs can be shared.

As part of his speech, Harry said the vaccine ‘must be distributed to everyone, everywhere. He added: ‘We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world.

‘The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that’s what tonight is about.

‘The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point.’

The Me You Can’t See begins streaming on Apple TV+ on May 21 

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