Prince Harry was cautious and made sure not to attack members of the in his livestreamed interview, a leading royal expert told MailOnline in the wake of the prince’s conversation with trauma expert Dr Gabor Maté.
The sat down with controversial ‘toxic trauma’ expert Dr Gabor Maté for a 90-minute conversation just two months before his father’s as questions continue about whether he and wife Meghan will attend.
In the £17-per-ticket livestream event that included a free copy of his memoir, Spare, Harry discussed his drug use, his views on the war on , and how he doesn’t see himself as a ‘victim’.
He told Maté he always felt different from the rest of his family and that Diana felt the same, as he opened up about his upbringing in a ‘broken home’ and how he had been ‘saved’ by Meghan.
But amid fears the prince could be left out from his father’s coronation ceremony, the conversation was far more subtle than his memoir Spare, which many saw as filled with attacks on other royals such as his father King Charles and brother Prince William.
The Duke of Sussex sat down with controversial ‘toxic trauma’ expert Dr Gabor Maté for a 90-minute conversation
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said the royal family will be ‘relieved’ that there were no fresh attacks by Prince Harry during the 90-minute livestream
In a wide-ranging discussion that contained fresh digs at the Royal Family in the run-up to King Charles’ coronation in May, the Duke –
- Said he was a good candidate for the army because ‘they recruit from broken homes’;
- Added that ‘a lot of us…’ [his fellow soldiers] ‘didn’t necessarily agree or disagree’ with the West’s invasion of Afghanistan;
- Described his ongoing emotional turmoil, saying: ‘Since age 12 apart from being in a state of shock I was in fight or flight’;
- Said therapy helped him to ‘break free and live’ from his ‘dysfunctional’ family and he felt ‘incredibly free’ after Megxit;
- Was told by Dr Maté that he has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), prompting the prince to joke ‘a free session, great’;
- Revealed using cannabis had ‘really helped’ him mentally but cocaine ‘did nothing’ for him;
- Said using the psychedelic drug ayahuasca ‘changed me’ and ‘helped me deal with the traumas and pains of the past’;
- Boasted about the favourable Amazon reviews for his book, saying people had been writing ‘essays’ praising it;
- Asked about the concept of service to others, said: ‘It’s a theme of the book because it’s a theme of my life’, adding: ‘sharing is an act of service’;
- Told how he had experienced ‘burnout’ after thinking ‘I just need to help everybody’;
- Said his ‘exceptional’ wife Meghan had helped him avoid being ‘stuck’ in the Royal Family.
During the entire conversation, Prince Harry did not mention his brother Prince William, Kate or Camilla once.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams delivered his verdict on the 90-minute conversation: ‘I don’t thing this will change things.
‘Things are bad, there is a serious rift.The best that can be said is that this didn’t make things worse.’
He highlighted the lack of personal attacks on either the monarchy or individual members of his family such as the Prince of Wales, saying the Duke of Sussex is ‘very traumatised’ – but added that his stance on him not being a ‘victim’ did not align with his recent memoir and Netflix series.
‘There was no direct attack on the monarch and there was also, although it was all in the background – the past he was escaping from – there was no direct attack at all on any member of the royal family.’
Commenting on what the rest of the royals may have made of the interview, Mr Fitzwilliams said: ‘I think there will be a lot of relief and thanks.’
He continued: ‘For somebody who stresses with Mate, who stresses that the results of therapy are so positive, how and why would he account for his negativity to the royal family more publicly?
‘Why did they launch all of these attacks on the royals?
‘One of the problems is he is never asked difficult questions in these interviews.
‘In Afghanistan he was asked how he found himself in hostile terrain. But no-one has asked him about revealing the number of Taliban he killed.’
Mr Fitzwilliams described the relationship between Prince Harry and Dr Maté as a student-teacher dynamic: ‘Harry is not acting on advice these days, he included very strange details in the book.
‘He was rather like a pupil listening to a teacher.There was a giggle or laughter, and he was admiring Dr Maté’s book.
‘It was perfectly obvious that he admires Maté but his answers were not that of a sophisticate.’
He added: ‘Harry is trying to understand how he is exorcising his demons, but what he doesn’t understand is that the toxicity he talked about and not wanting to pass it on – that is what they have been passing on since he and Meghan left the royal family.’
Mr Fitzwilliams said he believes the couple’s declining ratings are partly behind the change in tack.
Prince Harry tonight sat down with Dr Gabor Maté for a livestream event about ‘trauma and healing’
Harry spoke about the pain he still endures after losing his mother, Princess Diana (right) at the age of 12
The Duke did not mention Prince William, Princess Kate or Queen Consort Camilla once
Since the release of Spare, the couple’s popularity ratings in the US have plummeted, not helped recently by an episode of South Park which mocked the pair.
‘Ratings are most important.One poll can be a rogue poll, two polls are a pattern.
‘If you declare war you want to know that the home team is supporting you.’
During the 90-minute conversation, Prince Harry revealed he ‘feels different’ to the rest of his family, that he has been diagnosed with PTSD and he is taking care to make sure no toxic trauma is passed on to his children.
Describing his struggles to find his ‘authentic true self’ while growing up, he said: ‘I felt slightly different to the rest of my family.I felt strange being in this container, and I know that my mum felt the same so it makes sense to me.’
The royal – who Dr Maté publicly diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) – said he constantly hugged his children, Archie and Lilibet, to ‘shower them with affection’ – something he doesn’t believe he received from his father, King Charles.
Dr Maté began the conversation by discussing the reaction to the book and how critics had accused him of wallowing in his own sense of victimhood.
‘I definitely don’t see myself as a victim,’ Harry replied.
‘To be able to share the things of my life that I think is important feels good – to me it feels like an act of service.
‘If we can encourage other people to be vulnerable themselves and be vulnerable to their family the world will be a better place.’
Royal author Robert Johnson described how Harry’s brother William might react to his comments in The Sun: ‘It will infuriate William how Harry – who attacked those who used his mother – continues to do just that by comparing himself to her.’
He added he ‘can’t help but feel sorry’ for the prince, but his is limited.
Meanwhile author Ingrid Seward told the paper Harry seems ‘very much in the Californian lifestyle’.
‘He is a very impressionable and vulnerable man and he has been digging so deeply into his own self-analysis that he has found himself in a bottomless pit.
‘At this point he just seems confused.’
Harry’s ghost-written tell-all autobiography laid bare his frustrations with his family.
He claimed his brother William, now the Prince of Wales, had knocked him to the floor at Harry’s then home Nottingham Cottage after calling the Duchess of Sussex ‘difficult’, ‘rude’ and ‘abrasive’.