Wednesday, 16 Jun 2021

Prince Charles’ furious reaction when he found out about Harry’s substance abuse

Prince Harry appears in Peak State mental fitness advert

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A new episode of Harry’s mental health series on Apple TV+ has dropped, entitled ‘A Path Forward’. In the episode, Harry spoke to Robin Williams’ son Zak Williams about their shared experience of losing a famous parent. Zak, 38, said he failed to properly grieve privately for a year-and-a-half after his father ended his own life, self-medicated with alcohol to help deal with the loss and developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Harry responded that the two had “a lot of shared experience” after admitting in an earlier episode he used alcohol to “mask” his own emotional pain due to unprocessed grief from the death of Princess Diana. Harry also said in an earlier episode that he found himself “wanting to do drugs”, or indeed anything that made him feel less pain. Harry’s drink and drugs revelation brought a new perspective to his teenage years, when he was caught drinking underage and smoking cannabis. At 16, he was drinking heavily at a local pub called the Rattlebone Inn and took drugs in the grounds of Highgrove over a two-month period, the News of the World reported at the time.

Zoe Griffin, Editor and Founder of LiveLiveAVIP.com, told the Netflix documentary ‘The Royals’ that Charles went “mental” and was fuming when he found out about the substance abuse.

He decided that a day in a rehabilitation centre might serve to show Harry the dangers of drug use.

Ms Griffin said: “When Prince Charles heard the news, he went mental, he demanded that Prince Harry went to a rehab clinic to talk to other people who had drug addiction just to make sure he never progressed beyond cannabis.”

Former royal correspondent for the BBC, Jennie Bond, has a more tempered view, telling the documentary Charles was “shocked” and went to Harry’s brother William for advice.

She said: “I think Prince Charles was pretty shocked to find Prince Harry was smoking weed.

“He spoke to William and I think he asked William what should be done, and – maybe it was William’s suggestions, I don’t know – but one way or another Harry ended up at a rehabilitation centre.”

Charles took his sons to Featherstone Lodge Centre for the day, where they toured the grounds and heard about people’s experiences with drugs.

Bill Puddicombe, former Head of Featherstone Lodge Centre, described how he was sitting in his office when he received a call from the Prince of Wales’ office.

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He explained: “He asked if we could arrange a private visit for Prince Harry to come and see Featherstone Lodge.

“There was no press involvement. In fact, it was requested that there was no press involvement.

“We weren’t told why, but we knew at this time there was talk about the young Princes becoming involved with their mother and father’s charitable works, that seemed likely to be the reason.”

It was later revealed in the press the true reason for this visit.

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As Harry grew up, he developed a party boy reputation, often pictured on a night out and once was even caught on camera naked at a party in Las Vegas.

In the new episode of ‘The Me You Can’t See’, Harry spoke to Zak about their shared experience of losing someone close to them, who was also famous, and how it meant seeing “so many people around the world grieving for someone they feel they knew better than you did in a weird way”.

He spoke of the agony of wondering: “How are you grieving more for someone who was my parent? And I’m unable to grieve myself?”

Harry famously had to walk behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral and keep it together while crowds of wailing well-wishers watched.

He praised Zak for achieving sobriety and becoming a mental health advocate.

He said: “To be able to reject that [addiction] and focus so much on your own growth, learning and healing in the process while helping so many other people: full respect, man. I think it’s remarkable.”

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email [email protected]

The Me You Can’t See is available on AppleTV+ now.

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