Prince Harry’s slapped down COVID-19 ‘leveller’ claim: ‘I couldn’t disagree more!’
Prince Harry: Royal expert discusses new docuseries
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The Duke of Sussex spoke out in his new mental health documentary series with Oprah Winfrey on Apple TV+ called ‘The Me You Can’t See’. The pair started the first episode by discussing the coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected people’s mental health over the past 15 months. The claim that Covid has been a “leveller” stems from the idea that anyone could be infected by the virus and this was proven by Prince Charles and Prince William both contracting it.
It is also because everyone has been affected by the coronavirus lockdown and the ongoing restrictions on daily life. However, there has been criticism of this view, given that older people, those with existing health conditions and those from ethnic minority backgrounds are more at risk from the virus, while young people and those who work in the service industry have been more affected by the economic impact of lockdown. While rich people were not able to see friends and family, they were quarantined in mansions versus families who were forced to stay inside crumbling buildings or domestic abuse victims who had to spend more time with their abusers. While those in steady jobs in the UK could be furloughed for extended periods of time, many small businesses have been driven into the ground and many self-employed people have fallen through the cracks.
Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey drew attention to another way in which some were affected more by the events of the past year ‒ those struggling with mental health issues.
They argued that the isolation and loneliness felt by those who were already suffering intensified that suffering more than it did for others.
Harry said: “Some people at the beginning of it were saying it’s been a leveller. I couldn’t disagree more.
“Because the people who were already suffering are now suffering even more.
“I guess the one thing that we can agree on globally is everyone has experienced a different version of the same thing.”
Oprah agreed: “It isn’t a leveller”.
She added that the past year has shown the world its humanity “with a big mirror” and that anything that was an issue before has been “magnified”.
She also pointed out the “grief” that everyone has felt, not just those who have lost someone but “the loss of anything that matters”.
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This could mean missing their high school graduation that they have been thinking about for years or simply missing being with their friends.
She argued that this year has shaped “who we are” as a culture in a way that people may not have “dealt with” psychologically.
Prince Harry continued that almost everyone will now have experienced some kind of trauma, grief or loss.
He then went on to open up about his own struggles with mental health around his mother Princess Diana and her death in 1997.
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He recalled feeling “helpless” that he was unable to help his mother while she was being hounded by the paparazzi when he was a child.
The Duke described how he was “in shock” at her funeral and just going through the motions of what he had to do.
Harry also confessed he had experienced anxiety and panic attacks when he had to do royal engagements.
He said he “didn’t want the life” and by his late twenties was questioning what he was doing there.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email [email protected]
The Me You Can’t See comes out on AppleTV+ tomorrow.
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