Prince Harry accuses Royal Family of 'total neglect' in documentary

21 May 2021, 06:07 | Updated: 21 May 2021, 13:22

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Prince Harry has accused the Royal Family of "total neglect" in a mental health documentary series with Oprah Winfrey.

The Duke of Sussex discussed traumatic memories from his childhood when speaking to the American talk show host on Apple TV's The Me You Can't See.

During the first three episodes, the pair address the death of Harry's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and harassment on social media that he and his wife Meghan had faced.

The duke told Oprah that "every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, to stop" attacks being levelled at the Sussexes online "just got met with total silence or total neglect" by the royal family.

"We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job," he said.

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Harry told Oprah he will not be bullied in the future
Harry told Oprah he will not be bullied in the future. Picture: PA

Harry also told Winfrey his family did not speak about his mother's death and expected him to deal with the fallout, such as press attention and mental distress, himself.

It comes after the duke seemed to suggest earlier in May that his father, Charles, Prince of Wales, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh had failed as parents.

Speaking on the Armchair Expert podcast, Harry said he wanted to "break the cycle" of "genetic pain and suffering" for the sake of his own children.

He said of Charles: "He's treated me the way he was treated, so how can I change that for my own kids?"

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Harry repeated this suggestion to Winfrey, telling her in the series released on Friday: "My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to both William and I, 'Well it was like that for me so it's going to be like that for you'."

"That doesn't make sense. Just because you suffered doesn't mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact quite the opposite - if you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences you had, that you can make it right for your kids," he said.

The prince said his family told him to "play the game" and his life would improve, however he objected to this, adding: "I've got a hell of a lot of my mum in me.

"The only way to free yourself and break out is to tell the truth."

Harry told Winfrey he would "never be bullied into silence" in the future and added that he did not go to his family when Meghan felt suicidal because he was ashamed the situation had got "that bad" and also suspected the royals would not have been able to help.

The duke said: "That was one of the biggest reasons to leave, feeling trapped and feeling controlled through fear, both by the media and by the system itself which never encouraged the talking about this kind of trauma.

"Certainly now I will never be bullied into silence."

Hours before it aired, Harry joined his brother William in criticising the BBC following an inquiry which found the broadcaster covered up "deceitful behaviour" used by journalist Martin Bashir to secure his headline-making 1995 interview with Diana.