Prince Harry has opened up about the pain he has suffered after his mother’s death to help children suffering with loss in the coronavirus pandemic.
The Duke of Sussex penned a heartfelt message reflecting on the pain of losing Princess Diana for children of health workers lost to the cruel virus.
He wrote the note in a foreword to a new book for the bereaved children of Britain’s NHS heroes.
Harry wrote Diana’s death in 1997 when he was aged 12 had left “a huge hole inside of me” but that it was eventually filled with “love and support”, according to The Times.
The book, Hospital by the Hill, tells the story of a young person whose mother died working on the front line at a hospital during the Covid crisis.
Written by Chris Connaughton and illustrated by Fay Troote, the book is being given to bereaved children as part of the National Day of Reflection next week, a Government initiative to mark the anniversary of the start of lockdown.
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“If you are reading this book, it’s because you’ve lost your parent or a loved one, and while I wish I was able to hug you right now, I hope this story is able to provide you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone,” the Duke writes.
“When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me. I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support.”
Harry wrote he had found that while a lost loved one might be gone forever, they were “always with you and you can hold on to them for ever”.
“You may feel alone, you may feel sad, you may feel angry, you may feel bad. This feeling will pass. And 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,” he wrote.
Harry dedicated the latter years of his time as a working royal campaigning on mental health issues.
During the split from royal life with wife Meghan Markle, he has increasingly spoken publicly about his struggles.
The pair gave an intimate interview for an ITV documentary on their Africa Royal Tour, in which Harry appeared to confirm longstanding rumours of a longstanding rift with brother, Prince William.
They also told the world they had suffered a miscarriage following the birth of their first child, Archie.
The couple laid bare their mental health struggles for a global audience of millions this month in their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In the interview that sent shockwaves through the Palace, Harry told Oprah his late mother would have wanted him to force his way out of the establishment.
And Meghan revealed she had been suicidal after marrying into the royal family.
Both she and Harry credited one another with “saving” each other, as Harry said seeing his wife struggling sent him to a “dark place” and cemented their decision to seek independence and start a new life.
Meghan claimed in the interview her desperate attempts to seek mental health help from the palace fell on deaf ears.
And Harry described a stoic culture among royals, telling Oprah he had grown up believing mental health was something you didn’t talk about.
He also described William and father Prince Charles as “trapped,” and said he hoped for healing with his family.
The Queen issued a statement following the interview, and was said to be planning to speak to the couple personally in a phone call to their California home.
The statement said the family was “saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.”
Racism allegations in the interview – including claims a royal asked about the colour of Archie’s skin – would be taken seriously but handled privately, the statement said, adding “recollections may vary”.