Speaking with former England soccer captain and Manchester United star player Rio Ferdinand while hosting a garden barbecue at Kensington Palace for mental health foundation Heads Together, the young royal admitted he wished he hadn’t waited until just three years ago to talk about his mum.
‘I really regret not ever talking about it,’ the now 31-year-old told Ferdinand. ‘For the first 28 years of my life, I never talked about it.’
Rio, whose wife Rebecca died last year of breast cancer aged just 34, tells the BBC the pair’s conversation was particularly poignant since his three young children are going through a similar experience since losing their mother.
‘He’s gone through different stages in his life that my kids are going to be going towards,’ the 37-year-old explained. ‘So to get some of his experiences is very rewarding for me and very educational in many ways.’
The Heads Together foundation, which was founded by Harry, his brother William and sister-in-law Kate, was created to give a profile to mental health.
‘The key message here today is that everyone can suffer from mental health,’ Harry told BBC Breakfast. ‘Whether you’re a member of the Royal Family, whether you’re a soldier, whether you’re a sports star, it doesn’t really matter. Everyone can suffer.’
He continued: ‘It’s OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It’s not weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and solving that problem.’