In Brief

Prince Harry: I wish I'd opened up over Princess Diana's death

Royal tells Rio Ferdinand about the emotional impact of losing his mother at the age of 12

Prince Harry has admitted he only began talking about his mother's death in the last three years.

Speaking at an event at Kensington Palace for the mental health charity Heads Together, the Prince said he had kept his emotions bottled up after Princess Diana was killed in car crash in Paris in 1997, when he was 12 years old.

Now 31, Harry said he has been unable to discuss the loss for most of his life.

"You know, I really regret not ever talking about it," he said in response to a question from footballer Rio Ferdinand, whose wife died of cancer last year.

He went on to recount how he had visited a friend's children shortly after their mother committed suicide to prove it was possible to be "normal" after growing up without a mother.

The Prince was hosting a BBQ on behalf of Heads Together, a charity he founded alongside his brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The project aims to help people admit they are struggling with mental health issues and show how they can affect anybody at any time.

Harry said he wanted to "get people to realise whether you're a white-van driver or an Olympian, it actually makes no difference... You are actually unbelievably similar to each other in the way you have to deal with it."

Olympians Dame Kelly Holmes and Victoria Pendleton and former European sprint champion Iwan Thomas also spoke about their relationship with mental health at the event.

"No-one knew at all what I was going through," said Holmes, who battled depression throughout her athletics career. "I was having treatment and they thought I was crying because the treatment was so hard. It's really been the last three or four years that I've been more open."

Later, Harry told BBC Breakfast: "It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem."

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