Prince Harry recalls 'lying on the floor in the foetal position’ during rock bottom moment in new documentary interview

Prince Harry said he had ‘no support network’ following his release from the Armed Forces

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Andy Stenning - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry has spoken candidly about the moment he realised he needed therapy when he was 'lying on the floor in the foetal position’ in his new documentary, Heart of Invictus.

Since stepping down as a senior royal and moving his family to LA, Prince Harry has not been one to shy away from having difficult conversations. His latest documentary series with Netflix, Heart Of Invictus, has been no different. 

The documentary, which hit the streaming service on 30 August, aims to explain how Harry's personal experiences as a veteran inspired him to launch the Invictus project, which will see him travel to Germany later this month, back in 2013. 

As he shares in the documentary, Harry spent a decade in the British Armed Forces and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan throughout that time. But, while he has shared how his time in Afghanistan impacted him greatly, it was when he returned home that the real impact truly hit him, as is true for many other fellow service members.

Prince Harry's time in the military informed his work post-tours, including getting involved with the Invictus Games

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Speaking in the documentary, Harry recalled how, upon leaving the Armed Forces, he struggled to cope with 'trauma' he had been suppressing for years concerning the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997

"The trigger for me was actually returning from Afghanistan but the stuff that was coming up was from 1997 from the age of 12. Losing my mum at such a young age, the trauma I had I was never aware of," Harry said.

He added, "It was never discussed and I didn't really talk about it and I suppressed it like most other youngsters would have done. When it all came fizzing out, I was bouncing off the walls – what is going on here? – I am now feeling everything instead of being young."

"The biggest struggle for me was no one around me really could help. I didn't have that support structure, that network, or that expert advice to identify what was actually going on with me."

Harry went on to share that he quickly hit rock bottom after returning home and believes that the weight of his troubles would have been relieved much earlier if he had sought help at the time of his mother's death. The reason he didn't? As pointed out by The List, in sentiments echoing the same ones he made in his memoir Spare, his and Meghan Markle's docuseries Harry & Meghan, and the couple's Oprah interview, his pain was belittled by The Firm in favour of focusing on his brother Prince William's well-being as he is the heir to the throne. 

Prince Harry

(Image credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)

In Heart of Invictus, Harry shared how his rock bottom moment finally prompted him to get help and he recalled 'lying on the floor in the foetal position' as he wished he had sorted out the problems sooner. 

He said, "Unfortunately, like most of us, the first time you consider therapy is when you are lying on the floor in the foetal position probably wishing you had dealt with some of this stuff previously. And that's what I really want to change."

In order to change that, the Invictus Foundation, of which Harry is a founding member, 'offers a recovery pathway for international wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women,' according to their website. 

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Freelance news writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.