The Duke of Sussex has revealed the only reason his wife, Meghan, did not kill herself was because she thought it would be too "unfair" for him to lose another woman in his life.
In the first three episodes of his new Apple TV series about mental health, Prince Harry opened up about his mother's death and the therapy he was undergoing to deal with the trauma, plus the struggles both he and the Duchess faced as working royals.
He revealed he had been having therapy for four years after an argument with Meghan made him realise that if he wanted to save his relationship, he had to "deal with his past".
The Duke even allowed cameras to film a session with his UK-based therapist as he was asked to target the traumatic memory of flying back into London, which he admitted was a "trigger" because of what had happened to Diana, Princess of Wales.
He described the experience of having to share the grief of his mother's death with the world, recounting how he had to watch large numbers of people sobbing while he withheld his emotions to do what was "expected of him".
The five-part documentary series, The Me You Can't See, co-presented with Oprah Winfrey, is released today and features interviews with celebrities including Lady Gaga and Glenn Close that "help lift the veil" on mental health and emotional well-being.
The Duke accused the royal family of "total neglect" when it came to asking them to help him and the Duchess.
Expanding on revelations made during the couple's televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, he said he had become aware that as a member of the royal family and the "institution", he had been "living in a bubble".
"I was sort of almost trapped in a thought process, in a mindset," he said.
The Duke said family members told him to "just play the game and your life will be easier" but he said he felt he was outside the system while also being stuck inside it.
"I've got a hell of a lot of my mum in me," he said. "The only way to free yourself and break out is to tell the truth."
The Duke said the click and flash of cameras made his "blood boil", triggering memories of what had happened to his mother and his own experiences of helplessness as a child.
"I thought my family would help, but every single ask - request, warning, whatever it is - to stop, just got met with total silence or total neglect," he said.
"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 but Meghan was struggling."
The Duke described the moment the Duchess had told him, when she was six months pregnant with their son Archie, that she felt suicidal.
He said she had shared her darkest thoughts with him, including "the practicalities" of how she had considered ending her life.
"The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought," he said.
"The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mum and to now be put in a position of losing another woman in my life, with a baby inside of her, our baby."
That evening, in January 2019, the couple attended the premiere of Totem, Cirque du Soleil's touring show, at the Royal Albert Hall. The Duke admitted he was "somewhat ashamed" of the way he dealt with it, suggesting that rather than prioritising their official duties they should have pulled out. But at the time, he said, that was not an option, because of "the system" they were in.
The experience made him realise that he needed to prioritise the needs of his wife and unborn child.
"I then had a son who I'd far rather be solely focused on rather than every time I look in his eyes wondering whether my wife is going to end up like my mother and I'm going to have to look after him myself," he 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 talking about this kind of trauma. Certainly now I will never be bullied into silence."
The Duke said he was ashamed to go to his family because he knew he would not get from them what he needed.
Prince Harry suggested his wife's dual heritage only magnified his fears that history was in danger of repeating itself.
He compared their experience of being hounded by the paparazzi to that of his mother and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, 41, the son of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Fayed, the former owner of Harrods department store in London.
Asked by Winfrey if he had any regrets, he said he wished that he had taken a stronger stance on the racism that had been aimed at Meghan earlier on in their relationship.
"My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn't white," he said.
"And now look at what's happened. You want to talk about history repeating itself? They're not going to stop until she dies."
The Duke said after his mother died when he was just 12 years old, he decided then that he did not want the royal life.
He described his experience of having to "share his grief with the world" as footage was shown of both Prince Harry and William sent out to thank the sobbing members of the public for their condolences.
Recalling the Princess's funeral procession, when the boys walked behind their mother's coffin, he said his most prominent memory was the sound of the horses' hooves trotting along the Mall.
"By this point both of us were in shock," he said.
"It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along doing what was expected of me, showing one tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing. I was like, this was my mum, you never even met her."
The Duke said he was so angry about what had happened to his mother, and the fact no one was ever brought to justice, that he simply blocked it out.
He said he did not want to think or talk about her because it only made him sad and would not bring her back.
"No one was talking about it," he said.
"After that period of however many years it was head in the sand, fingers in the ears, just crack on."
But the Duke admitted that years later, behind the scenes he was "all over the place". He described his late 20s and early 30s as "a nightmare time" in which he was willing to drink, take drugs and do anything that numbed his senses.
The Duke said his father, the Prince of Wales, used to tell both him and his brother they should just put up with the press intrusion, saying: "Well it was like that for me so it's going to be like that for you."
But he insisted that made no sense.
"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 Duke acknowledged four years of therapy was a "lot" for someone who never thought he would need or want it.
"I wasn't in an environment where it was encouraged to talk about it, that was kind of squashed," he said.
He said he saw doctors and counsellors but it was an argument with the Duchess in the early days of their relationship that made him realise he had to deal with the anger from his past.
"When she said, 'I think you need to see someone', it was in reaction to an argument we had," he said. "And in that argument, not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry. I knew that if I didn't do the therapy and fix myself that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with."
The Duke revealed that he had been having EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy, for four or five memories he still found disturbing.
During a session filmed for the third episode of the series, the Duke was asked to target one of those memories and revealed that flying into London was a "trigger" that always made him feel worried and uptight.
He traced it back to a return flight from Africa, where he had travelled shortly after his mother's death, and the feelings of foreboding he had on his way home. After processing that memory by thinking about it while crossing his arms and tapping his fingers, he said he realised that those moments from the past were "deeply connected to the present" and that the trauma was "very much geographical".
- The Daily Telegraph
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Samaritans 0800 726 666
• If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.