Prince Harry, 38, sat down with Dr. Gabor Maté during a live virtual event on Saturday and revealed he makes sure to give his kids, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, plenty of love and affection after he admitted to wishing his father, King Charles, and grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth, were more physically affectionate toward him when he was growing up, in his new memoir Spare.
“It leaves me in the position how as a father, I have two kids of my own, making sure that I smother them with love and affection,” he told Dr. Maté before also joking that he doesn’t “smother them to the point that they’re trying to get away,” according to People. “But in the sense that I as a father feel a huge responsibility to ensure that I don’t pass on any traumas or negative experiences I’ve had. And that’s work, that’s putting in the work, and daily, being conscious of my behavior, of my reactions to both of my kids.”
“And there are times when I catch myself in a moment when I should be smothering them with that love and in that moment, I might not be, reminding myself [to],” he added. “I wouldn’t have been as aware of it had I not done the therapy and work that I’ve done.”
Dr. Maté, who wrote the book, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture, proceeded to ask Harry to imagine what kind of “impact” would be made if Archie and Lilibet were “not getting the hugging the way you didn’t get it.”
“I don’t know what the impact would be, but I imagine the result would be similar,” Harry, who moved to Southern California with his wife Meghan Markle in 2020, answered, referring to his own struggles. “That’s why, again, I am grateful to have been able to change my environment, which I fully appreciate that not everyone can do, because it comes down to resource.”
“To be able to change the root cause of so much of those issues, to be able to up, move, that to me, feels as though it gives me much more of a chance, and my wife, more agency as parents, to be able to bring our kids up in a way that’s really beneficial and good for them,” he continued before adding that he had “an incredible childhood, elements of it, and elements of it were incredibly painful.”
In addition to talking about the ups and downs of his childhood and his experience with his own children, Harry, whose mother, Princess Diana, passed away when he was just 12 years old, was diagnosed with PTSD, ADD, anxiety and depression by Dr. Maté on the spot. He seemed to accept it and admitted to previously being diagnosed with PTSD by his own personal therapist.