Royals

Princess Diana’s close friend says Megxit simply shows the ‘complexity of families’

Julia Samuel, a therapist who was close friends with the late princess also reveals Harry and William are the “same in public” as they are behind closed doors. “They’re very authentic.”

Princess Diana's close friend Diana Samuel has revealed Prince William and Prince Harry are "very authentic" when they're in public and believes the Sussexes' departure from royal life simply shows the "complexity" of families.
The psychotherapist first met Diana at a dinner party in 1987. The pair instantly "clicked" and remained incredibly close, with her bond to the family strengthened when Prince William asked her to be one of Prince George's godparents.
Appearing on the talk show Lorraine this week, the 60-year-old revealed that what the royal brothers "show in public" is what they're "actually like" behind closed doors.
Princess Diana and Julia Samuel at Wimbledon in 1994. (Image: Getty)
"I think we all do know them in a way, from those young boys," she said on the show.
"I think what they show in public is what they're like. So they're very authentic."
Adding the tensions surrounding Harry and Meghan's exit represents "the complexity of families".
"Nobody has the perfect family and it's not about not having disagreements, but talking about it and communication about it, open families are the best."
Julia, Founder Patron, Child Bereavement UK, was so close to the late Princess of Wales that Diana would sometimes pick up Julia's children from school.
"She was amazing," Julia told Lorraine.
"She broke a lot of the stigma and taboo around mental health. I think what they [William and Harry] and she have been very good at raising awareness that mental illness invisible."
Prince William and Julia Samuel at the Child Bereavement Charity. (Image: Getty)
The therapist, who authored Grief Works, a book which looks at how we cope with loss also spoke with The Telegraph saying she believes that Harry's new distance from royal life will likely prove to be a healing force.
While she says she "really loves" the boys and doesn't want to use their experience to promote her work she acknowledges she can't avoid the issue either.
After a long pause she tells The Telegraph's Margarette Driscoll: "If we put Harry's experience to one side, any young man or woman who has a parent who dies, that injury is always there. It's not about fixing it because you can't fix it.
"It's about finding a way of accommodating it, finding a way of living that is meaningful and daring to love and trust again."
Adding, "But if things happen that echo the trauma in the past it is much, much harder to do that because it's so close. It's much harder to flourish and thrive because you're being reinjured, not by what happened, but by the new injury."
Asked if Harry putting distance between his old life and new could prove to help him heal, Julia replies simply, "Yes".
Prince William and Julia Samuel (right) at a Child Bereavement Gala in 2015. (Image: Getty)
Harry's spoken often about how his mother's death has affected his life. Recently, during the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Harry spoke about how although everything he does, in his life and work, reminds him of his mother, it's the media's presence that reminds him of "the bad stuff".
When ITV's Tom Bradby asks Harry if he feels at peace with the death of his mother, Harry replies, that it's "still a wound that festers."
"I think being part of this family, in this role and this job - every time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash – it takes me straight back," Harry tells him.
"So in that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best.
"Being here now, 22 years later, trying to finish what she started, will be incredibly emotional, but everything I do remind me of her.
"But as I said, with the role, with the job and the sort of the pressures that come with that, I get reminded of the bad stuff, unfortunately," he says.
And in an emotional statement released in October last year, the prince also compared Duchess Meghan's "ruthless" and "relentless" treatment in the press to that of his mother's and ultimately, her tragic death writing: "Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself.
"I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces."
Julia says she thinks Harry putting distance between himself and his royal life will help him heal. (Image: Getty)
Julia's revelations comes after it was reported Prince Harry had visited his grandmother over the weekend ahead of his final engagements as a working royal next week.
According to an insider who spoke to the Sun, the Queen ended the chat by telling Harry he is very much love and "will always be welcomed back".
Harry and Meghan will officially step back as senior members of the royal family on March 31, with a review of their agreement with the Palace scheduled in 12 months.
The royal couple are set to join members of the royal family at the Commonwealth Day service on Monday, 9 March, their first public appearance with members of the royal family since their shock announcement.