Prince Harry has shared one of his greatest regrets where his mother's tragic death is concerned. The 31-year-old opened up about how he wishes he'd spoken about Princess Diana's sudden loss sooner as he helped raise awareness for mental health charity Heads Together at a BBQ he hosted at Kensington Palace. "I really regret not ever talking about it," the Prince told his guests, before admitting he had not spoken about losing his mum "for the first 28 years of my life".
Harry was just 12, and his brother William was 15, when Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31 1997.
"It's ok to suffer, as long as you talk about it," Harry added. "It's not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem."
His words struck a chord with father-of-three Rio Ferdinand, who lost his wife Rebecca to cancer last year. "He's gone through different stages in his life that my kids are going to be going towards," the former footballer said. "So to get some of his experiences is very rewarding for me and very educational in many ways."
Harry is passionate about his charity work and along with his brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, he founded Heads Together, which aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
The palace event was attended by a group of high-profile sports stars, including Rio, Dame Kelly Holmes, Victoria Pendleton and Iwan Thomas, who were invited to speak about their psychological problems.
"The key message here today is that everyone can suffer from mental health," said Harry. "Whether you're a member of the royal family, whether you're a soldier, whether you're a sports star, whether you're a team sport, individual sport, whether you're a white van driver, whether you're a mother, father, a child, it doesn't really matter."