In her newly published book, Princess Amalia speaks openly about her therapy experience. Several other famous royals also struggled with mental illnesses and problems and talked about them.
“I don’t think it’s a taboo,” says Princess Amalia, 17, of her visit to the psychologist. In her new book “Amalia”, which was published on the occasion of her upcoming 18th birthday, she speaks openly about her mental health and how natural it is for her to visit an expert on a regular basis. “Sometimes it all gets too much for me, school, friends, and then I talk to someone”.
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As a child, she sent her parents King Willem-Alexander, 54, and Queen Máxima, 50, to therapy. She can hardly remember it, but Amalia thinks it is normal “to talk to a professional every now and then” – especially in view of the suicidal death of her aunt Inés Zorreguieta, who committed suicide in 2018. A picture of her is still in Amalia’s room.
They are frank words on a subject that has been kept silent so often and far too much. Amalia is taking an important step here. In doing so, she helps to de-stigmatize the topic of therapy.
Even these famous royals did not shy away from going to therapy to get help for themselves and their sick souls.
Princess Victoria fell ill with anorexia as a young woman
Many can certainly still remember the pictures of Princess Victoria, 44, from the 1990s. They showed an extremely slim woman. In an official statement from the palace on November 28, 1997, it was said that Sweden’s heir to the throne suffered from an “eating disorder” and was in “treatment”.
In the USA she went to therapy. She learned to talk about her feelings, to keep boundaries and not to put too much pressure on herself, Victoria recalls in a portrait that the Swedish broadcaster “TV4” aired in 2017.
Prince Harry was encouraged to seek therapy by his wife, Duchess Meghan
At the age of twelve, Prince Harry, 37, lost his beloved mother, Princess Diana, † 36, who died in a car accident in 1997. He later suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. He only processed the loss in therapy years later, at the age of 28.
The experiences surrounding his resignation as a high-ranking member of the British royal family at the beginning of 2020 also took a toll on him. In actor Dax Shepard’s podcast “Armchair Expert” Harry revealed that Meghan had encouraged him to undergo further therapy.
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Princess Diana suffered from bulimia and depression
Harry’s mother Diana was also in therapy. Back then, she spoke as openly as her son does today about her bulimic disease and depression. Trigger: The unhappy marriage with her former husband Prince Charles, 73, who did not return her love, the strict life in the royal palace, the pressure of the public and the hunt of the media.
She talked about this, among other things, in her legendary “Panorama” interview – making her the first royal member to speak about his mental illnesses.
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Princess Märtha Louise needed therapy to find herself
The Norwegian Princess Märtha Louise, 50, described her therapy experiences in the magazine “Marie Claire”. She didn’t know who she was then; the pressure of expectation on her as a royal was too great.
“Between me, the real Märtha and the princess, with whom I had to compete, there was an abyss,” explained the daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja, both 84, and also provided the direct reason: “In childhood, all girls dream of being princesses, but when your parents are king and queen, your dream is entirely different. ” A psychologist helped her to get to know and accept herself.
Maud Angelica Behn goes into therapy after her father’s suicide
Märtha’s daughter Maud Angelica Behn, 18, has also opted for therapy. Extremely sad: The trigger was the suicidal death of her father Ari Behn on December 25, 2019 at the age of 47. In an interview with the women’s magazine “Tara”, the young woman said that she had come to terms with the tragic loss in therapy and self-help groups.
Maud is now involved in aid organizations for people at risk of suicide and says: “I couldn’t stop Dad from committing suicide. But I can perhaps prevent others from doing so.”
Princess Mako and Empress Masako suffer from the strict monarchy of Japan
In the Japanese monarchy, mental illness is still a taboo subject. No wonder that so far nothing has leaked out about therapy experiences. Some royals are likely to suffer from this. The rules are strict, whoever marries a civil person – as in the case of Princess Mako, 30 – must live in exile.
According to the Imperial Court Office, she developed a “post-traumatic stress disorder” due to the previous medial mud battle. Mako herself never confirmed that, only spoke at a press conference on her wedding day that she was not doing well.
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Empress Masako, 57, however, suffered from not having given birth to a male heir to the throne. The Japanese Imperial Palace describes her condition in 2004 as “adjustment disorders” and is said to have tried to cover up her actual illness, which has never been confirmed – depression.
Sources used: rtlboulevard.nl, “Amalia” by Claudia de Breij, tv4play.se, podcast Dax Shepard “Armchair Expert”, tara.se, marieclaire.com, kunaicho.go.jp