Prince William Opens Up About Mental Health — And Diana’s Long, Public Struggle With Bulimia

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

It seems like everything about Princess Diana’s life has been publicized, but we still like learning about her family’s opinions on her life.

Yes, we know much about how they felt regarding her marriage, her children, and her death, but how do they feel about the eating disorder she struggled with for a long time?

Her son, William, Duke of Cambridge, is speaking out about his mother’s eating disorder — and encouraging others to do the same.

In June 2017, People reported that Princess Diana had actually spoken about the disorder herself. Author Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words features Diana’s own thoughts on her bulimia nervosa.

In fact, during her life, Diana recorded herself talking about her disordered eating habits.

Now that the Duke, Duchess, and Prince Harry are speaking out about mental health, William knew he had to open up about his mother’s struggles.

Thumbnail Photo: YouTube / Channel 4

[H/T: RedBook Magazine]

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According to People, Diana recorded herself to keep track of her eating disorder.

She said, “The bulimia started the week after we got engaged.”

“My husband put his hand on my waistline and said, ‘Oh, a bit chubby here, aren’t we?’ and that triggered something in me,” Diana recorded herself saying.

Although Prince Charles probably didn’t mean to harm her when he mentioned her weight, Diana internalized his statement, and it took control of her.

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And Charles’s affair with Camilla Bowles didn’t help her self-confidence.

She said, “I was desperate, desperate. I remember the first time I made myself sick. I was so thrilled, because I thought this was the release of tension.”

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Before her wedding, Diana revealed, her waist was 29 inches around.

By the day of her wedding, just four months later, her waist measured 23.5 inches.

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Now, years after Diana’s eating disorder struggles came to light, William is opening up about his take on his mother’s issues.

In a new documentary, Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia, William explains how proud he is that his mother addressed the issue of eating disorders during her life.

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William says:

We do need to talk about [eating disorders] and share these things, and be up front and matter-of-fact about it, and not ashamed or hide in the dark — where it festers and gets worse and worse and worse.

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It’s not easy to talk about mental illness — and it was even harder 20 years ago when Diana first started speaking about it.

“Mental health needs to be taken as seriously as physical health,” William says.

For the full interview, you can watch Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia

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