Courtesy
Olivia Bahou
Jul 25, 2016 @ 11:30 am

Even members of Britain's royal family aren’t immune from mental health issues. That’s the message that Prince Harry shared on Sunday when he hosted a Heads Together BBQ at London's Kensington Palace.

The royal spoke candidly with British sports stars at the event and revealed that he wished he talked about his mother’s death sooner.

“I really regret not ever talking about it. For the first 28 years of my life, I never talked about it,” the 31-year-old prince told retired professional soccer player Rio Ferdinand, according to the BBC. Harry's mom, Princess Diana, was killed in a car crash in 1997 when he was just 12 years old. “I think the key message here today is that everyone can suffer from mental health.”

Former sprinting champion Iwan Thomas agreed. “Someone looking on the outside would think, ‘That guy’s got loads going for him. But they don’t know what you’re feeling on the inside.”

“Whether you’re a white van driver or an Olympian it actually makes no difference, because what you have to go through, you are actually unbelievably similar to each other,” the prince responded.

“It’s not weakness. I believe weakness is realizing an issue in yourself and not sorting it,” he said.

Loved ones who provided support through tough times accompanied many of the athlete guests.

“Before a game of French Cricket, the sports stars discussed with Prince Harry how talking to friends, family, and colleagues can be a vital first response during difficult times,” the Kensington Palace wrote in an Instagram post.

Sports stars join Prince Harry at a Heads Together BBQ at Kensington Palace, London, to talk about challenges they have faced in their life and how the support of others has helped. Rio Ferdinand, Dame Kelly Holmes, Victoria Pendleton, Jonathan Trott and Iwan Thomas talked with Prince Harry about tough times in their lives and struggles with their mental health or wellbeing and the importance of being supported by people or networks. Many were accompanied to the event by those who had helped them overcome challenges and provided support. Before a game of French Cricket, the sports stars discussed with Prince Harry how talking to friends, family and colleagues can be a vital first response during difficult times. Most of us will go through a difficult time at some point in our lives, including the sporting stars we may think are invincible. Hearing sporting heroes and role models talking openly about their tough times and what support has helped them can help us all feel more confident about reaching out for support when we need it.

A photo posted by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

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Watch the video above for more from the adorable and down-to-earth royal.

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