London (CNN) — Anyone who doubted Prince Harry’s ability to transform himself into a Hollywood producer and make it work may yet be proved wrong.
It’s the first evidence that the prince is worth the hundreds of millions of dollars the major streaming services have invested in Archewell Productions — the unit he set up with wife Meghan. It’s early days but his Apple TV+ hit is a positive sign. Of course, it will have helped to have an A-list supporting cast, with actress Glenn Close and singer Lady Gaga among the show’s participants sharing their own experiences with mental health.
The next test for the Sussexes will be proving they can make shows that get the ratings without mentioning their extended family. The pair may be bolstered by the fact that the bonus episode of “The Me You Can’t See” only made passing references to the royals. Instead, at the end he articulated the bigger point he wants to make: “Around the world my hope is that our series will continue to inspire people to take a more active and compassionate approach to healing, community and well-being, because we truly are all in this together.”
What Harry needs to demonstrate now is whether he can become an expert source on the issues he wants to champion without the draw of fresh royal revelations. So far, things are looking good.
Key quotes from the Duke of Sussex in the new documentary
On the challenges society faces:
“I believe even more that climate change and mental health are two of the most pressing issues that we’re facing, and, in many ways, they are linked. The connecting line is about our collective well-being, and when our collective well-being erodes, that affects our ability to be caretakers of ourselves, of our communities and of our planet, ultimately.”
On how to approach discussion of self-harm:
“So many people are afraid of being on the receiving end of that conversation (about suicide) because they don’t feel as though they have the right tools to be able to give the right advice, but what you’re saying is you’re there … Listen, because listening and being part of that conversation is, without a doubt, the best first step that you can take.”
On the stigma attached to mental health:
“As parents and as siblings … certainly from what I’ve learned, there’s an element of shame that we feel because we’re, like, ‘How could we not have seen it? How did we not know? How did you not feel comfortable enough to come to me and share that with me?’ We all know that, when people are suffering or struggling, that we’re all incredibly good at covering it up for those that know that we’re covering it up.”
On the “othering” of mental health:
“I get the real feeling that so many parents don’t feel equipped to be able to deal with these problems because so many people think there’s mental illness and then there’s everything else … How can we collectively, as society, prepare and make parents feel more comfortable and better equipped to be able to deal with the daily stresses or the daily unknowings of what your children are going through, growing up in this world that we’ve allowed to be created, which I believe is making us sicker?”
On how the pandemic has affected views on mental health:
“Pre-Covid, there was probably a situation of an ‘us and them’ when it came to mental illness. And now I think it’s just ‘us.'”
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BBC to review editorial policies following damning Diana report.
Queen takes a tour of her new aircraft carrier.
Kate joined William in Scotland this week as he carried out a series of engagements as part of his role as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The pair, who are known in the country as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, took in the sights and sounds of Edinburgh, Fife and Orkney.
William said he found “comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors” during “the dark days of grief” that followed his mother’s death, in an opening address to a virtual church service in Edinburgh on Saturday. He had been visiting the Queen’s Balmoral estate in 1997 when he was told Diana had died. “As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep,” he added.