Prince Harry Says Princess Diana's Perfume Helped Him Process Her Death

A sentimental scent. Princess Diana’s favorite fragrance helped Prince Harry process her death.

Princess Diana Through the Years: From Loving Mother to Passionate Activist

In his newly released memoir, Spare, the 38-year-old royal opened up about bringing his late mother’s go-to perfume, First by Van Cleef & Arpels, to therapy following her fatal car crash in 1997.

“At the start of our session, I lifted the lid, took a deep sniff. Like a tab of LSD,” Harry wrote. “I read somewhere that smell is our oldest sense, and that fitted with what I experienced in that moment, images rising from what felt like the most primal part of my brain.”

Harry revealed his other coping mechanisms, which included turning to psychedelics and psilocybin mushrooms, during a 60 Minutes interview, which aired on Sunday, January 8.

“I would never recommend people to do this recreationally,” the BetterUp CIO told Anderson Cooper. “But doing it with the right people if you are suffering from a huge amount of loss, grief, or trauma, then these things have a way of working as a medicine.”

For Harry, the drugs provided him with clarity and closure. “They cleared away this idea that I had in my head … that I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her, when, in fact, what she wanted was for me to be happy,” he said.

Prince Harry’s 10 Biggest ‘Spare’ Bombshells

The Duke of Sussex explained that he was “constantly trying to find a way to cry,” adding that he’d even watch videos of Diana to promote tears.

Harry was only 12 years old when Diana passed away. His brother, Prince William, was 15. Her death came just one year after she finalized her divorce from King Charles III.

Harry and William, 40, have worked to keep Diana’s legacy alive through their charity work, activism and the lives of their children, specifically their daughters.

How Princess Diana’s Granddaughters Charlotte and Lilibet Have Honored William and Harry’s Mother

William, and his wife, Princess Kate, welcomed Princess Charlotte in May 2015 and graced her with Diana as a middle name. Harry did the same in June 2021 when he and wife Meghan Markle welcomed their baby girl, Lilibet. The little one’s moniker is also a nod to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at age 96 in September 2022. William and Kate, 41, also honored Her Majesty as their second child’s full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

The Sussexes are also parents to son Archie, 3, and the Cambridges share sons Prince Louis, 4, and Prince George, 9.

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