Prince Harry's First Public Appearance Following 'Spare' Book Release Revealed
Prince Harry has announced his first public appearance since the release of his memoir, Spare, but it won't be until March. The Duke of Sussex will speak at the BetterUp UpLift summit in San Francisco, California, addressing his company's plans to promote mental health services for all. The conference is free to attend virtually, and anyone can register for it.
Prince Harry is the "chief impact officer" of BetterUp, a mental health coaching platform meant not only to combat mental illness but to pursue excellence through "human transformation." The company announced its BetterUp summit on Thursday, and Prince Harry was just one of its all-star guests. He will speak alongside comedian Issa Rae – a recent guest on Meghan Markle's podcast – as well as David Chang, Robin Arzón, Adam Grant and more. Unless he takes on any other engagements between now and then, this will be the prince's first public engagement since his book was published on Jan. 10.
Prince Harry rocked the royal family when he released Spare earlier this month, disclosing new details on his own upbringing and leveling fresh accusations against his relatives. He went into surprising detail about his own childhood, giving new insights on his interest in mental health as a field of study and a public service.
Prince Harry wrote about how the death of his mother, Princess Diana affected his mental health at the time and over the years that followed. He was 12 years old when Princess Diana passed away, and he struggled with the unique kind of public interest it brought on his family in the midst of his grieving. He also noted that his family grieved in disparate ways that may have driven them apart, in some cases.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry also served in the military as most British royal men do, and his time there clearly sparked his interest in mental health. British military leadership at the time decided not to deploy Prince Harry in Iraq, which he said was disappointing to him, but a few months later he was secretly deployed in Afghanistan instead. He participated in combat against Taliban insurgents and performed patrol duty in "hostile areas" as well. He was the first member of the British royal family to serve in a war zone since his uncle, Prince Andrew, flew helicopters in the Falklands War.
The prince saw more active duty during his military career and met with plenty of other soldiers as well. He continues to organize and participate in events for veterans – most notably the Invictus Games. However, he did not start to speak publicly about his interest in mental health until about 2017, when he discussed his experience of talk therapy on the podcast Mad World. There, he said that he had struggled with aggression and anxiety, and believed he had been "very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions."
Royal admirers can hear Prince Harry discuss his own mental health and his views on mental health services in his book Spare - available now in print, digital and audiobook formats – as well as the Apple TV+ docu-series The Me You Can't See, among other venues. The prince will speak more at the BetterUp 2023 UpLift summit, which will be live-streamed from San Francisco on March 7 and 8.