Burgers? Check. Apron? Check. Ginger griller? Check, check, check! Prince Harry hosted a barbecue at Kensington Palace, but it wasn’t for his pals. He welcomed several sports stars and Olympians to his place in honour of Heads Together, the mental health charity he formed with Prince William and Duchess Kate, to raise awareness for a cause they all so passionately believe in.
Footballer Rio Ferdinand, runners Dame Kelly Holmes and Iwan Thomas (the gent stuck with Harry at the grill), and cyclist Victoria Pendleton attended, and all four know firsthand about mental issues. Some of them have spoken publicly about dealing with depression, some had not.
Heads Together stresses how important it is to not only talk it out and surround yourself with good people, but to also help and support someone who may be battling depression or other mental health issues. The charity hopes to help finally put an end to the idea that one should silently suffer. Harry’s event was an opportunity to show that even seemingly “unflappable” athletes, and even royals, can suffer from mental health problems like everyone else.
Harry admitted to Ferdinand that he kept quiet about his mother, Princess Diana‘s death and how it affected him, until he opened up about it three years ago. “You know, I really regret not ever talking about it.”
He told BBC Breakfast: “It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognizing it and not solving that problem.”
The royals shedding light on this prevalent topic and how vital it is to talk, to family, friends, colleagues, has been a huge support network for those who are affected. And like Harry says, “if you improve your well-being and everyone else around you as well if you got your head as strong as your body, imagine what we can achieve?”
But maybe Harry should leave the grilling to someone else? Where’s Kate when you need her?