I’m so proud that my mother spoke about her bulimia fight, says William as he discusses Diana’s eating disorder for the first time
William features in a documentary by former ITN newsreader Mark Austin
Austin’s own daughter Maddy, 22, had a devastating battle with anorexia
William, 35, wrote to him after reading an article by Austin about his daughter
Documentary shows William talking to Austin and Maddy at Kensington Palace
Prince William has discussed his mother’s bulimia on camera for the first time, saying he was proud of her for speaking about it publicly.
He features in a documentary by former ITN newsreader Mark Austin, whose own daughter had a devastating battle with anorexia.
William, 35, wrote to him after reading a newspaper article by Mr Austin about his anguish at being unable to cope with his ‘dangerously ill’ daughter, Maddy, 22, and the family’s struggle to get help for her.
In his letter, William praises Mr Austin’s ‘bravery’ and says the article moved him.
The Channel 4 documentary, Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia, shows William talking to Mr Austin and Maddy at Kensington Palace about Princess Diana’s own illness.
Mr Austin and his daughter are seen watching the princess’s 1995 BBC interview with Martin Bashir, in which she talks about the break-up of her marriage to Prince Charles and how her lack of self-esteem led to a battle with bulimia.
She says: ‘I didn’t like myself, I was ashamed I couldn’t cope with the pressures. I had bulimia for a number of years, and that’s like a secret disease. It’s a repetitive pattern which is very destructive. It was my escape mechanism.’
William and Prince Harry have dedicated their public roles to breaking the stigma around mental health issues. But the princess’s sons have not directly tackled their mother’s eating disorder.
William tells Mr Austin and his daughter, who has now recovered: ‘We need to normalise the conversation about mental health. The fact that you are speaking out is incredibly brave.’
When Maddy tells him: ‘I was inspired by what your mum did,’ William says: ‘We need to be matter-of-fact about it, and not hide it in the dark where it festers.’
Mr Austin said it was ‘amazing’ that Diana spoke out on the issue 22 years ago, asking: ‘Do you feel proud about that?’
William replies: ‘Absolutely. These are illnesses. Mental health needs to be taken as seriously as physical health.’
Mr Austin admits he took his eye ‘off the ball’ when it came to Maddy, telling the prince: ‘I tell you what, William, keep an eye on Charlotte and George.’
Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia is on C4 on Thursday at 10pm.
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE
Tags: Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess, People’s Princess, Diana’s eating disorder for the first time, anorexia