Back in 2011, the then-29 year-old Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge when she wed Prince William in a royal wedding we’ll struggle to forget.
Her life changed forever on that day, as did the lives of her younger siblings Pippa and James Middleton, who were propelled into the spotlight.
But now, the Duchess’ brother has opened up about how his sudden rise to fame impacted his mental health.
James, who was 23 at the time of the royal wedding, admitted to Tatler that when his sister married Prince William, he was already questioning his sense of self and his abilities.
He was also in the midst of establishing his company Boomf, which specialises in personalised marshmallows and once he became famous, that came under public scrutiny too.
“Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success of a failure. That does put pressure on you. Because in my mind I’m doing this irrespective of my family and events that have happened.”
He added that despite Duchess Catherine and Prince William’s passion for mental health awareness and their charity Heads Together influencing his decision to go public, he doesn’t talk much about his family and their tie to the royals.
“I lead a separate life to them. If there’s an interest in me, great. If there’s an interest in me because of them, that’s different,” he said.
The youngest Middleton, who struggled with dyslexia throughout his time at school and was later diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), also opened up about his battle with depression and how it isolated him from his family, who could tell something was wrong.
“I didn’t want them anywhere near me. I shut myself off, I didn’t communicate with my family at all. But there’s only so long you can hold your breath.”
James also admitted that it wasn’t until late 2017 when he reached his lowest moment, and found himself unable to leave his car and face the day at work, so he phoned his GP.
“I remember not being able to explain. The doctor said ‘James, are you okay?’ And I said ‘No, I’m not.'”
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James has spoken previously about how he manages his depression and the way in which his five dogs have helped boost his mental health.
“If I could leave you with just one thought, it would be this: ‘It’s OK not to be OK,'” he wrote in a first person piece on the Daily Mail.
“That is the mantra that gave me the strength to speak out. Having done so here, it feels as if a great weight has been lifted.”