Prince Harry Reveals Drug Use

Liz Filmer
21 Jan 2023

In his new book Spare and recent T.V. interviews with 60 Minutes and ITV, Harry, The Duke of Sussex, admits to using cannabis, cocaine and magic mushrooms during his tumultuous youth.

Harry revealed that he first began smoking weed and drinking at 16 in and around the grounds of Kensington Palace in London and the Royal family's Highgrove country estate in western England four years after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.

Following the crash that sadly took his mother's life far too early, Harry said he would drink heavily to numb his feelings and resort to drugs occasionally, including psychedelics and cocaine. On psychedelics, he had this to say 

"These things have a way of working as a medicine. For me, they cleared the windshield - the misery of loss."

On coke, he writes that it "wasn't enjoyable, and didn't seem to have the same giggly happy effect that it seemed to have on others. However, it did make him feel "different", and that was the main objective, to feel, to be different."

He certainly gained a reputation, becoming known as "Hash Harry" to some of his friends.

 "Harry experimented with marijuana over two months at Highgrove when he was 16-17 years old, lighting up in an abandoned farm building near a local pub and at private parties. A Highgrove staff member alerted his father, the now King Charles, to his son's behaviour. Charles is said to have confronted Prince Harry and taken him to a drug rehabilitation centre in London for the day, where he talked to people living with drug and alcohol addiction.

Although an uncomfortable experience, the visit had little impact on Harry, who, like many today, could not draw a parallel between cannabis and hard drugs like heroin. Instead, Harry insisted "that the drug was relatively harmless and that he and his friends smoked it to no ill effects.

His relatively practical experiences with illicit substances did not stop there. At a later date, at a party in L.A. in 2016, Harry dabbled with mushrooms, opening a new door of perception.  

"We spotted a huge box of mushroom chocolates. Someone behind me said they were for everybody. My mate and I grabbed several, gobbled them and washed them down with tequila".

Everyone has trippy tales to tell about their adventures on mushrooms, and Harry was no exception. 

"Besides the toilet was a round silver bin with a foot pedal. I stared, and it stared back. Then it became... ahead. I stepped on the pedal, and the mouth opened—a huge open grin. Now the loo became a head too. The bowl was its gaping maw, and the seat's hinges were its piercing silver eyes. It went 'Aaaaah.'"

In his UK ITV interview with Tom Bradby, Harry commented that it was "important to acknowledge" his drug-taking in the book. Drug taking that later included Ayahuasca.

In his U.S. interview with Anderson Cooper, he had this to say about his experience with Ayahuasca:

 "Doing it with the right people - if you're suffering from loss, grief or trauma - then these things can work as a medicine. For example, they cleared away the idea I had in my head that I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her when all she wanted was for me to be happy."

Liz Filmer