Entertainment & Arts

Prince Harry to work with Oprah Winfrey on TV project

Oprah Winfrey and the Duke of Sussex Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Winfrey and the Duke of Sussex have apparently had the series in developments for months

The Duke of Sussex is to partner with US media mogul Oprah Winfrey on a new TV series addressing mental health.

The as-yet-unnamed series for Apple TV will focus on "mental illness and mental wellness, inspiring viewers to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces".

Prince Harry and Winfrey have been "developing the series for several months," a statement read.

The royal added he has "a huge responsibility to get this right".

"I truly believe that good mental health - mental fitness - is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self," he added to the announcement made on the Duke and Duchess's new Instagram account (below).

The Prince said he hopes the multi-part documentary series, which is due for broadcast in 2020, "will be positive, enlightening and inclusive - sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places".

Kensington Palace said the series will build on the Duke's "long-standing work on issues and initiatives regarding mental health, where he has candidly shared personal experience and advocated for those who silently suffer, empowering them to get the help and support they deserve".

Analysis by Royal correspondent Jonny Dymond

It is a celebrity match-up like no other; the Queen of US daytime TV will work with the Duke of Sussex, (also known as Harry) on a show to not only open up the conversation about mental health - a longstanding objective of Harry's - but also, says Kensington Palace, to equip viewers "with the tools to thrive, rather than simply survive."

It's far from the first time Royal Family have dabbled in the dark arts of TV. In the late 60s, The Royal Family opened the doors on the family life of the Windsors. Since then, there have been interviews and profiles and collaborations aplenty.

There are a fair few questions; how much, if at all, will Harry be on screen? How much editorial input and control will he exercise? And why is a member of the British Royal family producing a show for an American TV platform?

Harry and Oprah have huge transatlantic star-power. But TV exposure has proved a double-edged sword for the Royal Family. Once you let the cameras in, it is more and more difficult to make the argument for privacy - something that Harry prizes. This is quite a step - some distance into the unknown.

In 2016, together with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry launched the Heads Together mental health initiative and he is heavily involved in the Invictus Games Foundation which works with military veterans across the world.

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