Prince Harry has opened up about grief and experiencing two years of "total chaos" following the death of his mother Princess Diana.

The 32-year-old royal has revealed that he sought counselling after spending almost 20 years of not dealing with the death of his mother, who he lost at the age of 12.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Prince Harry said he only began processing the grief in his late 20s, following two years of "total chaos" which led him close to "a complete breakdown on numerous occasions".

Prince Harry opens up about grief after Princess Diana's death

"I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well," he said.

"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.

"My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?

"And then [I] started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, 'There is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with'."

Prince Harry refused "to ever think about my mum" after her death

The prince went on to say that he sought counselling "more than a couple of times", saying "it's great".

"I know there is huge merit in talking about your issues and the only thing about keeping it quiet is that it's only ever going to make it worse," he said.

"Not just for you but everybody else around you as well because you become a problem. I, through a lot of my 20s, was a problem and I didn't know how to deal with it.

"It's all about timing. And for me personally, my brother [Prince William], you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me. He kept saying this is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk to [someone] about stuff, it's okay.

"The timing wasn't right. You need to feel it in yourself, you need to find the right person to talk to as well."

Prince Harry said his brother Prince William was "a huge support"

Prince Harry said he decided to talk about his experiences with grief in the hope that it would encourage people to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

He has founded the charity Heads Together along with his brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to encourage people to talk about their problems.

He added: "I can't encourage people enough to just have that conversation because you will be surprised firstly, how much support you get and secondly, how many people literally are longing for you to come out."

Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have founded the charity Heads Together