Over a cuppa and cake in a quintessentially Kiwi cafe, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex pushed one of the last taboos further into the global spotlight.
Mental health, specifically the need for people to feel comfortable talking about it and asking for help, was the focus of their visit to the Maranui Café – a jaunty Wellington institution above the surf lifesaving club in Lyall Bay.
There, Prince Harry and Meghan met three tables of young people from organisations such as Voices of Hope, Key to Life, Lifeline and the national 1737 helpline service.
Their interest and Harry’s willingness to talk about his own battles will have had a significant and swift impact, according to one guest.
“Today I guarantee that lives were saved,” said Jazz Thornton, co-founder of Voices of Hope, a group promoting mental wellbeing, empowerment and recovery.
“It means that people begin to realise that mental health doesn’t discriminate, that it doesn’t matter if you’re the Prince, or if you are a student or if you are a male or a female – everyone has mental health and anyone can struggle with it.”
Mental health has been one of the Prince’s signature issues since he gave an extraordinarily frank interview to the UK Daily Telegraph last year.
Now 34, he revealed he sought counselling after two years of “total chaos” in his late 20s while still struggling with the aftermath of the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
Encouraged to ask for professional help by his brother, Prince William, Harry had reached “a good place”.