Diana’s close friend Julia Samuel stresses the importance of ‘boundaries’
One of Princess Diana’s closest friends, who has known the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex all their lives, has commented on “the importance of setting boundaries” following Prince Harry’s bombastic memoir.
Psychotherapist Julia Samuel, 60, from London, became close to Diana after meeting her at a dinner party in 1987 and is godmother to Prince George, nine.
She is also believed to be the person Meghan Markle, 41, turned to when she was feeling suicidal in her pregnancy.
Without mentioning Prince Harry by name, she has now stressed in an article for The Times that telling everyone who will listen about our problems is not a helpful way to deal with negative thoughts.
In her professional opinion, she also said that painful feelings towards loved ones can be expressed as long as the relationship can be repaired afterwards.
Her comments come as Prince Harry, 38, made multiple claims about the royal family and revealed painful personal anecdotes in his explosive memoir Spare, released last week.
Julia Samuel was one of Princess Diana’s closest friends, a staunch confidant who offered her support and advice in her darkest days. Pictured: Diana, Princess of Wales, with wife Julia Samuel in the Royal Box at Center Court, Wimbledon, 1994
The psychotherapist said that while talking about feelings can help people better understand their emotions, it should be done in the safe space of a therapy session.
She added that venting everyone and everyone is not a helpful way to deal with negative feelings.
“Boundaries are the boundaries or rules we all make to protect ourselves. We shouldn’t vent all our feelings about everyone – promiscuous honesty about telling everyone everything doesn’t help any of us,” Ms. Samuel wrote.
“When we indiscriminately express unfiltered feelings, we can disrupt those around us and not get the empathic response we need,” she said.
Ms Samuel’s comments come as Prince Harry unleashed a series of attacks against the royal family and his brother, the Prince of Wales, in his memoir Spare
She added that sharing negative thoughts with others could trigger her “code red” response — fight, flight, freeze — and increase her anxiety, which can impair her ability to respond sensitively.
Ms. Samuel added that boundaries are important, especially in the workplace because they allow us to focus on the task at hand.
She also noted that expressing intense feelings is important and that vulnerability to those who know us best encourages the development of intimacy.
She said sharing intense feelings with loved ones and being emotional with them can deepen trust and also allow us to express those thoughts in a safe space.
The psychotherapist added that knowing how to fight productively is also important, and more importantly knowing how to heal those cracks.
She added that secure relationships with people we can trust are the foundations we should rely on in our lives.
It comes after she posted a fascinating video on her Instagram page last week, which many have interpreted as a concerned plea for Prince Harry to heal the rift with his brother following the damaging allegations made against him in his memoir, Spare .
She warned that there can be “big fights” in families after an “unexpected death” and said that where we “love most” we also “hate most”.
Julia Samuel posted a fascinating video on her Instagram page (pictured), which many interpret as a concerned plea to Prince Harry to heal the rift with his brother after damaging allegations were made in his memoir
Ms Samuel revealed that while she too has been involved in family disputes, she was “fortunate” that such incidents “have remained private because none of us want those worst parts of us to be exposed”.
In the video, which was shared with her 40,000 followers, Ms Samuel went on to say that there is “no favorite child” and “no one truth” in any family.
Her words seemed to be a clear intervention in the ongoing feud between the brothers and Harry’s insistence that he wrote his bombshell book in the name of “truth.”
One of Ms Samuel’s followers, Amy Smith, posted a response to the video, saying: “Sounds like a message to Prince Harry. Great post reflecting the complexities of families, the nuances, the different perspectives.’
In his memoir, written by American ghostwriter JR Moehringer, Harry accused William of “lunging” at him, knocking him to the ground and tearing his necklace in another incident.
Throughout the book, Harry complains about being treated as a minor ‘heir’ to William’s ‘heirs’, revealing for example that he was given a smaller bedroom when they were children.
In her video, Ms Samuel said: “I’ve been thinking about families and that every family has a story. We all have a story of love and loss, joy and pain, and that in any family where we love most, we hate most and make our biggest mistakes, and there is no such thing as a perfect family.
“All families operate on a spectrum of functional and dysfunctional factors, dependent on internal and external pressures.
“And the biggest external pressures arise around the big peaks of change. So this is obviously death and even more unexpected death, but also separation and illness where internal and external pressures put all family members under stress.’
In a message below the video, Ms Samuel wrote: “These conflicting attitudes can tragically tear a family apart. Where each family member has a different version of their experience. Or want to be considered the right one. Or the victim. Or the ordained heir of the deceased parent.’
Prince William is patron of Mrs Samuel’s charity Child Bereavement UK, a position previously held by Diana. But she also stays close to Harry.
Ms Samuel is believed to have offered advice to the Duchess of Sussex as she struggled with her mental health during pregnancy.
In her full-length television interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Meghan said, ‘One of the people that I reached out to and who continues to be a friend and confidant was one of my husband’s mother’s best friends, one of Diana’s best friends.’
Later that year, the mourning specialist was invited to what the palace described as “a very personal moment for the family” – the unveiling of a statue of Diana in Kensington Gardens.
There, Mrs. Samuel was seen hugging Harry as it became apparent that the brothers’ relationship was already beginning to fray.
Known in royal circles for her discretion, she has said little about the siblings’ relationship other than saying that Diana “would be really proud of her”. She has described her role as Prince George’s godmother as “a great honour” and has spoken about the gifts she is bringing for his birthday.
Speaking about being godmother to Prince George, she told writer Elizabeth Day on the How To Fail podcast, “I’m doing something to George [Diana] did it to us what are impossible toys that are really loud [and] to do much.
“I’m slightly stunned by the size of the gift, which William then spends days putting together. And then assemble all the machines.
‘And it makes horrible tooting noises and blinking lights and all that. It makes me laugh and it makes George laugh.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-11643317/Dianas-close-friend-Julia-Samuels-emphasises-importance-boundaries.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Diana’s close friend Julia Samuel stresses the importance of ‘boundaries’