- James Middleton, the younger brother of Duchess Kate, opened up about his mental health in a new interview with Tatler magazine.
- He revealed that he struggled with the attention as his sister rose to fame and married Prince William in 2011.
- He was "judged about whether I was a success of a failure," he explained.
Becoming royal by association was no easy transition for James Middleton, the younger brother of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Pippa. He was 23 years old when his older sister tied the knot to Prince William in 2011, confirming her status as the future queen consort of Great Britain. The attention that brought James was not always positive.
"Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success of a failure," James said in Tatler's August 2019 issue. A couple years after the royal wedding, he launched a marshmallow greeting card company, Boomf, which was met with some skepticism.
"That does put pressure on you," he added. "Because in my mind I’m doing this irrespective of my family and events that have happened."
Middleton had a privileged upbringing, which he admits, but he struggled with dyslexia in school and was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) last year. In January, he revealed his years-long private battle with depression in a telling op-ed for The Daily Mail.
At the time, Middleton explained that the judgment he experienced wasn't necessarily what triggered his depression. "Would I have become so depressed if I hadn’t been subject to the pressure of public scrutiny that comes with my association with the royal family?" he wrote. "The answer is, I believe I would. But I wouldn’t have found a voice or an outlet for my story if it hadn’t been for the people I’m related to."
James credited his sister Kate and brother-in-law Prince William as "my motivation" for speaking out. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry, started the campaign Heads Together, which aims to end stigma surrounding mental health, in 2016.
Speaking to Tatler, Middleton continued to open up about his mental health. Depression is "what keeps you in bed, while anxiety makes you feel guilty for being there," he explained.
"I shut myself off, I didn’t communicate with my family at all," he added, looking back on darker times. "But there’s only so long you can hold your breath."
After taking therapy, stepping back from his business, and recuperating in Scotland, the youngest Middleton sibling is in a better place now. "I am happy—I feel like James Middleton again," he said.