For the first time, Prince William and Prince Harry will speak publicly — and in depth — about the days and weeks following the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in the new BBC documentary Diana, 7 Days. And according to the film’s director, Henry Singer, it’s likely to be the last time the royal brothers broach the subject.
“I think the princes hope they have answered these questions once and for all. And they don’t need to be asked them anymore, and that people can refer back to this film and our words within it if they have questions. That this is their first, and final word on it,” Singer recently told the Radio Times. “My film may not have the headlines that other films have had, but I would like to think I will do something that lasts the test of time, and that, for me, is much more important than breaking news.”
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Singer — the award-winning filmmaker behind the Twin Towers documentary The Falling Man — also said he was allowed to ask the princes anything for the production. They did, however, have the option not to answer.
“They talk about coming down to London, what it was like to go outside, and how people were so anxious to see them, and how people were crying, and yet they didn’t cry,” he said. He added that Harry talks about holding back tears at his mother’s funeral while members of the public mourned openly and that William opens up about viewing the gut-wrenching event through the “safety blanket” his long fringe and bowed head.
William was just 15 and Harry only 12, when their beloved mother died from injuries sustained in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997. She was just 36. In a teaser for the 90-minute documentary, William, now 35, explained he and his younger brother felt compelled to “stand up” and protect their mother by sharing their words — something they weren’t able to do at the time of her tragic passing.
“Part of the reason why Harry and I want to do this is because we feel we owe it to her,” William said. “I think an element of it is feeling like we let her down when we were younger. We couldn’t protect her. We feel we at least owe her 20 years on to stand up for her name and remind everybody of the character and person that she was. Do our duties as sons in protecting her.”
Harry added, “When she died there was such an outpouring of emotion and love which was quite, which was quite shocking. It was beautiful at the same time, and it was amazing, now looking back at it, it was amazing that our mother had such a huge effect on so many people.”
“When you’re that young and something like that happens to you I think it’s lodged in here, there, wherever — in your heart, in your head and it stays there for a very very long time,” Harry continued. “I think it’s never going to be easy for the two of us to talk about our mother, but 20 years on seems like a good time to remind people of the difference that she made not just to the royal family but also to the world.”
The film will also feature a selection of interviews with those who were at the “eye of the storm” in the days following the princess’ death — including, among others, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and the Princess’ lady-in-waiting Anne Beckwith-Smith. Diana, 7 Days will air on BBC on Sunday, Aug. 27.
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This post was written by Candice Mehta-Culjak. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.
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