Prince William and Prince Harry stand outside Westminster Abbey at the funeral of their mother Diana, September 6, 1997.
By Anwar Hussein/.
As we draw closer to the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, on August 31, the onslaught of Diana remembrances and tributes is only intensifying. Her sons, Princes Harry and William, are continuing to make themselves highly visible in the recollections, in a way that the royals typically do not, sharing all sorts of memories about their late mother and revisiting some of the unpleasant details related to her death.
In a new BBC documentary, Diana, 7 Days, Harry speaks specifically about the moment he found out from his father, Charles, that his mother had died in a car crash.
“One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died,” Harry, who was 12 at the time his mother died, says. “How you deal with that, I don’t know.” He continues, “[Our dad] was there for us—he was the one out of two left, and he tried to do his best and to make sure that we were protected and looked after. But he was going through the same grieving process as well.”
Harry says he was not able to process the news at first, responding mostly with “disbelief.” He explains, “[I] refused to accept it. There was no sudden outpour of grief. I don’t think anybody in that position at that age would be able to understand the concept of what that actually means, going forward.”
William added—also in the documentary, which will air on NBC in the U.S., at 8 p.m. ET September 1—that he wasn’t able to make sense of what was happening either. “I remember feeling completely numb, disoriented, dizzy—and you feel very very confused. And you keep asking yourself, ‘Why me?’ the whole time. ‘Why? What have I done, why has this happened to us?’”
William and Harry had been in Balmoral, on vacation with their father, when Diana died, and they stayed there for some time after, as the family, including the Queen, was able to protect them a bit and give them some privacy. “At the time, my grandmother wanted to protect her two grandsons and my father as well. Our grandmother deliberately removed the newspapers and things like that so there was nothing in the house to read,” William says. “We didn’t know what was going on. Back then there were no smartphones and things like that, so you couldn’t get your news. Thankfully, we had the privacy to mourn and to try to collect our thoughts and have that space away from everybody. We had no idea the reaction to her death would be quite so huge.”
William and Harry are scheduled to take part in a special tribute to Diana at Kensington Palace next week, ahead of the anniversary on the 31st.
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