Princes William and Harry speak candidly about Diana’s death

Princes William and Harry speak both said they wanted their mother to proud of them

Princes William and Harry have spoken candidly about the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in an interview marking 20 years since she was killed in a car crash, paying tribute to the actions of their father in breaking the tragic news.

Excerpts of the BBC interviews released Wednesday mark something of a departure for the two princes, who have largely refrained from discussing Prince Charles’ actions in other interviews describing their mother ahead of the anniversary. But in the documentary “Diana, 7 Days,” they appear to offer sympathy for him, quelling speculation that he had been uncaring in the crisis.

“One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died,” Harry said. “How you deal with that I don’t know but, you know, he was there for us.”

The documentary chronicles the week after the princess’ death on Aug.31, 1997 and features then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, senior royal aides and Diana’s brother. The princes have spoken out for a series of programs and interviews in the run-up to the anniversary, sharing personal insights into their lives in keeping with their campaigns to promote mental health.

The two brothers discussed the funeral, with a now balding Prince William describing how he hid behind his bangs to keep out the prying eyes of sobbing crowds. He described the procession as a “very long, lonely walk,” even though understood there was a balance “between me being Prince William and having to do my bit, versus the private William who just wanted to go into a room and cry, who’d lost his mother.”

“I just remember hiding behind my fringe basically, at a time when I had a lot of hair, and my head’s down a lot — so I’m hiding behind my fringe.” William, who was 15 at the time, said “it was kind of like a tiny bit of safety blanket if you like. I know it sounds ridiculous, but at the time I felt if I looked at the floor and my hair came down over my face, no one could see me.”

Prince Harry also talked about walking behind his mother’s coffin in the funeral cortege, though he was only 12. Though he had previously told Newsweek magazine that this was not something any “child should be asked to do,” he appeared in the program to suggest that in hindsight, he was glad to have taken part.

“I think it was a group decision, but before I knew it I found myself, you know, with a suit on, with a black tie, white shirt I think, and I was part of it,” Prince Harry said. “Genuinely, I don’t have an opinion whether that was right or wrong — I’m glad I was part of it. Looking back on it now, I’m very glad I was part of it.”

Both said they wanted their mother to proud of them. Prince William believed, though, that walking behind the cortege “goes to another level of duty.”

“I just kept thinking about what she would want and that she’d be proud of Harry and I being able to go through it, effectively she was there with us, it felt like she was almost walking along beside us, to get us through it,” he said.

Danica Kirka, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

‘On the Cusp’ debuts at Victoria store front

Camosun Visual Arts students present new exhibit

Retired Gordon Head teacher not ready to ride into the sunset

86-year-old keeping active with marathon paddling trek and week-long cycling tour

Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations open new RV Park

Both Nations excited about new economic venture

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

UVic’s Gustavson goes carbon neutral for air travel

As a way to offset the frequent airplane travel that comes with… Continue reading

Most Read