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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 23-foot sailboat that broke free from its anchor was smashed against Cattle Point during the early October south-easterly storms. (Ron Geezin Photo)
Storm-smashed boat pulled off rocks of Cattle Point in Oak Bay

Sailboat a casualty of last week’s big storms

More than 250 riders took part in the fifth annual Tripleshot CrossFondo, which riders across parts of the Saanich Peninsula, including this field near Sluggett Farms. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Tripleshot CrossFondo rides across Saanich Peninsula

More than 250 cyclists took part in mystery-course race

City of Victoria crews will soon be gathering up fallen leaves in neighbourhoods and city parks. First up on the pickup list are the James Bay, Fairfield, Rockland, Gonzales and South Jubilee neighbourhoods, starting Oct. 19. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria city leaf pickup a sure sign of fall

Residential pickup begins Oct. 19, drop-offs can happen anytime at city yard

Local New Democrat Zeb King welcomed Premier John Horgan during a brief photo opportunity in Sidney Monday afternoon (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
NDP leader John Horgan predicts party will ‘flip’ Saanich North and the Islands

Incumbent MLA Adam Olsen calls Horgan’s claim ‘bold’

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Greater Victoria in high-demand on website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read