Prince Harry has opened up on the “disbelief” that he felt after Prince Charles told him that Princess Diana had died in 1997 and hit out at the paparazzi for taking photos of his mother as she lay dying.
The young prince was only 12-years-old when Diana died in a fatal car crash in Paris, while his older sibling the Duke of Cambridge was 15.
Now, he has opened up on the moment that Prince Charles informed him of the tragedy as he prepares to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death on the 31 August.
He claims that he was in a state of “disbelief”, while the Duke of Cambridge was reportedly “completely numb” after the earth-shattering news was revealed.
Describing how Prince Charles initially told the royal siblings, he said: ‘One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died.How you deal with that I don’t know but, you know, he was there for us.
‘He was the one out of two left and he tried to do his best and to make sure we were protected and looked after.But, you know, he was going through the same grieving process as well.’
He also opened up on the pain of knowing that his mother had been been pursued by the paparazzi only moments before her death.
“I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her through into the tunnel were the same people that were taking photographs of her, while she was still dying on the back seat of the car’, he said.
The comments came in new documentary Diana, 7 Days, which chronicles the days after Diana’s death in 1997, featuring contributions from both princes, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In the documentary, William also defends The Queen after she faced criticism for not returning from her Scottish estate of Balmoral to London to acknowledge the huge outpouring of grief following the fatal car crash.
‘At the time, you know, 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 at all, so we didn’t know what was going on’, he said.
‘We had the privacy to mourn and kind of collect our thoughts and to try and just have that space away from everybody.’
Prince Harry added: ‘It was a case of how do we let the boys grieve in privacy, but at the same time when is the right time for them to put on their prince hats and carry out duties to mourn not just their mother but the Princess of Wales…’
Harry also described the legacy of living with his mother’s death, and admitted that he initially didn’t want to live with royal responsibilities.
‘Years after I spent a long time (of) my life with my head buried in the sand, you know, thinking “I don’t want to be Prince Harry, I don’t want this responsibility, I don’t want this role, look what’s happened to my mother, why does this have to happen to me”‘, he said.
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‘But now all I want to do is try and fill the holes that my mother has left, that’s what it’s about for us, is trying to make a difference, and in making a difference making her proud.’
It comes after Harry previously opened up on how he walked behind his mother’s coffin at her funeral, and admitted that ‘no child should be asked to do that under any circumstances.’