Prince William & Prince Harry Get Heartbreakingly Real About Their Mother's Death

prince harry william diana funeral
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It's been 20 years since Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. Prince William was just 15 years old and Prince Harry was 12. They both still struggle with her loss and their healing continues to this day. And for the first time, Will and Harry are sharing how they learned of their mother's death in the BBC documentary Diana, 7 Days. The princes reveal how they questioned their royal duties, and they talk about the moment that still haunts them to this day.  


At the time of Princess Diana's death, William and Harry were with their father on vacation at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, wanted to allow them to grieve in private, without the world looking at their every move. They stayed in Scotland instead of returning to London right away. This decision was heavily criticized by the public, but it's clear that Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth were acting as a concerned and loving father and grandmother, and not following royal protocol. Will and Harry needed that. 

Upon learning of his mother's death, William recalls, "I remember just feeling completely numb, disorientated, dizzy. You feel very, very confused. And you keep asking yourself 'Why me?' All the time, 'Why, what have I done? Why, why has this happened to us?'" In just reading that, you feel the pain of 20 years, you feel the deep hurt of a child who lost his mom when he was only 15.  

While still in Scotland, the princes attended mass at Crathie Kirk Church and when they returned to Balmoral Castle, there were hundreds of flowers and letters at the gate. In the documentary, William said he was "very touched" by the outpouring of support, but shared how it was difficult to "not to completely and utterly break down." 

More from CafeMom: Eyewitness to Princess Diana's Death Thinks She Could Have Been Saved

Harry was also in shock, and said how he was touched by the love from the public but reading anything about his mother was just too difficult in those hours, days after her death. William shared that he is thankful there were no smartphones back in 1997, and that their grandmother even hid newspapers from them so they wouldn't be aware of the coverage from the media. William said, "... thankfully at the time to be honest, we had the privacy to mourn and collect our thoughts and to have that space away from everybody." 

This documentary, which airs on BBC 1 on August 27, reveals some dark moments the princes had. Diana's sons are still haunted by one specific moment -- having to walk behind her coffin in the funeral procession. It was a "collective family decision" they say, but as William shares, "one of the hardest things I have ever done." He said that he hid behind his hair; his bangs covered his eyes because it felt like a security blanket. "I know it sounds ridiculous, but at the time I felt if I looked at the floor with my hair in my face no one could see me," he said. He wanted to just be in a room and cry, but he respected his duties as a prince, and both he and Harry wanted to make their mother proud. 

The moment that triggered Prince Harry's deepest emotions was when Elton John sang "Candle in the Wind." But he held it together for the funeral, perhaps even too much so. 
Will and Harry did (and still do) have anger, too, as part of their grieving process. That anger is at the paparazzi who chased her car in the tunnel and continued to take photographs after the crash. "And William and I know that we've been told that numerous times by people that know that that was the case. She'd had a quite severe head injury, but she was very much still alive in the backseat ... and those people that ... that caused the accident, instead of helping, were taking photographs of her dying in the backseat, and those photographs may have made their way back to news desks in this country." His words are hard to hear -- that pain still very there right on the surface.
Because of the way Diana died, the princes questioned their royal duties -- but they also want to carry on their mother's incredible legacy, and continue her good and important work, and be good people, just like their mother. They recognize that as the princess of Wales, their mom stood for so much and her life had great meaning, but her most meaningful role was that of mother. 

William, who said that he thinks of his mother every single day, shared, "She loved Harry and I dearly, even so that I can sit here after 20 years and I still feel that love, I still feel that warmth 20 years on which is a huge testament to her. If I can be even a fraction of what she was I'll be proud, and I'll hopefully make her proud in what I've done."
The princes William and Harry most certainly make the world proud of their great accomplishments and humanitarian work. They are making a big difference in so many people's lives ... just like their mother did. 
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