In a new BBC documentary, Prince William and Prince Harry reveal how they learned about their mother’s heartbreaking death in 1997 and how their father, Prince Charles, and grandmother Queen Elizabeth comforted them in the aftermath.
“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.
Continuing he said, “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 that we were protected and looked after. But you know, he was going through the same grieving process as well”.
On his part, William said, “I remember just feeling completely numb, disoriented, 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?'”
William and Harry were 15 and 12, respectively, when their mother died in a car crash in Paris. The young princes were vacationing at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with their father when they heard the news of Diana’s death. Elizabeth was criticized at the time for shielding the boys from the public and allowing them to grieve in private. William and Harry praised their grandmother for putting family first, despite immense public pressure for the royals to return to London.
William reflected on the complicated feelings he and his brother were having in the immediate aftermath of Diana’s death and the brave faces they tried to put on in public, saying, “I think it was a very hard decision for my grandmother to make.”
“She felt very torn between being a grandmother to William and Harry and her queen role,” William added.
Harry said, “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?'”
“Diana, 7 Days” will be broadcast on BBC 1 on Sunday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m. ET