Prince Harry was only 12, when his beloved mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. She was just 36.
Twenty years later, Harry, now 32, has opened up about the heartbreak he experienced on the day of her highly-publicised funeral.
In an interview with Newsweek, an American magazine, the much-loved royal recalled the moment he was forced to walk behind his late mother’s coffin alongside his older brother Prince William, his father Prince Charles, his grandfather Prince Philip and his uncle, Earl Spencer, in a funeral procession through the streets.
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” he told the publication. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances.
He added: “I don’t think it would happen today.”
Speaking to his rebellious phase (including memorable stunts such as wearing a Nazi costume in 2005 or playing a game of billiards naked in Las Vegas in 2012), the royal explained he now hopes to used his profile for good.
“My mother died when I was very young. I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people, and decided to use my role for good,” he said. “I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better. I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.”
In the same interview, the fourth-in-line to the throne said he tries to maintain an ordinary life in amongst his extraordinary duties -- something which his mother strived to provide.
“My mother took a huge part in showing me an ordinary life, including taking me and my brother to see homeless people. Thank goodness I’m not completely cut off from reality,” he said. “People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live.”
“I do my own shopping,” he continued. “Sometimes, when I come away from the meat counter in my local supermarket, I worry someone will snap me with their phone. But I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too. . . . Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping.”
The royal went on to question whether anyone in the Royal family really wants to be king or queen.
“We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people. . . . Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time,” he explained.
Interestingly, the royal, who is now “fired up and energised” about his ongoing charity endeavours, added that he hopes to make the most of his time in the sun, so to speak, before Prince George and Princess Charlotte further captivate the public’s attention.
He called the opportunity a “smallish window."
WATCH: Prince Harry speaks about his desire to honour his late mother's life. Post continues...
Prince Harry recently opened up about suffering from panic attacks and social anxiety in the aftermath of his mother's death.Speaking candidly in a new documentary called Prince Harry: My Journey for Forces TV as he promotes the Invictus Games, the 32-year-old chats to his good friend and Paralympic champ, Dave Henson, about his mental health battles."When you can get your own head and self back on the right path, the amount of people you can help is unbelievable, because you can tell the signs in people. You can see it in their eyes. You can see it in them, their reactions," Harry said.
"In my case, suit and tie, every single time I was in any room with loads of people, which is quite often, I was just pouring with sweat, like heart beating – boom, boom, boom, boom - and literally just like a washing machine.”
The royal added: "I was like, 'Oh my God, get me out of here now. Oh, hang on, I can't get out of here, I have got to just hide it.”
Thankfully, Harry said seeking help has left him in a good place.
“You help yourself, so you can help others. And I think that is hugely powerful.”