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British Royal Family

Princes William and Harry speak about the moment they found out their beloved mother had died

“I remember feeling completely numb, disoriented, dizzy...”

By Candice Mehta-Culjak
Prince William and Prince Harry will speak publicly – and in depth – for the first time about the immediate impact of the death of their beloved mother in BBC1's new documentary, Diana, 7 Days.
In a lengthy teaser for the 90-minute documentary, Harry speaks about the moment he found out from his father, Prince Charles, that his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales had died in a car crash. She was just 36.
“One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died,” Harry, who was only 12 when his mother died from injuries sustained in a car crash, says. “How you deal with that, I don’t know.”
He continues: “[Our dad] 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 he was going through the same grieving process as well.”
William, who was 15 at the time of his mother’s death, added that he felt “numb” and “very very confused.”
“[I] refused to accept it. There was no sudden outpour of grief. I don’t think anybody in that position at that age would be able to understand the concept of what that actually means, going forward,” he recalls.
“I remember feeling completely numb, disoriented, dizzy—and you feel very very confused,” he continued. “And you keep asking yourself, ‘Why me?’ the whole time. ‘Why? What have I done, why has this happened to us?’”
WATCH: Prince William speaks about the death of his beloved mother in a new teaser. Post continues...
Harry, now 32, went on to express his anger towards those who took photos of his mother as she battled for life in the wreckage of the car shortly after the devastating crash in Paris on 31 August 1997.
"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," Harry says. "William and I know that. We've been told that numerous times by people that know that was the case.”
"She'd had quite a severe head injury but she was very much still alive on the back seat," he recalls. "Instead of helping, [they] were taking photographs of her dying on the back seat.”
Wills and Harry were just 15 and 12 when their mother died in a car crash.
The royal siblings recalled being told the devastating news by their father.
The princes hope the revealing new doco will act as their "final word" on the tragic subject of their beloved mother's passing.
William, now 35, also touched on the way in which his mother’s death was handled by the royal family, a response which many have criticised for its perceived unfeeling and non-reaction.
At the time, the Princes were in Balmoral with Queen Elizabeth, who chose to let her grandsons sleep-in rather than than being stirred and told the heartbreaking news. She ordered all TVs and radios in the expansive residence to be moved or hidden, shielding the young boys from potentially hearing and seeing their mother’s final moments.
When the news was finally broken to them, the boys were led to church for Sunday service and, according to numerous reports, there was no mention of Diana at the service at the royal family's request.
“At the time, 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 to read,” William says. “We didn’t know what was going on. Back then there were no smartphones and things like that, so you couldn’t get your news.”
He adds: “Thankfully, we had the privacy to mourn and to try to collect our thoughts and have that space away from everybody. We had no idea the reaction to her death would be quite so huge.”
According to the film’s director, Henry Singer, it’s likely to be the last time the royal brothers broach the distressing subject of their mother’s death.
"I think the Princes hope they have answered these questions once and for all," Singer, the award-winning filmmaker behind the Twin Towers documentary The Falling Man, recently told Radio Times. "And they don't need to be asked them anymore, and that people can refer back to this film and our words within it if they have questions. That this is their first, and final word on it."
The film will also feature a selection of interviews with those who were at the 'eye of the storm' in the days following the princess' death -- including, among others, Diana's brother Earl Spencer, her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale and the Princess' lady-in-waiting Anne Beckwith-Smith.
Diana, 7 Days will air on BBC1 on Sunday, 27 August.
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