Prince Harry’s Emotional ITV Interview: Princess Diana’s Death Remains ‘Unexplained’
Prince Harry is opening up about his life, his royal exit and the death of his mother, Princess Diana in a new, emotional interview with ITV‘s Tom Bradby. In anticipation of his tell-all memoir, Spare, out Jan. 10, Harry gets candid about his mother’s tragic death and why so much of what happened on that harrowing day in 1997 is still unexplained.
His Mother’s Death
Harry recalls the moment he was told by his father, King Charles III of Diana’s death following a car crash in Paris in 1997. Harry was asleep at Balmoral Castle when Charles broke the news.
“I began silently pleading with Pa, or God, or both, ‘No, no, no.’ Pa looked down into the folds of the old quilts and blankets and sheets,” Harry said in an audiobook excerpt from his memoir. ‘There were complications. Mummy was quite badly injured and taken to hospital, darling boy.’ He always called me darling boy, but he was saying it quite a lot now.”
“His voice was soft. He was in shock, it seemed. ‘Oh, hospital?’ ‘Yes, with a head injury.’ Did he mention paparazzi? Did he say she’d been chased? I don’t think so. I can’t swear to it but probably not.”
“They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it,” Harry remembers his father telling him.
Stiff Upper Lip
Harry remarked how “very strange” it was for him and his brother, Prince William, then 12 and 14, to go on walkabouts with mourners outside Kensington Palace after his mother’s death.
“Everyone thought and felt like they knew our mum. And the two closest people to her, the two most-loved people by her, were unable to show any emotion in that moment,” he shared.
Discussing the symbolic moment the brothers walked behind Princess Diana’s coffin, the Duke of Sussex says, “There’s absolutely no way that I would let him do that by himself. And there’s absolutely no way that he would let me do that by myself. It was as if it was role reversal.”
The horrific loss of his mother, and the way she was treated by the paparazzi and the British media, is part of the reason, Harry says he and his wife, Meghan Markle, exited their royal duties and moved out of the U.K. when they did.
“I never want to be in that position, part of the reason why we are here now, I never ever want to be in that position. I don’t want history to repeat itself. I do not want to be a single dad,” Harry told Badby. “And I certainly don’t want my children to have a life without a mother or a father.”
‘There was some guilt I felt walking around the outside of Kensington Palace’
Prince Harry goes into unprecedented detail on life in and outside of the Royal Family in an exclusive interview with Tom Bradby
— ITV (@ITV) January 8, 2023
Seeing Diana in His Dreams
Harry details losing memories following his mother’s death.
“I lost a lot of memories. on the other side of this mental wall, which I think is so relatable for so many people who’ve experienced loss, especially as a youngster, that inability to be able to like drag the memories back over,” he shared. “I think a lot of it was a defense mechanism.”
Suffering what he called, a post-traumatic stress injury, Harry said he often saw his mother in his dream. “‘Mummy, Mummy, is that you?’” Harry’s heard saying in the audiobook.
“I refer to it as post-traumatic stress injury because I’m not a person with a disorder. I know I’m not.”
Much Left Unexplained
Despite the case long being closed on Diana’s death, Harry said that there’s much that’s left “unexplained.”
“There’s a lot of things that are unexplained. I’ve been asked before whether I want to open up another inquiry. I don’t really see the point at this stage,” he began. “But I think anyone who knows — again, this is the most amazing thing that, of over the last, what, five years, especially the last two years, the amount of people that I’ve met here in America, everyone knows where they were and what they were doing the night my mother died. And I never thought about that at all.”
Harry even drove through the tunnel himself, to try to gleam what must have happened to his mother on that awful night, and the part the paparazzi played in the crash.
“When you’ve actually experienced the same thing, which you assume your mother’s driver was experiencing at the time, then it’s really hard to, I guess, understand how some people have come away with the conclusions of that night,” Harry explained. “And that the people that were predominantly responsible for it, all got away with it.”
Hopeful to re-write the narrative surrounding his mother’s death, Harry remained steadfast that even with Diana’s driver Henri Paul, drunk driving that evening, his mother, and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, might have survived had they not been chased through that tunnel by paps.
The interview, which comes just days ahead of the release of Spare, comes amid scathing allegations against William and other members of the royal family, made in early excerpts of the book.
The shocking claims include everything from an alleged altercation between Harry and William, as well as the backstory behind Harry’s Nazi costume, which he claims he was encouraged to wear by his brother and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.
More revelations are expected from the 38-year-old are expected in his 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, also airing Sunday.
Following the release of Spare‘s excerpts last week, a source close to the Royal family tells ET that the royal family says William is “furious” with his younger brother and feels that Harry has “crossed a line.”
The royal family “is bracing themselves for the next round of allegations” from Harry’s interviews on Sunday, the source shared, noting that Prince William is not only “furious,” but he “feels Harry has crossed a line.”
“The family is appalled that Harry has revealed such private and lurid details which are completely inappropriate,” the source continued, adding that no one thought Harry would go this far and share this much.
Several sources ET spoke to said it will take time to restore trust within the family.
“He’s gone about dealing with it the wrong way,” another source shared. “the problem is no family conversation can ever take place because Harry claims he and Meghan are opposed to leaks and then he and Meghan share extremely private family matters with the public.”
For more on Harry’s upcoming memoir, check out the video below.