In the years following the tragic loss of their mother, Prince William and Prince Harry were reluctant to speak publicly about her at all. After all, they were just 15 and 12 years old at the time, respectively, and while the world mourned their beloved Princess, they were devastated over losing their mom.
Fast forward two decades and Will and Harry have finally decided to speak publicly of their mother, revealing some of their fondest memories of Princess Diana, as well as the heartbreaking final time they spoke with her…
Featured Photo Credit: www.bbc.com
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing and her royal sons have decided to open up for the first time to ITV and HBO in Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. Today, the world knows 35-year-old Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as a family man who adores his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their two adorable children, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge.
The Princes In 2017
Much like his mother, Will does his best to keep his family’s private lives out of the public eye. In the years following Lady Diana’s tragic death, Prince Harry, on the other hand, has proven to be more like his fun-loving mother than his more serious father, Prince Charles. Today the 32-year-old is one of the most eligible bachelors on the planet…
However, when Princess Diana died in 1997, her royal sons were still quite young at 15 and 12 years old. And they were still dealing with the heartbreak and confusion that surrounded their parents’ divorce just a year before. In the new documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, the princes finally speak publicly about their mother. After 20 years, the Duke of Cambridge said he believed it was the right time for he and his brother to talk about their mother.
Remembering Lady Di
“There’s not many days that go by that I don’t think of her. Her 20th anniversary year feels like a good time to… remember, you know, all the good things about her and hopefully provide maybe a different side to her that others haven’t seen before,” the Duke of Cambridge told ITV. Yet, with all the old footage coming up of the beloved Princess Diana, some are concerned about the documentaries revealing too much of her private life.
Her Own Words
In the Channel 4 documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, the British broadcaster gained the rights to sensitive video recordings between Princess Diana and her public speaking coach, Peter Settelen at Kensington Palace in 1993. Although the sessions were meant to help Diana in the public eye, they became more of a form of therapy…
However, some of the private tapes feature Princess Diana revealing intimate details of her personal life, including intimate details about her relationship and sex life with Prince Charles. Diana’s brother Charles Spencer has begged Channel 4 to edit the documentary to take out any material that could hurt his nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Following the controversy and concern of the upcoming documentary, Channel 4 released the following statement: “This unique portrait of Diana gives her a voice and places it front and centre at a time when the nation will be reflecting on her life and death.” They believe that this private information should be public domain, as it is an important part of history…
In the 1993 clips, Lady Diana reportedly reveals how she and Charles were practically in a loveless marriage. The distressed princess and worldwide celebrity spoke about how she and her royal husband only had sex once every three weeks and how she went to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles’ mother, for advice, she was told her son was “hopeless”.
It was well-known after their eventual divorce that, Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall, had a wandering eye, but the intimate details of the breakdown of his marriage to Diana has not been revealed until now. Princess Diana apparently even confronted her husband about his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, who is now his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall…
His response? The tapes reveal that Charles told his then-wife, “I refuse to be the only Prince of Wales who never had a mistress.” The Princess also claimed that Charles’ father, the Duke of Edinburgh said that his son could have an affair with Camilla if his marriage to Diana wasn’t working after a certain amount of time.
A lonely Lady Diana soon found solace in her bodyguard, Barry Mannakee, who she revealed she considered fleeing the palace for, but that their relationship never became sexual. Following the release of the biography Diana: Her True Story by author Andrew Morton in 1992, the Princess hired Peter Settelen to help with her public speaking voice in the “private” Kensington Palace tapes…
“We carefully considered all the material used in the documentary and, though the recordings were made in private, the subjects covered are a matter of public record and provide a unique insight into the preparations Diana undertook to gain a public voice and tell her own personal story, which culminated in her later interview for Panorama,” said Channel 4. In 1995, Princess Diana gave her first intimate interview to BBC’s Panorama to set the record straight.
The extremely private princess was visibly nervous during the interview in which she spoke about her failed marriage to Prince Charles and his subsequent affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. A former aide later revealed that Diana had regretted the revealing interview and the responses in the media to her revelations. Above everything else, she feared hurting her young sons…
With the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death coming up on August 31st, 2017, it’s unclear how the now-grown Prince William and Prince Harry will respond to their mother’s previously-unknown secrets being revealed. Diana’s untimely death exposed her personal struggle in being incessantly pursued by the paparazzi and difficulty with constantly living under a microscope, but little has been known about her deep sadness until now.
Yet the Princes revealed to ITV and HBO for the upcoming Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy that after 20 years without their mother, they struggle most with getting over Diana’s last moments. “People think shock can’t last that long, but it does. It’s such an unbelievably big moment in your life and it never leaves you, you just learn to deal with it,” William recently said. “The shock is the biggest thing, and I still feel it 20 years later about my mother”…
The Prince also revealed that he sought professional help to deal with the death of his mother about four years ago. William then pleaded with the U.K. to end the stigma against mental health, adding that his young children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, would be encouraged to talk about their own feelings. Since Catherine, George, and Charlotte never got to meet his mother, Prince William finds it helpful to talk about “Granny Diana” in heaven quite often to keep her memory alive. As for the day she passed, Will and Harry may never forget the last time they spoke with their famous mother.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who were 15 and 12 in 1997, were busy with their grandmother, the Queen, at Balmoral Castle, the royal family’s Scottish holiday home, when they got their final phone call from Diana, Princess of Wales from Paris. “As a kid, I never enjoyed speaking to my parents on the phone,” Harry said to ITV. “And we spent far too much time speaking on the phone rather than speaking to each other, because of just the way the situation [the divorce] was. The Duke added, “And I think Harry and I were just in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, see you later and we’re going to go off.”
“If I’d known now obviously what was going to happen I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it and everything else. But that phone call sticks in my mind quite, quite heavily,” Prince William revealed, adding that it has been incredibly hard to look back on that final phone call. “I have to sort of deal with that for the rest of my life… Not knowing that that was the last time I was going to speak to my mum, and how differently that conversation would have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling that her life was going to be taken that night.”
The Other Side
Prince William and Prince Harry hope to teach a new generation about their fun, lovable, and sometimes mischievous mother in the unprecedented interview for the documentary out Friday, August 4th on ITV and HBO. The royal family also opens up their personal photo album, revealing never before seen pictures of Princess Diana and her effort to give her sons the most normal life as possible. “We won’t speak as openly and publicly about her again, because we feel that hopefully this film will provide the other side: from her closest family and friends, that you might not have heard before, from those who knew her best, and those who want to protect her memory and want to remind people of the person she was,” the Duke of Edinburgh said.
“The warmth, the humour, and what she was like as a mother… Harry and I feel very strongly that we want to celebrate her life, and this is a tribute from her sons to her.” The documentary will also feature interviews from Earl Spencer, Diana’s Brother, her famous friend Sir Elton John and others who knew her best. “There’s not many days that go by that I don’t think of her, you know – sometimes sad, sometimes very positively,” Will said. Prince Harry added life has been hard and it will continue to be without their mother. “We wonder what kind of a mother she would be now, and what kind of a public role she would have, and what a difference she would be making. “You know, and of course as a son I would say this, she was the best mum in the world.”