Wednesday, 23 August 2017

William and Harry: the love of family

The House of Windsor isn't known for being overly emotional. But in the run up to the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, her sons have been talking openly about their loss. Now, ahead of a new BBC One documentary about the princess, William and Harry have also revealed how much their father and grandparents did to support them as they came to terms with the shock of Diana's death.

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The princes are featured in the programme Diana, 7 Days which will go out on Sunday, August 27th. In it, the way their father looked after them in the immediate aftermath of the crash which cost Diana her life takes centre stage. Harry says '' one of the hardest things for a parent to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died.  How you deal with that, I don't know, but, you know, he was there for us''.  William also talks about Charles, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, saying that his grandmother ''shielded'' him and Harry as the reality of their loss sank in, removing papers from Balmoral where they were staying when the crash took place.

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Harry also tells the programme that is he ''very glad'' he walked behind his mother's coffin as it was carried on the final part of its journey to Westminster Abbey for her funeral on September 6th 1997.  Just weeks ago, he told another interviewer that following her cortege was something no child ''should be asked to do''. In the documentary, he says he now doesn't have an opinion whether it was right or wrong but he is at peace with having been ''part of the day''.  William, meanwhile, reveals that he used his then long and floppy fringe as a shield, hoping that it was hiding him from view as he made the long walk with his brother, father, grandfather and maternal uncle, Earl Spencer.

But the interviews show that emotion is still raw. Harry tells the documentary that ''one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her 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''. The pain and anger in his voice is clear. Twenty years on, how could it really disappear?

The programme Diana, 7 Days focuses on the immediate aftermath of the death of the princess following the car crash in Paris on August 31st 1997. It will also feature an interview with former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. It will be shown on BBC One on August 27th 2017.

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