Prince Harry: There were arguments behind-the-scenes at Diana’s funeral

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Prince Harry’s Spare apparently begins his story with his mother’s death in 1997. I’ve already seen some excerpted quotes about how his father woke him up and woke William up that night to tell them that Diana had died in Paris. From Spare:

“[Dad] sat down on the edge of the bed. He put a hand on my knee. ‘Darling boy, Mummy’s been in a car crash.’ I remember thinking: Crash … OK. But she’s all right? Yes? I vividly remember that thought flashing through my mind. And I remember waiting patiently for Pa to confirm that indeed Mummy was all right. And I remember him not doing that.” Harry explains that he then began to feel a “shift internally” when he knew what was coming next. “I began silently pleading with Pa, or God, or both: No, no, no,” he shares.

“Pa didn’t hug me. He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis? His hand did fall once more on my knee and he said, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue.”

“’Mummy was quite badly injured and taken to hospital, darling boy,’” Charles said, per Harry. “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.” Harry recounts still believing that doctors could somehow “fix her head,” and that he’d be able to see her “tonight at the latest.”

“‘They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it,’” Harry remembers his father telling him. “These phrases remain in my mind like darts in a board. He did say it that way, I know that much for sure. She didn’t make it. And then everything seemed to come to a stop.”

[From Page Six]

I will be curious to see if Harry also discusses being stuck in Balmoral that week and no one even talking about Diana. Philip took them hunting, and Charles called Tiggy and asked her to come up. The family forced Diana’s sons to shut down emotionally and just think about other things. The Queen wouldn’t even allow the local vicar to say a special prayer for Diana. Harry does talk about how odd it was to be put on display once they were back in London, especially the walkabout outside of Kensington Palace, where William and Harry were expected to go out and greet mourners. Harry also writes that his uncle Charles (the Earl Spencer) was incandescent about the Windsors forcing the boys to walk behind Diana’s casket.

From Harry’s ITV interview: “I cried once, at the burial, and you know I go into detail about how strange it was and how, actually, there was some guilt that I felt, and I think William felt as well, by walking around the outside of Kensington Palace. There were 50,000 bouquets of flowers to our mother, and there we were shaking people’s hands, smiling. I’ve seen the videos, right, I looked back over it all. And the wet hands that we were shaking, we couldn’t understand why their hands were wet, but it was all the tears that they were wiping away. 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.”

From ‘Spare’: “I disliked the touch of those hands. What’s more, I disliked how they made me feel: guilty. Why was there all that crying from people, when I neither cried nor had cried? I wanted to cry, and I had tried because my mother’s life had been so sad… but I couldn’t… not a drop. Perhaps I had learnt too well, had absorbed too thoroughly the family maxim that crying was never an option – never.”

Diana’s funeral, from ‘Spare’: The plan drawn up by palace officials was for the coffin to be carried on a gun carriage, drawn by the King’s Troop, the Royal Horse Artillery, with Princes William and Harry following on foot. Harry writes in the book that “It seemed like a lot to ask for two children”, adding: “Several adults were horrified”. The Duke claims that his uncle Charles, Earl Spencer, “flew into a rage”, saying: “You cannot force these children to walk behind their mother’s coffin. It’s a barbarity!” His reaction at the meeting appeared to echo that of some who later witnessed the funeral cortege and felt too much pressure had been placed on the young Princes’ shoulders. However when a suggestion was made at the meeting that William, as the eldest, should walk behind the coffin alone Prince Harry says he objected, saying: “It didn’t seem right that Willy would have such a hard time without me.”

[From The Telegraph]

No. They acted like there were only two options: put William behind the coffin or put both of Diana’s sons behind her coffin. There was always the option of protecting the boys and not forcing them to go out on display just days after their mother’s death. QEII and Charles were scared sh-tless and they used two grief-stricken children as human shields. As I’ve said before, Liz and Charles should rot for that alone, nevermind all of the other bulls-t. Although it does seem like Harry still has sympathy for Charles in that situation. Generational trauma.

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