Prince William and Prince Harry are revealing intimate memories of their late mother in a new documentary for ITV
Ahead of the 21st anniversary of Princess Diana‘s death on August 31, here’s a look back at Prince William and Prince Harry‘s decision to share intimate details of their last conversation with their mother.
The deeply personal memories were part of ITV and HBO’s Our Mother Diana: Her Life and Legacy special, which aired in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in a Paris car crash. Princess Diana died in the early morning hours of August 31, 1997.
The documentary featured appearances by Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, Elton John and Rihanna, who took an HIV test alongside Harry in Barbados to help break the stigma of getting tested. Diana was an early and very public campaigner for HIV and AIDS awareness and treatment.
The princes, who say that they will not speak out at length about her like this again, also talked movingly about the fact that their last phone call from her – on the day she died – was so short. Being such young boys, aged 15 and 12 respectively, they were keen to get to back to playing with their cousins at the Queen’s Scottish retreat, Balmoral. “And if I’d known that that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother the things that I would – the things I would have said to her,” Harry says in the documentary.
While discussing the documentary with reporters — including PEOPLE — at a meeting in Kensington Palace last year, William said, “This is a tribute from her sons to her.” He added that standing before a group about to watch the documentary was “possibly the most nervous I’ve ever been.”
“It’s one thing doing a documentary like this and it’s another thing standing front of all of you guys and explaining about something very personal to you,” he said. “Nevertheless, I think it’s very important that I’m here to do that.”
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And William – who like Harry finds talking about his mother so intensely and publicly difficult — vowed, “We won’t speak as openly and as publicly about her again.”
He added, “We feel hopefully this film will provide the other side from her close family friends that you might not have heard from before, from those who knew her best, and from those who want to protect her memory and want to remind people of the person that she was: The warmth, the humor, and what she was like as a mother, which probably hasn’t come across before in many other pieces from other people.”
Harry also revealed he has only cried tears of grief twice – at her graveside at Althorp on September 6, 1997, and since then “maybe, maybe once. “
“So there’s, you know, there’s a lot of — there’s a lot of grief that still needs to be let out.”
Harry added “There’s not a day that William and I don’t wish that she was still around, and 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.”