There’s probably not a day that passes where Prince William and Prince Harry don’t think about their late Mother Princess Diana.
It was 20 years ago when Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris when William was just 15 years old at the time, and his brother only 12.
The shocking events of August 31, 1997, made William and Harry the faces of an international tragedy and while millions cried openly in the street at their mother’s funeral, the boys remained dry-eyed and stoic as they paid tribute in the most public of circumstances by walking behind her coffin as it made its way slowly down The Mall.
Although the entire world was absolutely heartbroken, the two young princes remained the epitome of strength.
And after her devastating death, royal life seemed to go back to normal in the years that followed and as the memories of their mother started to fade, the young royals seemed stuck into preparing for their role as public servants.
It wasn’t until the 10th anniversary of her death that a then 22-year-old Harry finally broke his silence about the loss.
“William and I can separate life into two parts. There were those years when we were blessed with the physical presence beside us of both our mother and father. And then there are the 10 years since our mother’s death. When she was alive we completely took for granted her unrivaled love of life, laughter, fun and folly.”
Soon after, William and Harry put a lid back on their heartbreak, reluctant to mention her name publicly again.
Some speculated their silence was rooted in a fear of upsetting their father and grandmother, so maybe that was the reason why they never chose to speak about their beloved Mother.
The rift only magnified in the days following the fatal Paris accident, when the Queen decided not to leave her estate in Scotland to mourn with her subjects.
In the end, the monarch did travel to London but the damage had been done as public grief had turned to anger and it left many asking if her seemingly heartless response meant she was out of touch with her people. After that the mere mention of Diana’s name was a sensitive subject in royal households.
But things are very different now and what was once a secret sorrow has now become something the two brothers are increasingly open about.
Last month, Harry admitted he had also repressed his feelings. In the documentary Prince Harry in Africa, he said
“I’d never really dealt with what had actually happened, so there was a lot of buried emotion and, for a huge part of my life, I just didn’t even want to think about it. I now view life differently from what it used to be. I used to bury my head in the sand, and let everything around you tear you to pieces”.
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