5 Memorable Photos of Diana and Her Boys
Photo: Getty Images
Twenty years after her death, Diana’s sons have stepped into the spotlight to talk about their battles with mental health issues and their favourite memories of their beloved Mum.
When the documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy debuted on HBO on July 24, 2017, the world sat up and took notice. It afforded viewers unprecedented access to Kensington Palace, complete with a treasure trove of previously unpublished family photos and unfiltered conversation with Diana Spencer’s sons, Princes William and Harry.
For all the tabloid rumours and conspiracy theories surrounding her death, Diana’s boys were finally able to show the world—on the 20th anniversary of her death—how they wanted their mother to be remembered.
William, the Duke of Cambridge, was only 15 years old when his mother was suddenly taken from him on Aug. 31, 1997. Prince Harry was a mere 12 years old. “Losing someone so close to you is utterly devastating, especially at that age,” William, now 35, says in Diana, Our Mother. “There’s not many days that go by that I don’t think of her.”
While promoting their mental health initiative Heads Together earlier this year, both William and Harry admitted they wished they’d spoken more openly about the pain of losing their mother.
“We’ve never really talked about losing a mum at such a young age,” Harry, 32, revealed. “I always thought to myself, ‘What’s the point of bringing up the past, what’s the point of bringing up something that’s only going to make you sad? It ain’t going to change it, it ain’t going to bring it back.’ And when you start thinking like that, it can be really damaging.”
Now the royal siblings are doing everything in their collective power to publicly commemorate the memory of their late mother, including commissioning a statue that will stand on the grounds of Kensington Gardens, which they will be able to see from their apartments in the palace.
The world was left devastated by the sudden loss of Diana, the People’s Princess. The intensity of grief that followed the news of her death took everyone by surprise. Diana never got to watch her sons grow up, travel the world, get married or have kids, but there’s no doubt she’d be proud of their wealth of accomplishments.
Here, we look back at some of our favourite photos of Diana with her boys.
“I can’t really necessarily remember what I said [during my final phone call with her], but all I do remember is…you know, regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was,” Harry says. “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.”
“Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say ‘goodbye, see you later, can I go off?'” William says. “If I’d known what was going to happen, I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it. That phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”
“She would just engulf you and squeeze you as tight as possible,” Harry says in the documentary. “And being as short as I was then, there was no escape; you were there and you were there for as long as she wanted to hold you. Even talking about it now I can feel the hugs that she used to give us and, you know, I miss that, I miss that feeling, I miss that part of a family, I miss having that mother…to be able to give you those hugs and give you that compassion that I think everybody needs.”
“I give thanks that I was lucky enough to be her son and know her for the 15 years that I did,” William says. “She set us up really well. She gave us the right tools, and has prepared us well for life not obviously knowing what was going to happen.”
“She was our mum,” Harry says. “She still is our mum. As a son I would say this, she was the best mum in the world. She smothered us with love, that’s for sure. 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.”