Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, have discussed the events surrounding the car crash that killed Princess Diana, in a strikingly open interview to mark the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death.
Speaking in Diana: 7 Days, a new BBC documentary, Harry recalled the moment he first found out that his mother had passed away – and praised his father, Prince Charles, for the way he supported him and his brother through their grief.
“One of the hardest things for a parent to have to do is to tell your children that your other parent has died,” says Harry.
“How you deal with that I don't know but, you know, he was there for us. He was the one, out of two, left and he tried to do his best and to make sure we were protected and looked after. But, you know, he was going through the same grieving process as well.”
When it came to the subject of the world’s press, though, Harry admitted that their lack of respect left him and his brother furious.
“I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her through 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,” recalls the prince.
“William and I know that, we've been told that numerous times by people that know that was the case.
“She'd had a... quite a severe head injury, but she was very much still alive on the back seat, and those people that... that caused the accident, instead of helping, were taking photographs of her dying on the back seat.
“And then those photographs made... made their way back to news desks in this country.”
Harry and his brother went on to defend the Queen’s decision to remain at Balmoral with them rather than return to London – an act which she was criticized for, as members of the public felt that she should support them instead.
Harry and William (aged 15 and 12 at the time) soon found themselves overwhelmed by the public show of grief; returning to London proved to be an utterly bewildering and – at times – frightening experience for them.
“They were grabbing us and pulling us into their arms and stuff,” reveals Harry. “I don’t blame anyone for that, of course I don’t. But it was those moments that were quite shocking.
“People were screaming, people were crying, people’s hands were wet because of the tears they had just wiped away from their faces before shaking my hand.
“It was so unusual for people to see young boys like that not crying when everybody else was crying. What we were doing was being asked of us was verging on normal then, but now…”
He pauses, before adding: “Looking at us then, we must have been in just this state of shock.”
It is not the first time that Harry has discussed how his mother’s death has affected him.
Earlier this year, he sat down with mental health awareness campaigner and journalist, Bryony Gordon, and confessed that he had come close to “a complete breakdown” on numerous occasions after repressing the death of his mother.
“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” said the royal, speaking on the inaugural episode of her podcast Mad World.
“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”
Diana: 7 Days will be shown on BBC One on 27 August at 7.30pm to 9.05pm
Images: Rex Features