PRINCESS DIANA spoke to her sons Prince Harry and Prince William the night before she was killed in August 1997 – and Harry heartbreakingly expressed his lifelong regret about the call in 2017.
Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash 22 years ago on August 31, 1997. Many remember the heartbreaking footage of her young sons Prince William and Prince Harry walking behind her funeral cortege that summer. In the first and last time the brothers have opened up together about the death of their mother to the media, Prince Harry spoke about “one of his lifelong regrets”.
Katie Nicholl, in her 2017 biography “Harry: Life, Loss, and Love”, reveals how the princes spoke to ITV in 2017, on the 20th anniversary of the Princess of Wales’ death.
She explains: “They both spoke of their regret at not having spoken to their mother for longer when she called them at Balmoral on the final day of her holiday in Paris.
“For Harry, it is one of his lifelong regrets.”
Ms Nicholl continues: “The boys had not seen Diana for a whole month during the summer of 1997 and they were due to be reunited the next day.”
The Duke of Sussex (Image Getty)
Princess Diana with a young Prince Harry at Highgrove (Image Getty)
William recalled they were in a “desperate rush to say goodbye” so they could go back to playing with their cousins Zara and Peter Phillips at the time.
Harry said: “I can’t really remember what I said, but all I do remember is, you know, regretting for the rest of my life how that phone call was.
“If I’d have known that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother – the things I would have said to her.
“Looking back on it now, it’s incredibly hard.
“I have to deal with that for the rest of my life.”
Ms Nicholl writes: “William said it was the first and last time they would talk about Diana so openly.
“There was a sense that by speaking so openly, they had found inner peace and a sense of closure.”
This year, in a Royal Team Talk documentary, the Duke of Cambridge added: “I’ve thought about this a lot […] I think when you are bereaved at a very young age, you feel pain like no other pain.”
Princess Diana with Prince Harry in 1995 (Image Getty)
Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry (Image Getty)
Biographer Andrew Morton also writes about the boys’ last phonemail with their mother.
In his 2011 book “William and Catherine”, Mr Morton writes about how William was was touchingly worried about his younger brother.
Mr Morton writes: “While Diana lay on the deck of a luxury yacht under the Mediterranean sun, William was concerned about an edict from Buckingham Palace that he had to attend a photocall to mark his third year at Eton.
“It was part of what he considered a Faustian bargain made with the media – he would be left alone to continue his schooling in peace in return for occasional access.
Prince Harry spoke about Diana in 2017 (Image Getty)
“The problem, as he told his mother in that call, was that Harry had been kept back a year at (prep school) Ludgrove, so the focus of the press was bound to be on his underachievement at school, rather than on William’s steady academic progress.
“Diana promised to discuss the matter with his father the next day, when she arrived home after a night in Paris with Dodi.
“She never returned.”