Still dealing with the repercussions of the most difficult day…
King Charles III is haunted by his decision to make his sons Prince William and Prince Harry walk in Princess Diana’s funeral procession following her untimely death in 1997, according to a royal expert. On Tuesday while promoting his new book, The King: The Life of Charles III, Christopher Andersen told Us Weekly the new monarch deeply “regrets” his choice about his kids’ involvement in their mother’s funeral, speculating:
“I think it haunts him because it haunts them, and they’ve spoken about it.”
In the new biography, Andersen discusses how he believes the funeral is basically a source of “PTSD” for the family — which makes sense considering William reportedly had flashbacks of the harrowing experience while walking in Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral earlier this year. The author told Us:
“I’ve written that I believe it’s a form of PTSD.”
It isn’t just William. While researching the book, Christopher discovered Harry still finds it “triggering” to fly into London sometimes. Whoa. The insider shared:
“[He said] it reminds him of that day when he had to walk behind the coffin, and they were more or less bullied into doing it by the palace — by the men in gray who really run the palace, the people that Diana used to complain about.”
So, Harry’s issues with The Firm go way back… Can’t wait to read his version of all this.
The brothers were just 15 and 12 when their mother passed away in a car crash in Paris. Despite the immense grief they were feeling, they were forced to put on brave faces and walk behind Diana’s casket in front of a massive crowd of spectators. According to Princess Anne via ITV News last year, Prince Philip offered to walk beside his grandsons during the procession to help them get through it. But still, they were so young to be put on display while they mourned their loss. On what was probably running through the young princes’ heads at the time, the Brothers and Wives writer mused:
“I think both William and Harry thought, ‘Who are these strangers who never met her?’ So they were angry about what had happened. And Charles, I think, understands that to some extent he was responsible for them having to suffer through [that].”
The feuding siblings have been outspoken about the painful funeral in the past. Harry opened up about how challenging it was to be put under the spotlight during the emotional time in an interview with Newsweek in June 2017, saying:
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
Sounds like the author isn’t too far off the mark.
The same year, William said in the HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy:
“Slowly, you try to rebuild your life, you try to understand what happened. I kept myself busy, as well, to allow you to get yourself through that initial shock phase. We’re talking maybe as much as five to seven years afterwards.”
Just shows how difficult this death was for them to heal from…
Interestingly, Harry and William aren’t the only two who regret taking part in the very public procession, either. Diana’s brother, Charles, Earl Spencer, also wishes he had skipped the event, according to Andersen:
“[Charles, Earl Spencer], Diana’s brother … has also said that he felt that he was tricked into doing it and regrets it. He said it was like walking through a tunnel of grief.”
So disappointing to know the people closest to Diana were so upset by her funeral when it should have been a time for them to process her sudden passing. These new comments about Charles’ regret come just weeks before Harry is set to discuss the death of his mother at length as part of his highly-anticipated memoir, Spare. Promotion for the book, which will hit shelves on January 10, 2023, has already prominently teased more details about the funeral, as a press release stated:
“It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow — and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling — and how their lives would play out from that point on.
For Harry, this is that story at last. With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.”
It’s so sad to hear how this decision still haunts the family, and we’re sure whatever Harry has to say in his memoir will be just as heartbreaking. Thoughts? Let us know (below).