real life

Prince Harry on Diana's death: "I never really dealt with what actually happened."

August 31, 1997, was the day Diana, Princess of Wales, died aged 36. She was in a car crash in a tunnel in Paris, less than a kilometre from the Eiffel Tower.

News broke and the entire world began to grieve. Magazine covers wailed. Theories of conspiracy were thrown about. Flowers and flowers and more flowers were laid at the gates of Buckingham Palace in England.

Her two sons, Princes William and Harry, were 15 and 12 at the time of their mother’s death. They were woken by their father Charles, the Prince of Wales, one night while staying at Balmoral Castle in Scotland for the summer. He told them their mother had been in an accident.

Prince Harry and his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in the garden of Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, 18th July 1986. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

I wonder if they knew then, that they would have to share their grief with the whole world. That the memories they had of their mother, would also be played out in glossy photographs with snappy headlines. That the way they missed their mother, would be reflected by people on the street, people who missed her but who also had never met her.

Now, 19 years later, Prince Harry has spoken about his struggle to accept his mother's death, as part of a new documentary Prince Harry in Africa

Prince William, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry and Charles, Prince of Wales, attend the wedding of the Duke of Hussey's daughter in May, 1989 in Bath, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

"I'd never really dealt with what had actually happened," the 32-year-old said in the documentary, as reported by Cosmopolitan. "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 very differently from what it used to be," Harry also said. "I used to bury my head in the sand and let everything around you tear you to pieces."

Like his mother, Prince Harry spends a lot of time working on humanitarian causes. The new documentary follows the prince to Lesotho in Africa where he started his charity Sentebale. The charity works with orphans and children whose lives have been affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.