"Darling boy, Mummy's been in a car crash."
We know these are the words Prince Charles said when he woke his youngest son, Harry, to the gloomy Scottish dawn of August 31, 1997.
We know because Harry has told us himself. The Prince is one of those still living who actually knows how things unfolded for Diana’s children in the days and weeks after her death and, unsurprisingly, the answer is – not well.
"When my mum was taken away from me at the age of 12, I didn’t want the [royal] life, sharing the grief of my mother’s death with the world," the prince told Oprah Winfrey in one of two interviews last year.
He said that watching the public openly wailing and crying in their grief made him feel removed, possessive and unemotional.
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"[I was] showing one-tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing: This was my mum – you never even met her," he said.
In his memoir Spare, he wrote: "There were 50,000 bouquets of flowers to our mother and there we were shaking people's hands, smiling... And the wet hands that we were shaking, we couldn't understand why their hands were wet, but it was all the tears that they were wiping away.