Prince Harry says he felt ‘outside of his body’ at Princess Diana’s funeral

‘The thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses’ hooves going along the mall, red brick road,’ said the Duke of Sussex

Saman Javed
Friday 21 May 2021 11:11 BST
Prince Harry says he didn’t want to ‘share grief’ of Diana’s death with world

Prince Harry has opened up about attending his mother’s funeral as a child and the experience of sharing the grief with the world.

In his new documentary, The Me You Can’t See, a series which aims to break down the stigmas around mental health through interviews with several high-profile celebrities, Harry recalled feeling “outside” of his own body at Princess Diana’s funeral, and just “doing what was expected” of him.

Speaking to Oprah Winfrey, an executive producer of the series, Harry said both he and Prince William were still in a state of shock when her funeral was live broadcasted to the world. 

Follow live: Prince William claims BBC fueled Diana’s ‘fears’ as Harry says exploitation took her life

“For me, the thing I remember the most was the sound of the horses’ hooves going along the mall, red brick road. It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along, doing what was expected of me, showing one-tenth of the emotion everybody else was showing.

Speaking about the public outpouring of grief for the Princess of Wales, he said: “I was like, this is my mum. You never even met her.”

He told Winfrey it was “without question” that much of the public had probably processed Diana’s death more than he did because he didn’t want to think about her.

“Because if I think about her, then it’s going to bring up the fact that I can’t bring her back and it’s just going to make me sad, what the point in thinking about something sad, what’s the point in thinking about someone that you’ve lost and you’re never going to get back again? And I just decided not to talk about it,” he said.

Over the course of the first three episodes, Harry discusses his struggles with mental health since his mother’s passing, revealing that he first started therapy four years ago to deal with his trauma.

He said that for many years after Diana’s death, it was “head in the sand, fingers in the ears, just crack on”.

“People would say ‘how are you’; fine, never happy, never sad, just fine. Fine was the easy answer. But I was just all over the place mentally.

“I was so angry with what happened to her and the fact that there was no justice at all. Nothing came from that. The same people who chased her into the tunnel photographed her dying in the backseat of that car,” he said.

An inquest into Diana’s death found she was unlawfully killed due to “gross negligence” of her driver, Henri Paul, and the paparazzi who were following her car at the time of the accident.

Harry said it was only during an argument with wife Meghan, he realised that he needed to deal with his anger for the sake of their relationship.

“I quickly established that if this relationship was gonna work, that I was gonna have to deal with my past, because there was anger there, and it wasn’t anger at her, it was just anger. And [Meghan] recognised it, she saw it,” he said.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

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