LONDON – Before her tragic death in a car crash at the Pont de I’Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31, 1997, Diana had a phone chat with her sons, William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.
The Duke said after their mother’s death, they regret being desperate to cut the phone conversation because they wanted to go back to playing.
“That phone call sticks in my mind quite, quite heavily,” the Duke said during the 90-minute documentary by Britain’s ITV Network titled “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy” that is set to air today (Monday).
The documentary features an extensive and candid interview of the Duke and the Prince as they talked about their childhood with Diana.
Through the documentary, they hope to introduce the real Diana to a new generation.
Aug. 31, 2017 would mark Diana’s 20th death anniversary.
The Duke said he and the Prince were in Balmoral Castle with their father, Prince Charles, and other members of the royal family, when their mother called. He and the Prince were 15 and 12 that time.
The Duke said: “At the time Harry and I were running around minding our own business, you know, playing with our cousins and having a very good time.”
Prince Harry, for his part, continued: “As a kid I never enjoyed speaking to my parents on the phone. And we spent far too much time speaking on the phone rather than speaking to each other, because of just the way the situation (the divorce) was.”
“And the phone rang and off he (referring to the Duke) went to go and speak to her sort of for five minutes.”
The Duke said: “And I think Harry and I were just in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, see you later and we’re going to go off. If I’d known now obviously what was going to happen I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it and everything else. But that phone call sticks in my mind quite, quite heavily.”
The Duke said he remembers what Diana told him over the phone but chose not to reveal what it was.
Prince Harry could only remember being called to take his turn on the phone.
He said, “It was her speaking from Paris. I can’t really necessarily remember what I said, but all I do remember is probably, you know, regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was.”
“And if I’d known that 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 sort of deal with that for the rest of my life,” the Prince added.
“Not knowing that that was the last time I was going to speak to my mum, and how differently that conversation would have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling that her life was going to be taken that night.”
Diana’s death has been hard on Prince Harry. The Prince told The Telegraph last April that he sought counselling after years of refusing to talk about his mother’s death.
Meanwhile, the royal brothers, now aged 35 and 32, also showed a family album during the documentary and would recall the tricks Diana would play on them.
About the documentary, the Duke said he and his brother won’t be doing a similar interview again to talk about their late mother.
“We won’t speak as openly and publicly about her again, because we feel that hopefully this film will provide the other side: from her closest family and friends, that you might not have heard before, from those who knew her best, and those who want to protect her memory and want to remind people of the person she was.”
“The warmth, the humour, and what she was like as a mother. Harry and I feel very strongly that we want to celebrate her life, and this is a tribute from her sons to her.”
As he and Prince Harry looked at photographs and talk about memories, the Duke described the experience as “cathartic”. “It’s been at first quite daunting opening up so much to camera but going through this process has been quite healing as well.” GAC/Expat Media
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