On the day of the funeral of Diana, princess of Wales—a sunny Saturday in September 1997—there was one small item that broke a million hearts in a city, and a nation, already awash in grief. Walking behind Princess Diana's casket at her funeral was traumatic for her young sons Prince William and Prince Harry, but 20 years after her … After being taken to a private mortuary it was put at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace. The princes’ uncle, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, called the walk a “tunnel of grief” and told PEOPLE and 2017’s The Story of Diana he didn’t believe that “tiny” Harry should have made the grueling walk. Photo: MEGA. Introducing ... PEOPLE's Products Worth the Hype, argued against them being part of the procession, It felt like she was walking alongside us. Elton John performing "Candle in the Wind" during the service. IT was an utterly heart wrenching moment when Prince William and Prince Harry were pictured walking behind Princess Diana’s coffin, at her funeral in … Prince William and Prince Harry reflect on their mother Princess Diana in a new documentary created by the BBC. And, actually, I tried to stop that happening, to be honest.”, WATCH: Prince William Finally Reveals Who Decided He and Harry Should Walk Behind Diana’s Coffin. Members of the fashion industry, including Catherine Walker (left), Donatella Versace, and Anna Wintour turned out to pay tribute to Diana. Picture: AFP Source:AFP “At first William flatly refused. "I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. Members of the Queen's Welsh Guard served as pallbearers. And people wept again as they watched two boys, Prince William and Prince Harry, say goodbye to their mother. I did feel a bit protective at times — I thought you didn’t even know her, why and how are you so upset? In the end, Princess Diana’s service attracted an … But friends of the royal family have said that it was their grandfather, Prince Philip, who told the princes — then ages 15 and 12 — “If I do it, will you?”, William confirmed in the 2017 BBC documentary Diana, 7 Days, “It wasn’t an easy decision, and it was a collective family decision to do that. Prince William reportedly asked his father, Prince Charles, a crushing question before the Prince of Wales divorced Princess Diana. Princess Diana told her sons that it … “The broadcast news today still talks about the silence and of course there was a huge amount of silence, but what I remember is every 50 yards or whatever certain people in the crowd just unable to contain their emotion. the Other Members' standard), was brought to London from the Salpêtrière Hospital, via Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base, Paris, by Diana's former husband Charles, Prince of Wales and her two sisters on 31 August 1997. Get push notifications with news, features and more. Her funeral, like her wedding, was viewed around the world. Genuinely, I don’t have an opinion on whether that was right or wrong. In one of the most heartbreaking moments of royal history, the young princes were photographed walking behind their mother's coffin at her 1997 funeral. There was that balance between duty and family and that’s what we had to do.”, Harry recalls, “I think it was a group decision. Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles following Diana's coffin during the emotional funeral procession Credit: AFP - Getty When was Princess Diana's … The hearse driving away from the funeral service. Prince William, head bowed, follows Diana's coffin during the funeral (Image: Mirrorpix) Read More Related Articles. It felt like she was walking alongside us to get us through it.”. Princess Margaret with her son Lord Linley and his wife leaving the service. Princes William and Harry … Charles pleaded with him … Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, and Andrew Brown covering the funeral. Prince Harry standing with his Brother Prince William and his father, Prince Charles. As news spread of the accident that took her life on August 31, 1997, mourners flocked to Kensington and Buckingham Palaces to leave flowers, gifts, and cards. Calling it an “alien environment,” William says, “I couldn’t understand why everyone wanted to cry as loud as they did and show such emotion as they did, when they didn’t really know our mother. Author Lacey also claims that the Earl of Spencer was already unhappy about other aspects of the arrangements for his late sister’s funeral. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. "There's a lot of grief that still needs to be... to be let out. The royal was only 15, and his brother Harry was 12, when their mother passed away. Prince William made sure his mother Princess Diana in his own words didn't "miss out" on the ceremony and celebrations for his wedding to Kate ... was the final one to be sung at Diana’s funeral. I don’t think it would happen today.". Blair’s aide Anji Hunter recalls in the BBC documentary that she made “an intervention on that — I thought, ‘How can he, [at] 12 walk, behind his mother’s coffin? Princess Diana is shown with the heir (Prince William, foreground and the spare Prince Harry Prince in 1984. Read his full funeral speech, here. Meanwhile, Blair’s spokesman Alastair Campbell tells the documentary, “There was doubt until the final day as to whether the boys would feel able to do it, up to do it, whether they should do it.”. Prince William and Prince Harry were just 15 and 12 when their mother, Princess Diana, was suddenly killed in a car crash in Paris. Prince William calls the grueling walk "an alien environment". They were flanked by their father, Prince Charles, their grandfather, Prince Philip, and their uncle, Earl Spencer. ", Flowers were left in tribute outside of both Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace in tribute to Princess Diana, Diana's funeral cortege, leaving Buckingham Palace. Prince Charles with Prince Harry, Earl Charles Spencer, Prince William and Prince Philip at Diana’s funeral service. Earl Spencer touches Prince Harry as they follow the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales at her funeral, Sept. 6, 1997. Text us for exclusive photos and videos, royal news, and way more. Coyote Ugly Turns 20: Where Is the Cast Now? We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. I am glad I was part of it. The Duke Of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walking behind Diana's coffin at her funeral on September 6, 1997. “It’s just awful. Every item on this page was chosen by a Town & Country editor. Prince Harry and Prince William walk behind their mother's casket in the funeral procession. Back in the ’90s there weren’t a lot of public figures doing what she did, so she was this ray of light in a fairly gray world.”, William added, “Both our parents brought us up to understand that there is this element of duty, and responsibility that you have to do things you don’t want to do. If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: Prince William Reveals Who Decided He and Harry Should Walk Behind Diana's Coffin. '” But Hunter says she found it “astonishing and so moving” to see the boys undertake the task. ", In the new HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince Harry, who was just 12 years old when Diana died, said "I was thinking to myself how is it so many people who have never met this women, my mother, can be crying and showing more emotion than I am? Ahead of the 21st anniversary of Diana’s death on August 31st, here’s a look back at the headline-making decisions involving the young grieving brothers. But we were overwhelmed by how many people turned out, it was just incredible. As the senior digital news editor for Town & Country, Caroline Hallemann covers everything from the British royal family to the latest episodes of Outlander, Killing Eve, and The Crown. Prince William and Prince Harry have opened up about the days that immediately followed the death of their mother Princess Diana, admitting it was … Twenty-three years ago, the world looked on as Prince William and Prince Harry laid their mother to rest. Duke of Cambridge says probe into controversial programme is ‘step in the right direction’ Countess Spencer died last year at the age of 87. I was one of the few people in that part of Westminster Abbey that was really blubbering and I remember thinking:' God, this is going to be really embarrassing.' (Getty) Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at Princess Diana's funeral. But before I knew it, I found myself with a suit on with a black tie and a white shirt, I think, and I was part of it. And only since then, maybe once more," he said. “Now, looking back, I’ve learned to understand what it was that she gave the world, what she gave a lot of people. Find out what your cat is trying to tell you with a new cat app, Princess Diana died when Harry was just 12 years old, Engineer Creates App To Translate Your Cat, The Sweetest Photos of Princes Harry with Diana, Sean Connery's Cause of Death Revealed Weeks After He Dies at Age 90. Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Wife Cherie outside the service. Prince William alongside his uncle, Diana's brother, Earl Charles Spencer. When it becomes that personal, walking behind your mother’s funeral cortege, it goes to another level of duty. Looking back on it now, I am very glad I was part of it.”, William calls the march a very “long and lonely walk.” He says he hid behind the floppy blond bangs he had as a teen, calling them “my safety blanket,” while noting,”the balance of me being Prince William and having to do my bit versus the private William who just wanted to go into a room and cry because he’d lost his mother.”, Harry says he remembers hearing people screaming in the crowds. “I was just so worried — what a trauma for a little chap to walk behind his mum’s body,” Spencer said. Earl Spencer's eulogy during the service angered members of the royal family, a rift that has only begun to heal in recent years. Earlier this year, Harry revealed that walking behind his mother's coffin that day was torturous. Town & Country participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Diana's coffin, draped with the royal standard with an ermine border (i.e. Princess Diana’s funeral was extremely public, a detail Channel 4 News claim Prince Charles fought for. Prince William welcomes new inquiry to ‘establish the truth’ about BBC’s Princess Diana interview. According to the journalist, Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry were at the Wetherby School in England for an event. Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburg arrive at the funeral. Diana’s sons Prince William (left) and Prince Harry at her funeral. A trailer for Diana, 7 Days … Prince William Reveals Who Decided He and Harry Should Walk Behind Diana's Coffin this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. But it was almost like I was reliving my mum's funeral," he said. Heated discussions about the funeral arrangements had been going on between Spencer and palace officials for a few days, as Diana’s brother believed his young nephews, Prince William… "The first time I cried was at the funeral on the island. In advance of the 20th anniversary of Diana's death, Harry revealed that he cried only twice following his mother's death. "I had forgotten my hanky and I was really streaming. However, it wasn't an easy decision for the 15-year-old William and 12-year-old Harry. At the time, Diana’s brother, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, argued against them being part of the procession — and some government advisers were wary too. Image: Getty. As discussions raged through the week, Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office worked alongside Buckingham Palace courtiers to plan and prepare for the funeral. Before she was known as Princess Diana or Lady Di, and before news of Princess Diana's funeral sent shockwaves across the world, she was simply Diana Spencer. Prince William and Prince Harry lost their mother, Princess Diana at a very young age and in tragic circumstances. A new ITV documentary to mark the anniversary of the funeral of Princess Diana has revealed William and Harry's touching final tribute to their … From the time she married Prince Charles in 1981, Princess Diana was a beloved figure in Britain, but few could have imagined the outpouring of grief that followed her death at age 36. It is alleged The Queen wanted to have a private funeral for Diana, but Charles persevered and Diana got a public send off. Should young Prince William and Prince Harry have been made to march behind the coffin of their mother Princess Diana? Prince Harry has said he is "very glad" he joined the funeral cortege for his mother, Princess Diana. Princess Diana's casket, draped with the royal standard, being carried into Westminster Abbey. That was a big thing.”. In a country famed for its stiff upper lip, people wept openly in the streets, keening the loss of a beautiful young mother—and venting their anger at the monarchy they believed had treated her cruelly. Source:News Limited The … But I just kept thinking about what she would want and that she’d be proud of Harry and I and effectively she was there with us. The Queen and Queen Mother take in the crowds outside the church. Her common life was turned upside-down after she married Prince Charles in 1981 when she was just 19 and he was 32. The tragic event which shocked the world happened 20 years ago this August, causing many to reflect on the heartbreaking loss of the much-loved ‘People’s Princess’ and the events that followed her untimely death. Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at Diana's funeral (Image: GETTY) As the camera zoomed in on the hurst, the audience caught a glimpse of a … You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, The Messages in The Queen's Christmas Broadcast, Prince Charles and Camilla Release New Picture, The Cutest Photos of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Royal Family Christmas Cards Through the Years, The Sussexes Will Help Tackle Hunger With Archewel. JEFF J. MITCHELL/AFP/Getty. Prince William alongside his uncle, Diana's brother, Earl Charles Spencer. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales follow the Diana's coffin on September 6, 1997. Photo: Getty Images. Prince Philip, Prince William Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles follow the casket during the funeral procession of Princess Diana. You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications. 20 Beautiful Photos Of Princess Diana At Home, The Surprising Story Behind Princess Diana's Iconic Haircut, Here's What Really Happened When JFK Jr. Met Princess Diana, 14 Ways Princess Diana Broke Royal Protocol, Princess Diana & Charles' Cutest Moments as a Couple, Meet Dodi Al Fayed, Princess Diana's Last Boyfriend. A police officer arranges bouquets outside the palace, Members of the royal family at the funeral, Media Mogul Richard Branson carrying a white rose outside the church, Diana's step-mother, Raine, Countess Spencer, George Michael, pictured here next to British politician David Trimble. From their engagement in 1981, to … John and his collaborator rewrote the lyrics of the song to pay tribute to Diana. Almost 20 years after Princess Diana's death, Prince William still feels the weight of her passing. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, with her daughters Eugenie and Beatrice. Prince William and Prince Harry, the sons of Diana, Princess of Wales, bowing their heads as their mother's coffin is taken out of Westminster Abbey, following her funeral service, Sept. 6, 1997. Originally, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer wanted to be the only person to walk behind Diana’s coffin. Actors Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, and Tom Hanks were among the mourners at the funeral. Michael famously "bawled his eyes out" at the funeral. Members of the Spencer family along with Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry watch as Princess Diana's coffin is placed in the hearse (Image: Mirrorpix) The funeral of Princess Diana… Credit: "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," Harry said during an interview with Newsweek. 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