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It took a long time for Prince Harry to accept the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
In a new tell-all interview with Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan, the Duke of Sussex describes the "defense mechanism" that had him convinced his mother had faked her own death and gone into "hiding." He writes about this "magical thinking" in his new memoir, Spare, which officially drops tomorrow, January 10.
"I think for anyone, especially if you're a kid—I was 12 years old," he tells Strahan. "I refused to accept that was what had happened."
In a leaked excerpt obtained by Page Six, Harry writes, "With nothing to do but roam the castle and talk to myself, a suspicion took hold, which then became a firm belief. This was all a trick. And for once the trick wasn’t being played by the people around me, or the press, but by Mummy. Her life’s been miserable, she’s been hounded, harassed, lied about, lied to. So she’s staged an accident as a diversion and run away."
Harry also writes about the morning of August 31, 1997, when his father, now King Charles III, announced Diana's death to him.
"It was really important to be able to sketch that scene and share with people where my story really began," Harry explains in his GMA interview. "As a dad, I would never, ever want to have to break that news ever, so I have a huge amount of sympathy and compassion and understanding now about how ill-equipped I guess my dad was, how ill-equipped anybody would be in that situation."
He adds, "I don't think my family knew what to do. I don't think they knew what to do, and I can't say whether other families would've done a better job."
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