The late Princess Diana died in August 1997 after a horrifying car accident in Paris. At the time, her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were just 15 and 12 years old, respectively. Like anyone at that age losing a parent, the loss is unbelievable, and it sticks with them to this day. In Harry’s upcoming tell-all memoir, Spare, the royal gets candid about losing his mother at a young age and revealed what him and his brother did (or attempted to do) to get closure.
Years after her death, the two brothers found themselves in Paris together and decided to drive through the tunnel the accident occurred, Page Six reported. “We zipped ahead, went over the lip at the tunnel’s entrance, the bump that supposedly sent Mummy’s Mercedes veering off course but the lip was nothing,” Harry recalled, per Us Weekly. “We barely felt it.”
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He continued, “I’d always imagined the tunnel as some treacherous passageway, inherently dangerous, but it was just a short, simple, no-frills tunnel. No reason anyone should ever die inside it.”
After the shocking realization, the two siblings talked about their mother’s death to each other for the first time. “We talked about the recent inquest. A joke, we both agreed,” Harry recalled, per Page Six. “The final written report was an insult. Fanciful, riddled with basic factual errors and gaping logical holes. It raised more questions than it answered.”
Wanting to get to the bottom of what happened, the two brothers then called for the death inquiry to be reopened, but, according to Harry, “we were talked out of it by the powers that be.” We can’t imagine how hard that must’ve been.
Also in the book, Page Six revealed, Harry shared his reaction to reading the accident’s police files many years later. “There were lights around her, auras, almost halos,” he recalled of the images. “As I realized their true origin, my stomach clenched. Flashes. They were [paparazzi photo] flashes.”
He continued, “I hadn’t been aware, before this moment, that the last thing Mummy saw on this earth was a flashbulb.” Such a heartbreaking realization.
Also regarding his mother’s passing, the royal talked about what 12-year-old Harry thought of when he found out the news at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with his grandparents. “With nothing to do but roam the castle and talk to myself, a suspicion took hold, which then became a firm belief,” he wrote, “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,” he explained. “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.”
Though the many years (and police files) since convinced Harry that his mother actually died and didn’t trick anyone, we also understand that the circumstances around her death has raised many questions. We hope one day both Harry and William get enough closure.
Spare by Prince Harry $22.40
Before you go, click here to see the 8 compelling & heartbreaking details we learned about Princess Diana from Meghan & Harry’s docuseries.
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