Emmy GriffithsPrincess Diana quotes as remembered by Princes William & Harry. Her 2 sons give public insight into grief to mark 20th anniversary of mother’s death
Princes William and Harry lost their mother, Princess Diana, when they were just 15 and 12 respectively. Since her death, the pair have always spoken about her with devotion, and have given the public an insight into what she was like as a mother, and about their grief following her untimely death.
Speaking in an interview with GQ, Prince William opened up about his sadness that Diana will never know his children. "I would like to have had her advice," he said. "I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her."
In a BBC1 documentary, Princes William and Harry sat down to discuss their mother. William said: "Part of the reason why Harry and I want to do this is because we feel we owe it to her… I think an element of it is feeling like we let her down when we were younger. We couldn't protect her. We feel we at least owe her 20 years on to stand up for her name and remind everybody of the character and person that she was. Do our duties as sons in protecting her."
In the same GQ interview, William spoke about his grief after his mum died when he was just 15. "I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better," he said.
"It has taken me almost 20 years to get to that stage. I still find it difficult now, because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people's grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her."
Speaking in the BBC1 documentary, Harry said: "When she died there was such an outpour of emotion and love which was quite, which was shocking. It was beautiful at the same time, and it was amazing, now looking back at it, it was amazing that our mother had such a huge effect on so many people."
The proud son continued: "When you’re that young and something like that happens to you I think it’s lodged in here, there, wherever – in your heart, in your head and it stays there for a very very long time. I think it’s never going to be easy for the two of us to talk about our mother, but 20 years on seems like a good time to remind people of the difference that she made not just to the Royal Family but also to the world."
Shortly after announcing his engagement to Kate, Prince William spoke about giving his fiancee Diana's sapphire ring. "It's my mother's engagement ring," he said in their engagement interview. "So I thought it was quite nice. Obviously she's not around to share the fun and excitement of it all so this is my way of keeping her close to it all."
Remembering Diana fondly, Prince Harry said: "She was our mum. She still is our mum. And of course, as a son I would say this - she was the best mum in the world. She smothered us with love, that’s for sure."
The pair spoke about Diana's fun side, with Prince William saying: "She was very informal and really enjoyed the laughter and the fun," before Harry added: "She was one of the naughtiest parents."
In their documentary Diana, Our Mother, Harry elaborated, revealing: "She was one of the naughtiest parents. She would come and watch us play football and, you know, smuggle sweets into our socks. And I mean like literally walking back from a football match and having sort of five packets of Starburst. And just the whole shirt was just bulging with sweets and then sort of looking around, open the tuck box, throw it all in, lock it up."
Speaking about if Princess Diana would have been proud of the Head's Together campaign, Prince Harry said: "I hope so. I think she would be proud of the campaign, proud of everybody involved, proud of us. But specifically proud of the UK for having this conversation… From her perspective, she would be overwhelmed and hugely encouraged by the fact that the UK has sudden got to this point - and it's only taken a year. And specifically this week has really energised the whole nation."
Speaking about her passing, William said: "We felt, you know, incredibly loved, Harry and I, and I'm very grateful that that love still - still feels there, even 20 years on. And I think that's a huge credit to her that I - I can still feel that now."
He continued: "I think she'd be proud that Harry and I have managed to come through everything that's happened, having lost her, and that gives me positivity and strength to know that I can, I can face anything the world can throw at me."
During Diana: Our Mother, William joked that she would be a "nightmare" grandmother. He said: "She'd be a nightmare grandmother, absolute nightmare. She'd love the children to bits, but she'd be an absolute nightmare. She'd come and go and she'd come in probably at bath time, cause an amazing amount of scene, bubbles everywhere, bathwater all over the place and - and then leave."
Telling stories about their mum during their recent documentary, William said: "She was a massive card writer. She loved the rudest cards you could imagine. And I would be at school and I'd get a card from my mother. Usually she found something, you know, very embarrassing, you know, a very funny card, and then sort of wrote very nice stuff inside. But I dared not open it in case the teachers or anyone else in the class had seen it."
Speaking about a particularly funny memory, William said: "There's a couple of memories I have that are particularly funny. Just outside this room where we are now, she organised, when I came home from school to have Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell waiting at the top of the stairs. I was probably 12 or 13 year old boy who had posters of them on my wall and I went bright red and didn't quite know what to say and sort of fumbled, and I think I pretty much fell down the stairs on the way up. I was completely and utterly sort of awestruck. But that was a very funny memory that - that's lived with me forever about her loving and embarrassing and sort of, you know being - being the sort of the joker."
Don't miss HELLO!'s ultimate souvenir edition celebrating the Queen of Hearts, on sale now. The issue contains 148 pages of beautiful images and revealing interviews with those who knew Diana best. Her fashion, her inspirational humanitarian missions and love for the sons who now carry her flame forward – it's all there in this unmissable HELLO! special.