When Princess Diana died on Aug. 31, 1997, she left behind two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. William and Harry were 15 and 12, respectively, at the time and wrapping up their summer with their grandmother Queen Elizabeth II — who died on Sept. 8, 2022, at age 96 — at Balmoral Castle in Scotland when they found out about the tragic news. On the 20th anniversary of her death, William said he still felt the shock of the tragedy.
“The shock is the biggest thing,” he shared in a BBC documentary. “I still have shock within me. You know, 20 years later. People go ‘shock can’t last that long’ but it does. You never get over it. It’s such an unbelievably big moment in your life that it never leaves you, you just learn to deal with it.”
In 2017, William and Harry set up a memorial at Buckingham Palace to honor their mother’s 20th anniversary. They selected most of the items for the display, which included a pair of Diana’s beloved ballet shoes, a personalized school trunk, her old Kensington Palace desk, and a case full of her cassettes featuring albums by Diana Ross, Elton John, and George Michael. William and Harry also released a handful of sweet photographs from Diana’s personal photo album, which were featured in their documentary for ITV and HBO, “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy.”
Now, 25 years later, recollections of Diana still linger, though according to Harry’s Netflix docuseries, “Harry & Meghan,” he doesn’t have many “early memories” of her. “The majority of my memories are being swarmed by paparazzi,” he says in the docuseries. “Rarely would we have a holiday without someone with a camera jumping out of a bush. Within the family, the system, the advice is always ‘don’t react, don’t feed into it.'”
Harry also honored his mother by saying her spirit continues to influence him today. “[The] difference between making decisions with your head or your heart. My mom certainly made most of her decisions, if not all of them, from her heart,” Harry adds in the documentary. “And I am my mother’s son.”