Losing one’s mother is never an easy thing to deal with. Regardless if it happens when you’re a child or older. Dealing with the death and going to the funeral is a lot to handle, especially when you have millions of people watching you.
That’s precisely what Prince Harry and Prince William had to go through when they lost their mother, Princess Diana. The two boys were 12 and 15 and both had to walk behind their mother’s coffin during the funeral back in 1997.
Lord Charles Spencer, a brother of Princess Diana, recently told the BBC that it was a “bizarre and cruel thing” for Diana’s sons to be forced to walk behind their mother’s funeral cortege.
Spencer told BBC’s Radio 4 program: “I was lied to and told that they wanted to do it, which of course they didn’t.”
According to ABC, Spencer put the blame on the palace courtiers and called that moment the “most horrifying half an hour of my life.”
At the time, William and Harry were just 15 and 12 when their mother died in a Paris car crash in August 1997.
ABC notes that the two brothers, along with their father, grandfather, and Spencer, had to walk behind the coffin as it made its way through the streets of London on September 6th, 1997.
According to ABC, at one point during the procession you could see Spencer standing by little Harry, patting him on the back, trying to give him some form of emotional support.
In an interview with Newsweek magazine published last month, Harry opened up for the first time publicly about what it was like to walk behind his mother’s coffin.
He said, “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.”
He continued, saying “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
Spencer is one of Diana’s three siblings. He told the BBC that to this day he is haunted by his sister’s funeral and even suffers nightmares from the ordeal.
He told them: “It was the worst part of the day by a considerable margin, walking behind my sister’s body with two boys who were obviously massively grieving their mother.”
He continued telling the BBC, “It was a sort of bizarre circumstance where we were told you just have to look straight ahead.”
Harry and William and other family members all gathered at Spencer’s home last month on Diana’s birthday to rededicate Diana’s grave.