Prince Harry claims he didn’t get a hug from father King Charles III after the tragic death of his beloved mother, Princess Diana.
“Dad didn’t hug me. He wasn’t good at showing emotion under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show it in such a crisis?” the Duke of Sussex, 38, writes in his new memoir: “Spare.”
“His hand fell on my knee one more time and he said, ‘It’s going to be okay.’ That was quite a lot for him. Paternal, hopeful, kind. And so incredibly untrue.”
Harry continues the conversation he had with his father after his mother died in 1997. He was only 12 years old when she died.
“[Dad] sat on the edge of the bed. He put a hand on my knee. “My dear boy, Mum was in a car accident,” Harry recalled in the memoir.
“I remember thinking: Crash… OK. But she’s okay? Yes? I vividly remember that thought that flashed through my head. And I remember waiting patiently for Dad to confirm that Mom was indeed okay. And I remember he didn’t.”
Harry explains that he then began to feel an “internal shift” when he knew what was coming next.
“I started silently begging Dad, or God, or both: no, no, no,” he shares.
The Duke of Sussex also describes how his father, 74, told him of the medical “complications” and a “head injury” following Princess Diana’s car accident in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.
“‘Mum was pretty badly injured and taken to hospital, sweet boy,’” said Charles, per Harry. “He used to call me ‘dear boy’, but he used to say it quite often now. His voice was soft. He was in shock, it seemed.”
Harry says he still believes that somehow doctors can “cure her head” and that he can see her “at the latest tonight.”
“They tried, dear boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it,” Harry recalled his father telling him. “These sentences stick in my mind like darts in a board. He said it that way, I’m sure. She didn’t make it. And then everything seemed to come to a halt.”
Harry also recalls collapsing at his mother’s funeral in Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997.
“My body jerked and my chin dropped and I started sobbing uncontrollably into my hands. I was ashamed that I had violated the family ethos, but I couldn’t stand it any longer,” he writes.
Despite attending the funeral and hearing about the “official” events of the accident, Harry found himself convinced that his mother had “staged an accident” to get out of her “miserable” life in the spotlight.
Harry was later asked to write a “final” letter to his mother. He says this is when he really understood that she was gone for good.
“I wish I had dug deep, told my mom everything that was on my heart, especially my regret about the last time we spoke on the phone,” he writes. “She had called early in the evening, the night of the accident, but I was running around with Willy and my cousins and wouldn’t stop playing.
So I had been with her briefly. Impatient to get back to my games, I had chased Mom off the road phone,” he continues. “I wish I had apologized for it. I wish I had searched for the words to describe how much I loved her. I didn’t know that the search would take decades.”
In ‘Spare’, which hits US bookshelves on January 10, Harry also elaborates on his tense relationship with his brother, Prince William, who lives as a ‘spare’ for the ‘heir’, and Charles jokes about who his “real” father is, among many other stories.