Like most people around the world, I was shocked when Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in 1997. What a waste of life! I felt sorry for her two boys who had just lost their mother in the most dramatic and public fashion.
Fast forward to 2017, 20 years after the event. And we have her youngest boy, Prince Harry looking back at what must have been one of the most traumatic event in his life, and saying in an interview: “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. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
Sorry Harry, but today, the same thing would have happened..
The BBC notes that the comment by the young royal “contain an implied criticism of his immediate family.”
The broadcaster said: “They could have decided in 1997 that he was too young to walk, so publicly, behind Diana’s coffin.”
Hmmm. … the media does indeed have a very short memory.
Why did Harry together with brother Prince William, their father Prince Charles and their grandfather Prince Philip, walk behind Diana’s coffin? Of course, let us not forget Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, who famously slammed the royal family in his eulogy.
Prince Harry was not blaming the royal family. He was blaming the media. He was blaming the public that the royal family worked so hard to serve.
Following the aftermath of Diana’s death, the royal family stayed firmly rooted in Balmoral as the media, backed by public outcry, slammed the Queen for her insensitivity in dealing with the death of the very much loved Diana.
I never really understood the outcry. I never really understood, why days after her death, the Queen, Prince Charles and the two grieving boys, were forced to disembark from their cars in London, to view the large display of flowers, cards and gifts placed by the public at Buckingham Palace for Diana.
When the world’s TV cameras showed the boys, smartly dressed in suits and ties, walking around the sea of flowers, reading the cards and greeting members of the mourning public, my anger grew.
The grieving public wanted to see the royal family mourn. They wanted to see the two young boys – Prince Harry was only 12 years old at the time – walk around with a sad face. Why? Seriously, why?
I can only assume the Queen and Prince Charles were advised to take the boys and make a public display of them. Pressure was put on them. By whom, take a guess. And I can only assume that there was resistance to do so by the both of them. And rightly so.
I lost my father when I was 14 years old. It was a very heart rending and painful thing to go through. The last thing I wanted to do was to go out in the full glare of the public, dressed up and smile. But Prince Harry and Prince William did.
They should have been left in Balmoral. They should be in their pyjamas and dressing gowns, privately grieving for their mother with their father, grandmother and grandfather to comfort them. So what if their father is the heir to the throne and their grandmother the Queen of Great Britain.
As far as I was concerned, they were just two poor boys who had just lost their mother.
They should NOT have been forced to put on fancy clothes and put on a brave front to face the public. Who made them do that?
Any counsellor will say that to thrust the two boys so soon in the public eye, to “do their public duty, was nothing short of cruel and heartless. That is what the British media did. That is what the British public wanted.
So don’t be surprised if the royal boys are not too thrilled by the media. And let’s not forget how photographers – freelancers or newspaper-employed – harassed their mother right up to her death. Then the focus turned to Harry and William. And sadly now Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Come on guys, leave the boys alone. They have done well in talking about their mother’s death in the hope to help others to open up and talk about their own internal conflicts. But let’s stop blaming anyone for what they went through, least of all their immediate family members.
If you are looking for someone to blame, look at yourself.