Losing a parent at a young age will always be devastating – but for Prince William there was the extra trauma that his mourning process took place for the whole world.
The future king was only 15 years old when Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in a tunnel in Paris in August 1997.
In the days after her death, William endured situations that no one would ever want a teenager.
Heartbroken, he walked behind her mother’s coffin during her funeral procession, watched by millions, and came face to face with the deluge of sorrow as he wrestled with his.
There was only one other person in the world who understood the extent of William’s pain: his 12-year-old brother.
Thanks to the guidance of Princess Diana during their lives, William knew how important it was to hold onto Harry while they were living for a life without their mother.
“That’s what Diana instilled in them … that they were each other’s rock, that they were there for each other,” explains royal commentator Victoria Arbiter in the final episode of 9Honey’s royal podcast, The Windsors.
“But when they suddenly lost their mother, they became the only two individuals on the planet who understand what it is to walk in each other’s shoes.
“They both lost a mother where they were incredibly close, they both had to walk behind her funeral procession, they both had to deal with the consequences.
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“They listened to the public wailing – an audience that Diana had never met before, and this was their mother.
“So I think both brothers have always been equally protective of each other.”
Listen to ‘A King for the People’, the latest episode of The Windsors, to understand why Diana’s death was particularly spooky for her first-born son.