Prince Harry was just 12 years old when his mother Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident on Aug. 31, 1997. His older brother Prince William was 15 years old at the time. After Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, rumors have swirled that Harry is not being supportive of William.
Princess Diana’s ‘Panorama’ interview
In 1995, Diana agreed to a BBC One Panorama interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir. The interview itself was controversial as Diana discussed her eating disorder, extramarital affairs, and Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
During the interview, Diana famously said “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, alleged that Bashir used forged bank statements to convince Diana to do the interview. BBC has since launched an independent investigation into the interview.
On Nov. 19, Kensington Palace said in a statement that Prince William “tentatively welcomed the investigation.”
“The independent investigation is a step in the right direction,” William said in the statement. “It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”
Prince Harry was criticized for not speaking up
While William issued a statement, Harry did not. This resulted in newspapers criticizing Harry for not supporting his brother and therefore not supporting Diana’s legacy.
A source close to Harry spoke to Entertainment Tonight and assured the public that the Duke of Sussex is aware of the investigation.
“Harry is getting regular updates and is aware of everything that is happening,” the source told ET. “You do not need a public statement to imagine how he is feeling privately, people know how much his mother means to him. He has bravely spoken out in the past about loss and grief, and the immense impact it has had on him.”
The source added that the rumors seemed like an attempt to convince the public there were problems between William and Harry.
“Sadly, some people are not just seeing this as a drive for truth, but also trying to use this as an opportunity to try to drive a wedge between the brothers,” said the source.
Prince Harry on Princess Diana’s death
Harry has long been open that his mother’s untimely death affected him. In a 2017 interview with Dave Henson on Forces TV, he shared that two tours in Afghanistan as an Apache pilot forced him to confront how he felt.
“If you lose your mum at the age of 12, you have got to deal with it,” Harry said in the interview. “The idea that 20 years later I still hadn’t really… that 15, 17 years later I still hadn’t dealt with it. Afghan was the moment where I was like, ‘Right, deal with it.’”
Harry also admitted that he experienced panic attacks when he attended public engagements.
“In my case, suit and tie, every single time I was in any room with loads of people, which is quite often, I was just pouring with sweat, like heart beating – boom, boom, boom, boom – and literally just like a washing machine,” he said in the interview.
After encouragement from William, Harry sought out support for his mental health and began counseling.