Prince William and Prince Harry experienced the death of their mother, Princess Diana, when they were 15 and 12 years old, respectively. This was no doubt a challenging time for William and Diana. Fortunately, many family members rallied around the princes and helped them through their grief.
Queen Elizabeth let Prince William and Prince Harry stay at Balmoral
When Diana’s car crash occurred during the early hours of August 31, 1997, William and Harry were in Scotland. The princes were staying at Balmoral Castle with Queen Elizabeth.
After news of the crash made its way around the world, Her Majesty decided to shield William and Harry from the media coverage. She let them continue to stay at Balmoral. According to Popsugar, she also ordered all television and radio at Balmoral to be removed from the place.
Journalist Rachel Bowie said on the podcast Royally Obsessed, as reported by Express, “[Balmoral is] also the place where William and Harry found out that Diana had died, and the Queen, people weren’t happy with her choice but she kept William and Harry there in those days after learning that Diana had passed away. She considered it a place to hibernate so it makes sense that the Queen made that choice.”
Zara Tindall tried to create a positive atmosphere for her cousin
Another royal who tried to help William and Harry is their cousin Zara Tindall. Zara is Princess Anne’s daughter who is older than William and Harry by a few years.
“William and Harry are the closest cousins that Zara has got within the Royal Family,” biographer Brian Hoey said, according to Express. “They lost their mother at that comparatively early age back in 1997. Zara seemed to grow even closer to them. Not long after Diana died, the Prince of Wales decided they should all go on a skiing holiday. Zara tried to sort of cheer them both up and throw snowballs and they’d have a wrestle in the snow.”
Hoey said Tindall was “an enormous help” to the princes, which is why they continue to have “a huge affection” for her.
Prince Charles ‘stepped up’ as a parent
Diana’s death left Prince Charles as William and Harry’s sole surviving parent. The princes were teenagers at the time, and Charles reportedly did his best to help support them, especially because Diana was the more hands-on parent before her death.
“We can see that in the hugging, the laughing, the cuddling that she did. After her death, it changes completely,” royal commentator Lady Julie Montagu said, according to Marie Claire. “He really stepped up in that parenting role when he needed to.”
Harry acknowledged Charles’ efforts as well in the 2017 documentary, Diana, 7 Days.
“[Our dad] was there for us—he was the one out of two left, and he tried to do his best and to make sure that we were protected and looked after,” Harry said before adding, “But he was going through the same grieving process as well.”
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