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Harry recalls moment Charles woke him up with the news of his mum Diana’s death

3 min read

Prince Harry has relived the moment when his dad Charles woke him up with the news of his mother's death.

King Charles sat down on his son's sunken bed, repeatedly saying "darling boy" as he struggled to get the words out, Harry told Tom Bradby in his ITV interview this evening.

Harry tells of how he initially thought mum Diana was just injured and that he'd be able to see her in hospital that evening – only to be told doctors did their best to "fix her head", but failed.

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Harry: The Interview, an ITN Production, aired on ITV 9 pm. During this, extracts from the Spare audiobook, which was recorded by Harry himself, were played.

In one passage, the Prince stated his father King Charles sat on the edge of his bed at Balmoral and told him "Darling boy, Mummy’s been in a car crash".

The 38-year-old recalls: “I remember thinking, ‘Crash okay? But she’s alright, yes?’.

“I vividly remember that thought flashing through my mind and I remember waiting patiently for Pa to confirm that indeed, Mummy was alright, and I remember him not doing that.

“There was then a shift internally. I began silently pleading with Pa, or God, or both.”

Harry says his father didn’t meet his gaze, instead staring down into the folds of the old quits and blankets as he softly explained Diana had suffered a serious head injury and had been taken to hospital.

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“He always called me darling boy, but he was saying it quite a lot now,” the Duke of Sussex added.

“Did he mention paparazzi? Did he say she’d been chased? I don’t think so. I can’t swear to it but probably not. The paps were such a problem for Mummy, for everyone, it didn’t need to be said.

“I thought again ‘injured but she’s okay, she’s been taken to hospital, they’ll fix her head, and we’ll go and see her. Today, tonight at the latest’.”

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It was then his father told him that Diana had not survived her injuries. Charles allegedly said: “They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it.”

Speaking during the ITV interview with Tom Bradby, Harry addressed the passage.

He said: “Um, you know, thinking back to when I was 12 years old, sitting in that sunken bed, um, at Balmoral Castle, I went, I took myself back to that moment and tried to remember as much as possible.

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“You know, my father coming in, in his dressing gown and sharing that news with me, only now as part of writing the book, that I really think about how many hours he’d been awake.

“And the compassion that I have for him, as a parent having to sit with that for many, many hours, ringing up friends of his, trying to work out, how the hell do I break this to my two sons?

“And I never want to be in that position, part of the reason why we are here now, I never ever want to be in that position. I don’t want history to repeat itself. I do not want to be a single dad. And I certainly don’t want my children to have a life without a mother or a father.”

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