Prince Harry describes how he found out about his mother’s death – 60 Minutes

Prince Harry was 12 when his mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a car accident in Paris. It was August 1997 and Harry was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with other members of the royal family. In his book, “Spare”, Harry described the moment his father, Prince Charles, woke him up to tell him what had happened. Anderson Cooper asked Harry about it below their 60 Minutes interview.

“In the book you’re writing,” he says, “They tried, dear boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it.” Those sentences stick in my mind like arrows on a board, you say,” Cooper said. “Did you cry?”

“No. No. Never shed a single tear at that point,” Harry said. “I was in shock, you know? Twelve years old. Kind of—7, 7:30 in the morning, early. Your dad comes in, sits on your bed, puts his hand on your knee and tells you, ‘It’s been an accident.’ I couldn’t believe.”

“You write in the book,” Cooper said, “”Dad didn’t hug me. He was not good at showing emotions under normal circumstances. But his hand fell once more on my knee and he said, “It’s going to be okay.” But after that, nothing was good for a long time.'”

“No, nothing, nothing was alright,” Harry said.

Harry said his memories of the next few days are fragmented, but he clearly remembers greeting mourners outside Kensington Palace the day before his mother’s funeral.

When you see these videos now,” Cooper asked, “what do you think?”

“I think it’s bizarre, because I see William and me smiling. I remember the guilt I felt,” Harry said.

Harry said “the fact that the people we met showed more emotion than we showed, perhaps more emotion than we felt ourselves,” was the reason for his guilt.

“They cried, but you didn’t,” Cooper said.

“There were a lot of tears. I’m talking about how wet people’s hands were. And I couldn’t understand it at first,” Harry said. “Their hands were wet from wiping away their own tears. I remember one of the strangest parts of it was taking flowers from people and then putting the flowers with the rest of them. Like I was some kind of intermediary for their grief. And that really stood out to me.”

The funeral, on a chilly September morning, was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people around the world. Perhaps the most indelible image: Prince Harry and his brother Prince William walking behind their mother’s coffin on their way to Westminster Abbey. Cooper asked Harry what he remembered about the trip.

“How quiet it was,” Harry said with a sigh. “I remember the occasional complaint and scream from someone. I remember the horses’ hooves on the road. The horses’ bridles, the gun carriage, the wheels, the occasional pebble under your shoe. But mainly – the silence.”

After the service, Princess Diana’s body was brought to the family’s ancestral estate, Althorp.

“When my mother’s coffin actually went into the ground, that was the first time I actually cried,” Harry said. “There was never another time.”

“Throughout your teenage years,” Cooper asked, “didn’t you cry about it?”

“No,” Harry said.

It would be years before Harry did accept the mother’s passing.

CBS Mornings will have more from Anderson Cooper’s 60 Minutes interview with Prince Harry Monday.

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