LONDON — Prince Harry and his older brother, Prince William, believed for “many years” that their mother, Princess Diana, may have faked her death and would one day return to their lives, the duke said in an interview Sunday.
Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997, when Harry was 12 and William was 15. The princess, who was a subject of fascination and scrutiny for the British tabloids and media outlets around the world, was being hounded by paparazzi in the moments before her death.
What happened on the evening of Aug. 31 become the focus of lengthy investigations, as well as conspiracy theories that live on today.
“Maybe this is all part of a plan,” Harry said he thought once. “I had huge amounts of hope,” adding that William — who is next in line to the British throne — had “similar thoughts.”
Quoting an extract from Harry’s memoir, “Spare,” which publishes Tuesday, Cooper said: “You write in the book, you say, ‘I’d often say it to myself first thing in the morning, maybe this is the day. Maybe this is the day that she’s gonna reappear.’”
Prince Harry said that for years after his mother Princess Diana’s death, he believed she had disappeared and would one day return. Searching for proof, Harry asked to see the police files of the crash that caused his mother’s death. https://t.co/Pq5F644mVs pic.twitter.com/s7MRFcuuU5
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) January 9, 2023
Harry, who now lives in California with his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and their two children, said he held on to the belief that Diana was still alive until she was an adult. At 23, as he visited Paris for the first time, Harry said, he asked a taxi driver to drive him through the same tunnel where Diana was killed along with her partner, Dodi al-Fayed, and driver Henri Paul.
The driver was asked to drive at the same speed that Diana was traveling at before her death, he said.
“I need to take this journey; I need to ride the same route. All of it,” Harry told Cooper.
Harry writes in “Spare” that he and William weren’t satisfied with the results of an investigation led by London’s Metropolitan Police that concluded Diana’s driver was drunk at the time of the crash. He said the brothers “considered reopening the inquest” because of the lack of clarity on Diana’s final moments.
“There were so many gaps and so many holes in it,” Harry told Cooper.
When asked whether he would still like to launch an investigation, Harry replied, “I don’t even know if it’s an option now.” It’s a hell of a question, Anderson.”
“Do I need any more than I already know? No,” he concluded. “I don’t think it would change much.”
The prince said he examined photographs documenting the aftermath of the fatal collision.
“All I saw was the back of my mum’s head — slumped on the back seat,” Harry said, adding that he was advised by his private secretary not to look at some of the other photos, which were more graphic.
The prince said he wanted to see the images as “proof” his mother was “in the car” on Aug. 31, 1997, “proof she was injured,” and “proof that the very paparazzi that chased her into the tunnel were the very ones taking photographs of her lying half dead.”
“The last thing Mummy saw was a flash bulb,” Harry writes in “Spare.”
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