Prince Harry opens up about losing his mother at such a young age

Harry was just 12 when Princess Diana died.
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Prince Harry recently spoke with Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity he’s been associated with for a long time, about the feelings he had after learning of the death of Princess Diana.

Harry revealed that it was his mother’s tragic death that inspired him to get involved with the charity. He has now been a global ambassador for the UK-based group which supports the children of soldiers who were killed in action, since November 2023.

“I was 12,” he said in conversation with the organisations founder Nikki Scott, the widow of Corporal Lee Scott, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. “You were an adult but it seems to be the same, which is you convince yourself that the person that you’ve lost wants you or you need to be sad for as long as possible to prove to them that they’re missed.”

“Then… there’s this realization of no, they must want me to be happy,” he added.

Princess Diana passed away on August 31, 1997. (Credit: Getty)

Over the years, Prince Harry has discussed how he handled the death of his mother at such as young age. In his 2023 memoir Spare, he even discussed the feeling of denial he felt after learning of her passing.

Scott revealed she resonated with this feeling in her own experiences. “I have dreams—interestingly, you know, I’ve been reading your book—just about that denial of it’s not actually happened,” she said.

“I still now wake up and think, ‘It was a cover-up,'” she told Harry.

Prince Harry has previously revealed that returning home from his second tour of Afghanistan triggered the “trauma” of losing his mother.

Harry said Afghanistan triggered the “trauma.” (Credit: Getty)

While speaking in his Netflix documentary, Heart of Invictus, Prince Harry claimed he had no “support.”

“From my personal experience, my tour of Afghanistan in 2012, flying Apaches, somewhere after that there was an unravelling,” the Prince said.

“And the trigger to me was returning to Afghanistan, but the stuff that was coming up was from 1997 from the age of 12.

“Losing my mum at such a young age, the trauma that I had I was never really aware of. It was never discussed, I never really talked about it and I suppressed it like most youngsters would have done.”

WATCH: Prince Harry says Botswana helped him deal with Diana’s death.

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The five-part docuseries follows injured veterans and the Duke of Sussex, who confessed the “biggest struggle” returning home was that “no one around me really could help.”

“I didn’t have that support structure, that network or that expert advice to identify what was actually going on with me,” he said, speaking from the Sussexes family home in Montecito.

“Unfortunately, like most of us, the first time you consider therapy is when you are lying on the floor in the foetal position probably wishing you had dealt with some of this stuff previously. And that’s what I really want to change.”

Charles Spencer, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles standing together outside Westminster Abbey during funeral of Princess Diana.
Princess Diana’s funeral was held on September 6, 1997. (Credit: Getty)

This isn’t the first time Prince Harry’s “trauma” over losing his mother has been discussed.

In November 2022, author Christopher Anderson claimed King Charles held one regret regarding Princess Diana’s funeral – making his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry walk behind their mother’s coffin.

“I think it haunts him because it haunts them, and they’ve spoken about it,” he told Us Weekly. “I’ve written that I believe it’s a form of PTSD.”

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