Diana, as seen through the eyes of her sons

Wil­liam and Harry on why they’ve de­cided to share their per­sonal fam­ily pho­tos for the first time Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy MON­DAY / ITV / 9.00PM

TV Times - - My Tv Week - caren clark

Af­ter the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a car crash in Paris on 31 Au­gust 1997, a stunned na­tion mourned the pass­ing of one of the most fa­mous women in the world, while her sons, Wil­liam and Harry, then just 15 and 12, were grief-stricken at the loss of their beloved mum.

This week, to mark the forth­com­ing 20th an­niver­sary of her death, ITV’S doc­u­men­tary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy sees the princes give a heart-rend­ing in­ter­view about the im­pact she had on them.

‘This is the first time the two of us have ever spo­ken about her as a mother,’ says

Prince Harry, 32. ‘She was the best mum in the world. She smoth­ered us with love, that’s for sure.’

The deep bond be­tween Diana and her sons is ev­i­dent in the never-be­fore-seen per­sonal fam­ily pho­to­graphs that Wil­liam and Harry share in the doc­u­men­tary, along with their rec­ol­lec­tions of the fun they ex­pe­ri­enced with her.

There’s a touch­ing mo­ment where Wil­liam stud­ies a pic­ture of his mum hold­ing him as a young boy and says to Harry: ‘Be­lieve it or not, you and I are both in this photo – you’re in the tummy!’

Diana fa­mously took her sons to a theme park for a day out in 1993, with all three laugh­ing as they were drenched on a log flume ride. It was sym­bolic of the way Diana wanted her boys to en­joy as nor­mal an up­bring­ing as pos­si­ble, and Wil­liam, 35, says that his mother had a mis­chievous spirit. ‘She was very in­for­mal and re­ally en­joyed laugh­ter and fun,’ he re­veals. ‘But she un­der­stood that there was a real life out­side the Palace walls.’

The princes re­call their mother’s love of play­ing prac­ti­cal jokes on them

– ‘She was such a naughty par­ent,’ says Harry – but they also speak pow­er­fully about her death and how they pro­cessed their grief. ‘They talk about how she gave them the tools they needed to cope with any­thing that life threw at them,’ says the doc­u­men­tary’s pro­ducer Ash­ley Gething.

‘They still feel her pres­ence and her love, but there’s also this hole in their lives,’

Ash­ley con­tin­ues. ‘You see them re­mem­ber­ing things that they hadn’t thought about for a long time and the pain of that comes through on screen.’

Wil­liam is de­ter­mined that his mother re­mains a part of his chil­dren’s lives. ‘The

prince re­ally tries to keep her mem­ory alive for them,’ says Ash­ley. ‘He talks on cam­era about the grand­mother he thinks she would have been, and it’s very sweet and poignant, too.

‘As we fol­lowed them do­ing their char­ity work, we could see that they have in­her­ited dif­fer­ent traits from her. Wil­liam has her abil­ity to lis­ten and sen­si­tiv­ity, while Harry has her spon­tane­ity, fun and silli­ness in spades.’

The film-mak­ers also in­ter­viewed her brother, Earl Spencer, her staff, some of her old­est friends,

and mem­bers of the public who were touched by her. ‘These are peo­ple she met in her work­ing life, from HIV suf­fer­ers to land­mine vic­tims,’ says Ash­ley, who hopes the film will help ex­plain the over­whelm­ing public reaction to her death. ‘Hear­ing what she was like as a mother or a friend, or what two am­putee Bos­nian boys re­call about meet­ing her, you re­alise this is why mil­lions of peo­ple came out onto the streets of Lon­don af­ter her death, be­cause, some­how, we all un­der­stood her love.’

Fam­ily por­trait: Diana and her sons in 1995

Army train­ing: Harry, al­most two, at High­grove House in 1986 Page turner: The two princes leaf through the fam­ily al­bum Pedal power: Wil­liam in the Scilly Isles in 1989

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