Princess Diana ‘so present’ in the modern day says royal expert
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this week travelled to France to attend the wedding of James Middleton and Alizee Thevenet. James, Kate’s 34-year-old brother, is known to share a close relationship with his older sister. She and William were accompanied by their children Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, according to reports.
Also in tow was Pippa Middleton, her husband James Matthews and their two children Arthur and Grace.
It will likely have been a welcome reprieve for William, who in recent months has faced increased media attention following his and the Royal Family’s fallout with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Tensions were at an all-time high after the pair sat down with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey and aimed several allegations at the Firm including on racism and failure to help Meghan’s mental health struggles.
This latter point was particularly focused on, with much alluding to Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Royal Family’s perceived failures to help her as she grappled with ill mental health.
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Diana has been a fixture of William and Harry’s lives ever since.
Many have compared the two to their parents — more often than not Harry with Diana, William with Charles.
Yet, speaking during Real Stories’ documentary, ‘Prince Charles and Prince William: Royal Rivals?’, royal author Judy Wade said William was made like a “Spencer” — his mother’s side of the family.
She said Diana would be the one to spot this “steely” trait.
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She explained: “I do think Diana, if she could see William today, would think that he’s got a lot of Spencer in him.
“First of all he’s got her steely determination.
“He wants what he wants when he wants it, and he gets what he wants normally.”
Diana died in a tragic car accident in Paris in 1997.
While William has previously opened up about the grief and pain he suffered in the wake of her death, it is Harry who has spoken out in most detail.
He previously noted how in early adulthood, he blocked out the memory of his mother by becoming “Crazy Harry”, known for partying and shenanigans.
In 2017, he explained that the idea wrongly helped him to believe that “life is great, life is fine”.
However, he added: “And then I started to have a few conversations.
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“And actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was, like, ‘there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.'”
This year, he delved into the subject deeper during the first episode of his and Ms Winfrey’s new Apple TV+ series, ‘The Me You Can’t See’.
He said: “Unfortunately when I think about my mum the first thing that comes to mind is always the same one, over and over again: Strapped in the car, seatbelt across.
“My brother in the car as well, and my mother driving and being chased by three, four, five mopeds with paparazzi on.
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“She was almost unable to drive because of the tears, there was no protection.
“One of the feelings that come up is helplessness.
“Being too young, being a guy too young to be able to help a woman, in this case, your mother.
“And that happened every single day until the day she died.”
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William, meanwhile, has told of how he learned of the death while in Scotland.
Speaking to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May, he said while the country held some of his fondest memories, it also held the saddest.
He said: “I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died.
“Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning.
“And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors.
“As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.”