Prince Harry emotionally described in his new memoir the moment King Charles broke the news to him of his mother Princess Diana’s death – noting his father did not hug him as the young prince struggled to process the loss.
Harry, now 38, recalled how he was a few weeks shy of his 13th birthday when Diana, 37, was killed in a car accident in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997 alongside her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, and driver Henri Paul.
“‘Darling boy, Mummy’s been in a car crash,’” Harry remembers his father, then the Prince of Wales, telling him at the time in “Spare,” which hits shelves on Jan. 10.
Harry recounted his father telling him that Diana suffered a head injury.
“She’s been taken to hospital, they’ll fix her head, and we’ll go and see her. Today. Tonight at the latest,” Harry recalled thinking.
But according to Harry, his typically stoic father seemed “in shock” before finally replying, “‘They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it.’”
“Pa didn’t hug me,” he writes of the aftermath of the devastating news.
“He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis?”
“But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said: ‘It’s going to be okay,’” he continues.
“That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue.”
Harry, who now shares two young children with his wife, Meghan Markle, also recounts how, in his dizzying grief, he became obsessed with the idea that his mother might still be alive.
“With nothing to do but roam the castle and talk to myself, a suspicion took hold [that she staged the accident], which then became a firm belief,” he admits.
The crushing description is one of several emotionally fraught moments in “Spare,” which details Harry’s childhood amid his parents’ tumultuous marriage and his wayward young adulthood, as well as his rift with his father and brother, Prince William, in the aftermath of Megxit.
In a clip of an upcoming ITV sit-down interview to promote the memoir, Harry declined to comment on whether he will attend King Charles’ coronation in May.
“The ball is in their court,” he said.