Princes William and Harry were reportedly “haunted” by their last phone call with their mother, the late Princess Diana, that occurred in 1997 one day prior to her death.
Readers Digest reported that the boys, then aged 15 and 12, last spoke to their beloved mother on August 30. This was one day before Princess Diana would die as the result of injuries sustained in a horrific car crash in Paris that killed her companion Dodi Fayed and the car’s driver Henri Paul.
The princess reportedly called her sons, who were vacationing for the summer in Scotland with their father Prince Charles’ family. They were spending time with Queen Elizabeth at Balmoral Castle, the royal residence in Scotland. Balmoral is a summer getaway for the reigning monarch and her family. It is a place where they can go to unwind from royal life for the month of August away from their hectic lives at their main residence of Kensington Palace.
In the ITV documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince William revealed that when he last spoke to his mother, he quickly said goodbye to her, never realizing it would be the last time he ever spoke to her.
“Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, ‘see you later,'” Prince William said in the documentary.
“If I’d known now what was going to happen, I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it,” Prince Harry concurred with his brother’s statement. “But that phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily. Looking back on it now, it’s incredibly hard. I’ll have to sort of deal with that for the rest of my life. How differently that conversation could have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling her life was going to be taken that night.”
Good Housekeeping reported that Queen Elizabeth chose to protect her grandsons from the harrowing first hours after news of their mother’s death by not waking them immediately upon learning of the tragedy. Since the crash occurred just past midnight, the queen instructed her staff to allow her grandsons to sleep while she figured out the best way to break the news to them.
The publication also revealed that in the hours after telling the young boys of their mother’s death, the queen reportedly ordered her staff to move or hide all of the TVs and radios in Balmoral as an extra precaution. This was so the boys would not have to hear repeated news accounts regarding their mother’s death.
It was Diana’s ex-husband Prince Charles, whom she had divorced one year earlier, that ultimately broke the devastating news to their sons.
Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997, at the age of 36.