In a heartbreaking interview given during the filming of ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Prince Harry told anchor Tom Bradby that every new camera flash he sees reminds him of his late, beloved mother, Princess Diana. "Being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back. So in that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life, as opposed to the best."
The visible emotional Harry added: "Being here now, 22 years later, trying to finish what she started, will be incredibly emotional. But everything I do reminds me of her."
Diana, a famously hands-on and affectionate mother to sons William and Harry, was hounded by the press throughout her life. Her death in 1997 occurred when the car she was traveling in crashed into the side of a Paris tunnel in an effort to escape a horde of photographers. Harry has made clear he at least partially attributes her death to the press spotlight that dominated her life: "I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces," he wrote in a powerful open letter announcing his decision to take legal action against members of the Britain press corps.
Prince Harry has said that his trip to Africa, and indeed much of the causes he commits his life to, is in tribute to his late mother, and is part of his effort to continue the work Diana did. The prince has also incorporated Diana's memory into his life with Meghan; Meghan's engagement ring includes diamonds from Diana's personal collection, and she often wears Diana's jewelry for important occasions. In the couple's engagement interview, Meghan noted: "Not being able to meet his mom, it's so important to me to know that she's a part of this with us."
In his interview with Tom Bradby, Harry answered with candor when asked whether he feels at peace with his mom's passing, or whether it is "a wound that festers." Harry responded: "I think, probably, a wound that festers."
Harry has been equally frank about the mental health difficulties he faced in the years after his mother's death. “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well," he said in a 2017 interview.
He added that he'd tried desperately to cope by not thinking about his mom or talking about her: "My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?” Harry told Gordon. “[I thought] it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back." Last year, in a separate interview, he noted: "I really regret not ever talking about it."
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