Prince Harry Says He Wishes Archie and Lili Could Have Met Princess Diana

She died 25 years ago this week.

Prince Harry and Princess Diana
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A quarter-century ago, the world lost the most famous woman on the planet—and two boys lost a beloved mother. Princess Diana died in a Parisian car crash on August 31, 1997—at the time, Prince Harry was only 12, a couple of weeks away from his thirteenth birthday. Cut to present day: he is nearing turning 38 on September 15, and took to the stage to reflect on his late mother while playing polo in Aspen, Colorado on Thursday.

“Next week is the 25th anniversary of my mother’s death, and she most certainly will never be forgotten,” Harry said at the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup (per Us). “I want it to be a day filled with memories of her incredible work and love for the way that she did it. I want it to be a day to share the spirit of my mum with my family, with my children—who I wish could have met her.”

At the event, Harry was paying tribute to the late Princess of Wales’ legacy of public service. Harry founded Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho back in 2006; the organization works to support children and young people in South Africa whose lives have been affected by poverty, inequality, and HIV/AIDS—a cause close to Diana’s heart.

During the speech, Harry remarked that he and Prince Seeiso established Sentebale to honor each of their late mothers, noting that “Sentebale” means “forget-me-not” in Sesotho, the primary language of Lesotho. (Royal trivia: Forget-me-nots were also Diana’s favorite flower.)

Harry—who shares son Archie and daughter Lili with wife Meghan Markle—spoke to Today’s Hoda Kotb in April about how open he and Meghan are with Archie (and presumably Lili as well, as she gets older) about their late grandmother Diana.

“[We] very much so [talk about her],” he said. “I don’t tell him all the stuff that happened but certainly, ‘This is Grandma Diana.’ We’ve got pictures up in the house.”

In his docuseries The Me You Can’t See, Harry revealed there is a photo of Diana in Archie’s nursery.

“I wish she was around for Archie,” he said in the May 2021 documentary, released one month before Lili’s birth that June. “One of the first words that he said, apart from ‘Mama’ [and] ‘Papa,’ was then ‘Grandma, Grandma Diana.’ It’s the sweetest thing. At the same time, it makes me really sad, because she should be here.”

Harry spoke in the Today interview about his mother’s “constant” presence in his life, noting that he feels her presence “more so than ever before” since the couple relocated to California in 2020.

“It’s almost as if she’s done her bit with my brother [Prince William], and now she’s very much helping me…He’s got his kids, I’ve got my kids. The circumstances are obviously different, but I feel her presence almost daily…She’s watching over us,” he said.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.