bitchy | Prince Harry is reminded of the worst part of his mom’s life whenever he hears a click
The press and the paparazzi made Princess Diana’s life hell for years. In an attempt to “manage” the narratives around her, Diana would often work with members of the press as well. She had her favorite journalists and favorite photographers, and she would often call them up to personally give them exclusives. My point is not “Diana worked with the press so she should have never criticized her treatment.” Not at all – I’m just saying there was more nuance to the situation around Diana entirely, and the media landscape was SO different in the 1980s and 1990s too. My point is also… while the paparazzi trailing Diana and Dodi Fayed had a hand in Diana’s death in 1997, Diana died because Henri Paul was drunk as a skunk AND speeding. Diana died because Dodi Fayed couldn’t decide where they should go and what they should do, and the Fayeds’ security team were doing a sh-tty job of protecting her. Again, there’s a lot of nuance there. It was never “the press killed Diana” case closed.
So…I’m not trying to tell Prince Harry or Prince William how to feel about their mother’s death. They can and should feel however they want, and of course they both have every right to talk about Diana and find inspiration from her memory. But I think they’ve both been sold a major lie, a lie they’ve clung to all of these years: the lie that their mother’s death is solely the fault of the press. It’s just not true. This came up again in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the documentary which will air this Sunday in the UK on ITV, and it will air next Wednesday on ABC here in America. Here’s what Harry said in a newly released clip:
In a newly released clip from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s upcoming ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the world-famous royal describes his late mother’s passing as a “wound that festers.” In discussing the media’s impact on his personal life, Harry remarked, “I think [of] 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.”
Prince Harry was just 12-years-old when Princess Diana died in a 1997 car crash while attempting to escape the paparazzi. The Duke has made it his life’s mission to continue Diana’s philanthropic efforts, and did so during the Africa trip by walking through the same active minefield Diana famously did to help raise awareness for landmine clearing. “Being here now 22 years later, trying to finish what she started will be incredibly emotional but everything that I do reminds me of her,” Prince Harry explained. “But as I said, with the role, with the job, and the sort of the pressures that come with that, I get reminded of the bad stuff usually.”
I’m including the clip below. I get that Harry is legitimately worried about how the press is treating his wife, and I completely understand the parallels between the press harassment of Diana and the racist smear campaign against Meghan. That’s legit. It also doesn’t help that Meghan is a lot like Diana – a photogenic, glamorous, philanthropic people-person with a lot of emotional intelligence. Of course there’s media interest in Meghan, just as there was interest in Diana. Meghan has become “the big show” in the Royal Family, much like Diana was the biggest headline in her lifetime. But again, the press didn’t kill Diana. I feel like… Harry needs to actually read some of the sh-t from all of the official inquiries into his mother’s death, honestly.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Backgrid.