When Princess Diana tragically died in August 1997, it seemed that the world stopped the following morning. This tragic event left everyone in shock, wondering what the next step for the royal family would be. As it usually happens with anyone’s sudden death, people don’t have much time to think about mourning because they have to plan the funeral very quickly. The same was in this case – the royal family couldn’t hide it from the world that they’re mourning their loved one, but they did their best to hide her death from the children for a couple of hours.
Namely, Prince William and Prince Harry were very young when their mother died (they were 15 and 12, respectively). So, the family was worried about their reaction when they hear about the tragic news. To protect them from such a shock as much as possible, they let them sleep in the morning after the car accident because they thought it was not a good idea to wake them up abruptly to tell them their mother passed away. Another thing the Queen did as a protective precaution was to ban mentioning Princess Diana’s name at the church service the morning after her death.
Furthermore, they also had all the TVs and radios in the home hidden or taken away to protect the boys from hearing about the details of their mother’s death. However, no matter how much they tried, naturally, they couldn’t save them from feeling confused and devastated.
As Tina Brown, Princess Diana’s biographer shared in the documentary, Diana: 7 Days That Shook The Windsors: “Prince Harry actually asked his father, ‘Is it true that Mummy’s dead?’ The children couldn’t understand why everything was as normal, except a couple of hours earlier they’d been told their mother had died.”
The royal family did their best to cushion the blow, but it’s simply impossible to protect anyone from such a tragic event and ease the pain of losing the most important person in one’s life.