The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have commissioned two television documentaries to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Some of William and Harry’s close friends and relatives will speak publicly about Diana’s death for the first time, and it is thought the Princes will also feature in the programmes. A close friend of Diana’s, Julie Samuel, who is godmother to Prince George, is rumoured to appear in the documentaries, as well as Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer.
A source told The Sunday Times: “The Duke and Prince Harry have selected close friends and family members to speak about Diana, and some will be speaking about her publicly for the first time”.
One documentary will air on BBC, the other on ITV. The ITV documentary will air first, in July, focussing on the humanitarian work that The Princess of Wales engaged in, including campaigns to end the use of land mines – which Prince Harry has recently picked up – and her work on HIV and homelessness.
The BBC documentary will air a month later, and will focus on the fatal crash that killed the Princess, and the national and international reaction that followed: the images of Diana’s coffin with a card reading ‘Mummy’, being followed by a young William and Harry are etched into national memory. Both documentaries are expected to attract large viewing figures.
The Princes have also announced that they are to build a permanent memorial to their mother, outside her former home at Kensington Palace. A joint statement read: “Our mother touches so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and legacy”.
William and Harry have rarely spoke out about their mother’s death, but last year Prince Harry revealed, “I’d never really dealt with what had actually happened so there was a lot of buried emotion and, for a huge part of my life, I just didn’t even want to think about it. I really regret not ever talking about it”.
Harry went on to say, “It’s okay to suffer as long as you talk about it. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem”.
William and Harry were just 15 and 12 years-old at the time of their mother’s death. She was 36. Both her sons have continued their Diana’s legacy, with both Princes focusing on mental health issues, and Harry taking part in HIV and landmine charitable work.
One of Diana’s close friends, Rosa Monckton said, “The work that Diana did was extraordinary. She had the ability to reach out across barriers of race and language, and had an intuitive sense of what was required of her in situations that most people would have found challenging. She should be remembered for all that she achieved in her life, for the power of her spirit, for the good that she did and for the lives that she changed”.