Prince Harry’s ‘Worst Reminder’ of Princess Diana’s Life Is an Unfortunate Part of His Royal Role

The tragic death of Princess Diana when Prince Harry was a young boy forever impacted his life — and he continues to feel that loss every day. In part, it’s his role as a member of the royal family and the constant media attention that is a devastating reminder, despite his acknowledgment that it’s part of the territory.

prince harry reminder princess diana death
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry gets real about his experience

In the ITV special documenting his royal visit to Africa with wife Meghan Markle (Harry & Meghan: An African Journey), Prince Harry shares how the media attention and pressure of being in the spotlight provides a pain he compares to “a wound that festers.”

ITV News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby asked: “Do you feel at peace in a way yet or is it still a sort of wound that festers?”

Prince Harry’s response provided a perspective that no one besides his brother, Prince William, could really relate to: “I think probably a wound that festers.” He explained: “I think 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.”

He added: “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. But as I said — with the role, with the job and sort of the pressures that come with that — I get reminded of the bad stuff.”

How the press played a role in Princess Diana’s death

In addition to his royal role never giving him a break from these daily pressures, Bradby shared how the media played a part in his mother’s death and how Prince Harry is fearful for his wife, Markle.

Bradby detailed some of the behind-the-scenes experience of working on the documentary, writing in The Sunday Times: “All those who watch tonight will, of course, form their own judgment, but it does not take a genius to work out the basic psychology at play. Harry still believes that the press, or at least the game she was forced to engage in with it, killed his mother.”

Bradby added: “He now fears, in the most deep and atavistic way, that history may repeat itself with his wife. As he says: ‘I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect.’”

Prince Harry and Markle are “buckling beneath” the pressure

Despite Prince Harry’s lifelong experience of living in the public eye, he still feels the immense pressure of it all, as Bradby shared: “I tiptoed gently into the subject of his [Prince Harry’s] mental health, which he has discussed in public in the past, and it was clear from his answer that he is still having to manage the stress and anxiety.”

Bradby remarked how “not even halfway through the trip” he noticed “how incredibly tired, even burnt out” Prince Harry looked.

His experience traveling with the couple uncovered something more, with Bradby writing: “as the journey wore on, another human story gradually emerged, of a couple who clearly feel under the most extreme pressure and seem, at times, to be buckling beneath it.”

When Markle was asked about how she was dealing with the constant scrutiny, Bradby shared her response: “We are taking it one day at a time,” adding that they are “existing, not living.”