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Anorak | Why did William and Harry walk behind Diana’s coffin?

Why did William and Harry walk behind Diana’s coffin?

by | 20th, August 2017

funeral diana

 

To mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, we’re seen lots of photos of the funeral procession. In today’s Mail, we see the family shot of the young princes, William and Harry, their father Prince Charles, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer and the Duke of Edinburgh. The story of why the princes were walking behind their mother’s coffin seems confused.

The Mail on Sunday says:  “The decision for the boys to  join the cortege was not made until an eve-of-funeral family supper when their grandfather, Prince Philip, promised them: ‘If you walk, I’ll walk.”

We know this was an act of selflessness by the caring Duke because on the ITV documentary Diana: The Day Britain Cried, The Queen’s senior aide Sir Malcolm Ross, opined:

“And I understand that it was at a family supper on the Friday night in Buckingham Palace that the decision was made and Prince Philip, after some discussion, said to the boys, ‘I’ll walk if you walk’.”

But talking to Newsweek magazine, Prince Harry tells us:

“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”

And there’s Earl Spencer, who told the BBC is was a “very bizarre and cruel thing” for Diana’s two sons to be told to walk behind her body. He says the Palace “lied” to him, telling them the boys had wanted to walk behind the coffin, which, he says, they did not want to do.

 

 

Not that anything about Diana is new. We’ve heard it all before, sort of.

In 2015, Hello magazine reported:

When the late Princess Diana died in 1997 her sons William and Harry did not want to walk behind the coffin, but Philip thought they would regret it later and told them: “If you like, I’ll walk with you.”

In 2007, the Daily Express told its readers:

Vanity Fair also prints excerpts of The Diana Chronicles, by former magazine editor Tina Brown, which reveal how the Princess and the Duke of Edinburgh clashed before her divorce from Prince Charles.

Philip is claimed to have threatened to remove her HRH title if she failed to behave properly.

But the Princess is said to have responded by informing the Duke that her title as Lady, referring to the lineage of the Spencer family, was a lot older than his. Ms Brown also claims Philip cajoled Princes William and Harry to walk with him behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral, overruling objections from her brother Earl Spencer.

In his Diaries, Tony Blair’s spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, noted:

William believed the plan was designed to appeal to the media. Campbell writes: “William was refusing to speak to anyone and he was consumed by a total hatred of the media … I sensed the boys were holding firm, and they seemed to feel it was being done for the media and the public, not for their mother.”

The Mirror reported in 2011: “William and Harry walked behind Diana’s coffin to prevent a mob attacking Prince Charles.”

Such are the facts.

At least no-one is still harping on about her having been murdered. Which she wasn’t. Right?

 



Posted: 20th, August 2017 | In: News, Royal Family Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink