Wednesday, June 21, 2017


It is one of the most poignant images of mourning in modern times, and perhaps one of the cruelest: a 12-year-old Prince Harry, head bowed and fists clenched, marching in the funeral procession behind his mother’s coffin. He, along with his older brother, Prince William; his father, Prince Charles; his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh; and his maternal uncle, Charles Spencer, walked slowly through the heart of London on September 6, 1997. Seven days earlier, the beautiful, charismatic and unpredictable Princess Diana had died in a car crash in Paris. She was 36.

Her funeral was nearly 20 years ago, but Harry’s recollection of that tragic day can still overwhelm him. “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,” he tells Newsweek . His face hardens. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”

The prince readily admits that he was scarred by that day, by his mother’s death, and was adrift for decades. He ran with a wealthy, fast set, and smoked and drank too much. He also once wore Nazi clothing at a fancy dress party and was photographed in 2012 partying naked in Las Vegas, with scantily clad women. He was the world’s most eligible bachelor—and a royal pain.

Now, however, he exudes a combination of royal stardust, accessibility, confidence and mischief, a mixture that reminds many people of his mother. His journey from rebellious outsider to one of the world's most popular royals has required much soul-searching, and there is still some way to go, but he is proud of what he has accomplished and restless to do much more. He tells me several times that he aches to be “something other than Prince Harry.”

“My search began when I was in my mid-20s,” Harry tells me. “I needed to fix the mistakes I was making.” In April, he revealed on a podcast that bottling up his grief over his mother’s death led to two years of “total chaos,” and that he was “very close” to a breakdown several times. When he was 28, on William’s advice, he sought professional help.

“My mother died when I was very young. I didn't want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good. I am now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh,” he says. “I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better. I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.”

He says maintaining his “ordinary life” is a high priority. “My mother took a huge part in showing me an ordinary life, including taking me and my brother to see homeless people. Thank goodness I’m not completely cut off from reality. People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live. I do my own shopping. Sometimes, when I come away from the meat counter in my local supermarket, I worry someone will snap me with their phone. But I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too.” He pauses, then adds, “Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping.” - Read More

Prince Harry on Why the World Needs 'Magic' of Royalty


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