“I saw the photographs of the reflection of all the paparazzi in the window at the same time,” the Duke of Sussex, 38, said during his ITV interview on Sunday, January 8, while promoting his memoir, Spare. “I saw the back of her blonde hair, you know, slumped on the back of the seat.”
Harry recalled feeling “grateful” that he didn’t see the more graphic photos from the 1997 incident. “But I was, I think I, at that point, I was looking for evidence that it was after that it actually happened, that it was true,” he added. “But I was also looking for something to hurt because at that point I was still pretty numb to the whole thing. That was, again, my body, my sort of nervous system just kind of shut down and said like, ‘Let’s not.'”
The U.K. native was 12 when the late Princess of Wales passed away at age 36. In his memoir, Harry revealed he asked to drive through the tunnel where his mother died.
“Off we went, weaving through traffic, cruising past the Ritz, where Mummy had her last meal, with her boyfriend, that August night. Then we came to the mouth of the tunnel. We zipped ahead, went over the lip at the tunnel’s entrance, the bump that supposedly sent Mummy’s Mercedes veering off course,” he wrote in the book, which will be released on Tuesday, January 10. “But the lip was nothing. We barely felt it.”
While going at the same speed as his mother’s car, Harry said he was shocked by the location. “Just a straight tunnel,” he noted. “I’d always imagined the tunnel as some treacherous passageway, inherently dangerous, but it was just a short, simple, no-frills tunnel. No reason anyone should ever die inside it.”
According to Harry, the trip did not help him face his grief at the time. “It had been a very bad idea. I’d had plenty of bad ideas in my twenty-three years, but this one was uniquely ill-conceived,” he wrote. “She’s dead, I thought. My God, she’s really gone for good. I got the closure I was pretending to seek. I got it in spades. And now I’d never be able to get rid of it.”
In his memoir, Harry also broke down how wife Meghan Markle visited his mother’s grave in the past. “When I returned, she was on her knees with her eyes closed and her palms flat against the stone,” he wrote about their trip to Althorp House in Northamptonshire, adding that the Suits alum, 41, was asking the late Princess of Wales for “clarity and guidance.”