Prince William reflected on the “shock” of his mother Princess Diana’s death in a new BBC documentary, Mind Over Marathon. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death at age 36 after a Paris car crash in August 2007.
In a preview for the documentary, which airs on Thursday, April 20, William, 34, comforts a grieving woman and talks about his own experience with loss at age 15. “The shock is the biggest thing I still feel, 20 years later, about my mother,” William says. “People think shock can’t last that long, but it does. It’s such an unbelievably big moment in your life and it never leaves you, you just learn to deal with it.”
Mind Over Marathon follows ten runners struggling with mental health issues as they prepare for the upcoming London Marathon. The runners get help from Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry and the royals’ Heads Together mental health charity.
Prince Harry, now 32, who was 12 at the time of Diana’s death, revealed earlier this week that he sought therapy to deal with the tragedy. He told The Telegraph for its Mad World podcast that he “shut down all his emotions” in the aftermath. “[I would cope by] sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help? It’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back,” he said. “So from an emotional side, I was like, ‘Right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything.’”
He added that counseling, talking to his brother and channeling his energy into boxing helped him through the tough times. “I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sorts of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle,” he said.