King Charles didn’t hug Prince Harry after Diana died: memoir

Prince Harry claims he did not receive a hug from father King Charles III following the tragic death of his beloved mother, Princess Diana.

“Father didn’t hug me. He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances, how could he be expected to show them in such a crisis?” the Duke of Sussex, 38, writes in his new memoir, “Spare.”

“His hand fell once more on my knee and he said, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ That was quite a lot for him. Fatherly, hopeful, kind. And so very untrue.”

Harry goes on to detail the conversation he had with his father after his mother died in 1997. He was just 12 years old at the time of her death.

“[Dad] sat down on the edge of the bed. He put a hand on my knee. ‘Darling boy, Mummy’s been in a car crash,’” Harry recalls in the memoir.

“I remember thinking: Crash … OK. But she’s all right? Yes? I vividly remember that thought flashing through my mind. And I remember waiting patiently for Pa to confirm that indeed Mummy was all right. And I remember him not doing that.”

Prince William, Prince Harry, and King Charles at Princess Diana's funeral
Prince Harry claims his father, King Charles III, “didn’t hug” him after telling him the tragic news about mom Princess Diana’s death.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

Harry explains that he then began to feel a “shift internally” when he knew what was coming next.

“I began silently pleading with Pa, or God, or both: No, no, no,” he shares.

The Duke of Sussex also details how his father, 74, told him about the medical “complications” and a “head injury” that arose after Princess Diana got into a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.

Harry admits he didn’t initially believe Princess Diana had actually died.


An old photo of Princess Diana hugging Prince Harry

Harry admits he didn’t initially believe Princess Diana had actually died.


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“‘Mummy was quite badly injured and taken to hospital, darling boy,'” Charles said, per Harry. “He always called me ‘darling boy,’ but he was saying it quite a lot now. His voice was soft. He was in shock, it seemed.”

Harry recounts still believing that doctors could somehow “fix her head,” and that he’d be able to see her “tonight at the latest.”

A family portrait of Prince Harry, Prince William, King Charles, and Princess Diana
“These phrases remain in my mind like darts in a board,” Harry writes of his father’s verbiage when telling him of Diana’s death.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

“‘They tried, darling boy. I’m afraid she didn’t make it,’” Harry remembers his father telling him. “These phrases remain in my mind like darts in a board. He did say it that way, I know that much for sure. She didn’t make it. And then everything seemed to come to a stop.”

Harry also remembers breaking down at his mother’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 6, 1997.

Prince Harry, Prince William, and King Charles standing at Princess Diana's funeral

Harry recalls how he “felt ashamed” for crying at his mother’s funeral.


Prince Harry, Prince William, and King Charles at a memorial for Princess Diana

Harry recalls how he “felt ashamed” for crying at his mother’s funeral.


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Princess Diana's casket being carried out of her funeral

Harry recalls how he “felt ashamed” for crying at his mother’s funeral.


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“My body convulsed and my chin fell and I began to sob uncontrollably into my hands. I felt ashamed of violating the family ethos, but I couldn’t hold it any longer,” he writes.

Despite attending the funeral and learning about the “official” events of the accident, Harry found himself convinced that his mother “staged an accident” to get out of her “miserable” life in the spotlight.

Princess Diana and King Charles walking with a young Prince Harry and Prince William

Harry initially convinced himself that his mother’s death was just a ruse.


Princess Diana talking to a young Prince Harry and Prince William

Harry initially convinced himself that his mother’s death was just a ruse.


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Harry was later asked to write a “final” letter to his mom. He says this is the moment when he truly understood that she was gone for good.

“I wished I’d dug deep, told my mother all the things weighing on my heart, especially my regret over the last time we’d spoken on the phone,” he writes. “She’d called early in the evening, the night of the crash, but I was running around with Willy and my cousins ​​and didn’t want to stop playing.

“So I’d been short with her. Impatient to get back to my games, I’d rushed Mummy off the phone,” he continued. “I wished I’d apologized for it. I wished I’d searched for the words to describe how much I loved her. I didn’t know that search would take decades.”

In “Spare,” which hits US bookshelves on Jan. 10, Harry also goes into extensive detail about his strained relationship with his brother, Prince William, living life as a “Spare” to the “Heir,” and Charles joking about who his “real” dad is, among many other stories.

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