Monday 19 February 2018

'I'm sorry we weren't able to protect Diana more'

Prince William says Diana, below, was 'very vulnerable'. Photo: PA
Prince William says Diana, below, was 'very vulnerable'. Photo: PA

Hannah Furness

Prince William has spoken candidly about his belief that his mother, Princess Diana, 'played into the hands of very bad people'.

In his most personal and candid interview to date, the father of two speaks poignantly about his late mother, and his regrets that he could not do more to protect her in her "possibly a bit naive" dealings with the media.

The prince discloses how his bereavement has affected his work as an ambulance pilot, how his background had left him with an acute sense of self-preservation, and his hopes that the public will understand his need to let his hair down occasionally.

The interview, with GQ magazine, was conducted as part of the Royal family's Heads Together campaign, detailing the Duke's plans to raise further awareness about mental health.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana

The prince speaks frankly about the legacy of his mother, and how walking behind her coffin for her funeral at the age of 15 is "one of the hardest things I have ever done".

But, he said, he felt unable to allow himself to be in "floods of tears", admitting he had felt uncomfortable amid the "massive outpouring of emotion" from the public.

He said: "The thing is, you can't bring all your baggage everywhere you go.

"You can't just be carrying baggage and throwing it out there and putting it on display everywhere you go."

Discussing the media furore around Diana, Princess of Wales, he said he has explored the theory that she cultivated her own relationship with the press and had used them to her advantage.

"I know some games and shenanigans were played, but she was isolated, she was lonely, things within her own life got very difficult and she found it very hard to get her side of the story across," he said. "I think she was possibly a bit naive and ended up playing into the hands of some very bad people."

Describing his mother as "a young woman with a high profile position, very vulnerable, desperate to protect herself and her children", he said he and Prince Harry could have stepped in to help her when they got older.

"I feel very sad and I still feel very angry that we were not old enough to be able to do more to protect her, not wise enough to step in and do something that could have made things better for her," he said.

"I hold a lot of people to account that they did not do what they should have done, out of human decency."

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