Decades later, the world is still transfixed by the tragic story of Princess Diana. Her unexpected death and the circumstances surrounding it make comments Prince William made to his mother shortly before the tragedy all the more heartbreaking.
William Wanted His Mother To Leave The UK
In a 2007 documentary, Diana: Last Days of a Princess, longtime photographer for the Sun newspaper Arthur Edwards shared his experience with the princess. He had traveled to the south of France to photograph Diana, her sons, and her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed as they vacationed on Fayed’s yacht.
Edwards recalled a moment the princess decided she was sick of the paparazzi. “Suddenly, she strode down some steps and very rapidly got into a boat,” he said. “I remember picking up the camera and she said, ‘No pictures.’”
Diana approached the photographers and asked why they were there. They told her it was because she was there, and Diana responded, “William’s told me that I should leave England and go and live somewhere else.”
Edwards shared that he felt upset by the princess’ comments: “I thought, ‘I don’t want to be the reason why she’s going to live in exile.’” Princess Diana would pass away just a month later following a serious car crash.
How Diana’s Experiences Influenced William And Kate’s Relationship
William’s concern for his mother’s happiness and safety colored the way he felt about his then-girlfriend Kate Middleton when they first started dating. “He had seen firsthand how his mother had been harassed by the paparazzi and was determined that Kate not be subjected to the same treatment,” wrote Katie Nicholl in “Kate: The Future Queen.”
The prince even went so far as to invoke an EU law on behalf of Middleton. Kelvin MacKenzie, a former editor of the Sun, talked about the situation in the recent documentary The Tabloids and the Royals.
“He wants to protect [Kate] so he effectively invokes the law, there’s a European Court of Human Rights law saying everybody has a right to privacy. And he invoked that on Kate’s behalf,” MacKenzie said.
William And Harry’s Lives Today
William’s efforts to protect Middleton have obviously paid off. The couple enjoys a private life, raising their three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — as normally as they can under the circumstances.
Prince Harry is also doing his best to live a normal life, having moved to California with his wife Meghan Markle and their children Archie and Lilibet. Harry and Markle, who were also the target of tabloid harassment, took William’s advice for their late mother by leaving England and their relentless press.