Harry says he only cried once after mother’s death in first interview on memoir

The Duke of Sussex has said he only cried once after the death of his mother, and has described feelings of guilt in one of a series of interviews ahead of the publication of his memoir.

In a clip from Harry: The Interview, which will air on ITV at 9pm on Sunday, Harry speaks about being unable to show any emotion when meeting mourners following the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

He also admits to feeling “some guilt” when walking among the gathered crowds outside Kensington Palace, saying the only time he cried was at his mother’s burial.

He tells presenter Tom Bradby: “Everyone knows where they were and what they were doing the night my mother died.

“I cried once, at the burial, and you know I go into detail about how strange it was and how actually there was some guilt that I felt, and I think William felt as well, by walking around the outside of Kensington Palace.”

Duke of Sussex autobiography – Spare
In the ITV interview, Harry also says that he cried once in the wake of his mother’s death – at her burial (Tony Harris/PA)

Harry describes feeling the mourners’ tears on his hands when he shook them.

“There were 50,000 bouquets of flowers to our mother and there we were shaking people’s hands, smiling,” he says.

“I’ve seen the videos, right, I looked back over it all. And the wet hands that we were shaking, we couldn’t understand why their hands were wet, but it was all the tears that they were wiping away.

“Everyone thought and felt like they knew our mum, and the two closest people to her, the two most loved people by her, were unable to show any emotion in that moment.”

Queen Elizabeth II death
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh viewing the floral tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales, at Buckingham Palace (John Stillwell/PA)

The interview is the first of four broadcast appearances over the coming days, with Harry also speaking to Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes on CBS News on Sunday night, Michael Strahan of Good Morning America on Monday and Stephen Colbert on the Late Show on CBS on Wednesday morning UK time.

A string of revelations have already been leaked from the memoir, Spare, which is due to be published on Tuesday.

Harry says in the book he thinks that he is unable to cry in public because of his family’s preference for not showing emotion.

According to the Telegraph, Harry writes: “I disliked the touch of those hands. What’s more, I disliked how they made me feel: guilty.

“Why was there all that crying from people when I neither cried nor had cried?

Duke of Sussex autobiography – Spare
Harry says that he and William were unable to show any emotion as they met the mourners (ITV)

“I wanted to cry, and I had tried, because my mother’s life had been so sad… but I couldn’t… not a drop.

“Perhaps I had learnt too well, had absorbed too thoroughly the family maxim that crying was never an option – never.”

The Telegraph also reports the book details claims of heated behind-the-scenes arguments between Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, and the royal family about whether 12-year-old Harry and 15-year-old William should walk behind their mother’s coffin at her funeral.

The prince’s uncle “flew into a rage” at the idea, calling it “a barbarity”, Harry writes in Spare, recalling the Earl saying: “You cannot force these children to walk behind their mother’s coffin. It’s a barbarity!”

Princes William and Harry
Earl Spencer (centre) offers Prince Harry a reassuring arm during Diana’s funeral procession (David Giles/PA)

But when an alternative plan had been suggested of William following his mother’s hearse on his own, Harry said he had objected.

“It didn’t seem right that Willy would have such a hard time without me,” he says.

Harry writes in the book that “It seemed like a lot to ask for two children”, adding: “Several adults were horrified”.

The controversial book has been the subject of headlines for days as excerpts were leaked detailing personal details of Harry’s love life, drug-taking and rifts within his family.

The Mail on Sunday, which was one of the many media outlets to obtain a copy when it was accidentally released early in Spain, reported that William once voiced his concern to Harry that his younger brother was being “brainwashed” by his therapist.

In an except translated from Spanish, the Mail reports the duke write that the elder prince asked to come along to one of his confidential sessions.

The Prince and Princess of Wales during a visit to Boston Harbour Defences
The Prince of Wales reportedly thought his younger brother was being ‘brainwashed’ by his therapist, Harry has said (Chris Jackson/PA)

Harry claims he thought William believed he was “unwell”, which meant he was “unwise” as he made plans to leave royal duties for a new life in the US.

Harry has come under fire for some of the claims in the memoir, including that the Prince of Wales physically attacked him and called his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, “difficult” and “abrasive”.

Friends of the pair said that William was keeping quiet about the book “for the good of his family and the country”.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, one friend said: “William is a sitting duck because Harry knows he isn’t going to retaliate. How many shots can you take at a sitting duck?

“It’s cruel, cowardly and so sad for William to keep taking the punches. He’s keeping quiet for the good of his family and the country.”

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Harry has come under fire for disclosures reportedly published in the memoir (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The same friend adds that William is “burning” on the inside.

Another friend told the paper that William is thinking strategically, as he follows the example of his grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.

“We know how closely he followed his grandmother’s example, and the institutional response may win the day over the personal,” the friend said.

“But he is staunchly protective of his own family, and he’s not just going to roll over.”

The Sun has reported that as well as the first alleged physical attack by his brother in 2019, Harry also claims that a “steaming” and “shouting” William grabbed his shirt as the pair held peace talks with their father in the gardens of Frogmore Cottage in 2021.

The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, leaving Windsor Castle after their wedding
The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, leaving Windsor Castle after their wedding (Steve Parsons/PA)

Other controversial claims include that William and Kate encouraged him to wear the Nazi uniform that sparked outrage in 2005, and that he killed 25 Taliban while serving in Afghanistan.

The Telegraph reported Harry said flying six missions during his second tour of duty on the front line resulted in “the taking of human lives” of which he was neither proud nor ashamed.

In a previously released trailer for the ITV interview, Harry says he is publishing his memoirs because he does not know “how staying silent is ever going to make things better”.

In another clip, he says he wants to reconcile with his family – but that it cannot happen without “some accountability”.