Prince Harry opens up on the anguish of walking behind his mother's coffin at the age of 12

Nick Reilly
Prince Harry has opened on the anguish of walking behind his mother’s coffin (Picture: Getty Images)

Prince Harry has revealed the anguish he felt when he walked behind his mother’s coffin as a 12-year-old, and admits that ‘no child should be asked to do that under any circumstances.’

The then-youngster walked behind the coffin in 1997, alongside Prince William, The Duke of Edinburgh, and his father The Prince of Wales after Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.

Speaking to Newsweek in a wide-ranging interview, he opened up on his anguish at walking through the funeral procession.

He said: ‘My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television.

Prince Harry (fourth right) walked behind his mother’s coffin (Picture: REX Features)

‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.’

During the wide-ranging interview, he also opened up on his desire to be something other than just a royal – and admitted that he faces a race against time to make a difference.

‘I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before (William’s children Prince George and Princess Charlotte) take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it’, he said.

Perhaps most explosively of all, he also claimed that none of the Royal Family actually want to take the throne – but they are instead bound by duty.

‘We are involved in modernising the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,’ he said.

‘Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.’