Heartbreaking moment Prince Harry learned of his mother’s death is recreated by The Crown – as source says friends will watch the series first to warn the royal of any scenes that might re-traumatise him
- Final season will show dramatised lead-up to and aftermath of Diana’s death
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The heartbreaking moment Prince Harry learned of his mother’s death has been recreated by The Crown.
The new series shows Dominic West who plays Prince Charles breaking the news to Prince Harry that his mother has died, by walking into his room to wake him up, saying: ‘Morning darling.’
Charles tells his son: ‘I’m afraid you’re going to have to be very brave’
William appears at the end of the bed and the camera pans to a close up of Harry’s face, looking shocked with tears in his eyes.
Prince William is seen standing at the foot of his brother’s bed, although it’s understood that in reality the boys were told separately. Harry described being alone in his bedroom at Balmoral in his memoir Spare when Prince Charles relayed the news.
In the book he wrote about how his father, who was then the Prince of Wales, sat him down on a bed before breaking the news.
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He said Prince Charles called him ‘my dear son’ before telling him his mother was unlikely to survive head injuries sustained in the crash in Paris in the early hours of August 31, 1997.
He painted the picture of an emotionally-distant father, saying that Charles was ‘not good at expressing his emotions’.
He wrote: ‘What I do remember with stunning clarity is that I did not cry. Not a tear. My father did not hug me.’
In the book, the Duke recalled asking to go and visit his mother while she was in the hospital.
However, he says his father explained she ‘hasn’t recovered any more’, before saying he stayed in his room on his own until the following morning.
He recalled that he and his brother William were forbidden from watching the TV so they didn’t see news of the car crash.
He said for a time he believed Diana had faked her own death and she was ‘running away’ to escape her ‘miserable’ life.
The heartbreaking moment Prince Harry learned of his mother’s death has been recreated by The Crown
William appears at the end of the bed and the camera pans to a close up of Harry’s face, looking shocked with tears in his eyes
The new series shows Dominic West who plays Prince Charles breaking the news to Prince Harry that his mother has died, by walking into his room to wake him up, saying: ‘Morning darling’
The Duke said his 13-year-old self had wondered if it was a ‘trick’, writing in the book: ‘Her life’s been miserable, she’s been hounded, harassed, lied about, lied to. So she’s staged an accident as a diversion and run away.’
He later admitted this was not the case, but said he returned to the theory as a source of comfort.
It comes amid reports the Prince will have a ‘sensitivity viewer’ watch the new series to ‘save him’ from traumatic content, an insider has claimed.
The first four episodes of the final season will show a dramatised version of the lead-up to and the aftermath of Diana’s death, including the Princess of Wales’s last meeting with her sons.
Emotional scenes show a heartbroken young Harry at church the day after Diana’s death
Despite the sad scene Harry previously admitted that he didn’t cry after his mother’s death
The Crown scene portrayed the devastating moment Prince William and Prince Harry walked behind their mothers funeral car
(Left to right) the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Althorp, Prince Harry and the then Prince of Wales walking behind Diana, the Princess of Wales’ funeral cortege
The Duke of Edinburgh appeared concerned over the teenage Prince William during Diana’s funeral
The Crown recreated the moment the Duke of Edinburgh showed concern for William
But a newly released clip from the Netflix series shows them missing a phone call at Balmoral from Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, on the day before she died.
The new season will also show the imagined last conversation the Princes had with their mother as well as the moment they were told of their mother’s death.
Despite knowing the four episodes will focus mostly on Diana’s death, Harry is still likely to watch the series. He previously said he watches and reportedly even fact-checks the show.
An insider has now told the Telegraph they ‘may watch it first in order to save him from anything he may not wish to see’.
But Prince William is unlikely to watch the series, after he previously expressed frustration over the show glossing over the circumstances surrounding Diana’s Panorama interview.
Newly released clips from The Crown include Charles’ despair over telling William and Harry their mother has died and Diana telling Dodi she’s a ‘persona non-grata’ at Balmoral.
The show will also depict the last time Prince William and Prince Harry spoke to their mother – but it will not be a true reflection of the conversation.
Elizabeth Debicki as Diana with her sons. Netflix releases first look images from Part 1 of the final series of The Crown
But a newly released clip from the final season shows them missing a phone call at Balmoral from Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki (pictured), on the day before she died
Despite knowing the four episodes will focus mostly on Diana’s death, Harry (pictured) is still likely to watch the series
In episode four, Diana is depicted as frustrated while in Paris with Dodi, and desperate to return to the UK to see her sons.
After missing one opportunity to speak with them on the phone, Diana finally manages to have a call with Prince William and Prince Harry, where they ask her if she’s going to marry the son of billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Although it is true that Prince William and Prince Harry shared a phone call with their mother on the last day she was alive, their recollections of the call do not reflect the Netflix series’ depiction.
Speaking in a 2017 documentary Diana: Our Mother, the Princes discussed for the first time the details of their ‘desperately rushed’ final call with the late royal.
Recalling the chat, they expressed their regret that they were desperate to go back outside and play with their cousins, who were also at Balmoral.
Newly released clips from The Crown include Charles’ despair over telling William and Harry their mother has died and Diana telling Dodi (pictured together in The Crown) she’s a ‘persona non-grata’ at Balmoral
The show will also depict the last time Prince William and Prince Harry spoke to their mother – but it will not be a true reflection of the conversation
Recalling the chat, the Princes expressed their regret that they were desperate to go back outside and play with their cousins, who were also at Balmoral (pictured: Prince Charles (Dominic West) and his sons in The Crown)
Harry said: ‘I can’t really, necessarily, remember what I said. But all I do remember is probably, you know, regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was.
‘And if I’d known that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother – the things I would have said to her.’
William said of the call: ‘Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, “see you later”.’
Neither of the two has revealed Diana’s precious final words to them.
The emotional first four episodes cover the tragic car crash in Paris that killed Princess Diana in August 1997 – alongside her lover Dodi and their chauffeur Henri Paul – and the Royal Family’s reaction to it, as well as the summer holiday Diana and Dodi enjoyed in St Tropez prior to the tragedy.
The emotional first four episodes cover the tragic car crash in Paris that killed Princess Diana in August 1997 and the Royal Family’s reaction to it
Earl Spencer, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles follow the coffin to the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales on September 6, 1997
READ MORE: The Crown risks reigniting row with the Palace by claiming the Queen and Prince Philip didn’t want Diana to have a state funeral – despite furious denial at the time that this was ‘the opposite of the truth’
For sensitivity reasons the exact moment of Diana’s death is not re-created, but there are controversial scenes in which Charles tenderly converses with an imaginary Diana in the cabin of the royal plane as he accompanies her body from Paris to London, and later when she also appears to the Queen.
Critics who have seen these scenes called them ‘farcical’ for portraying Diana as a ghost, but series creator Peter Morgan has insisted that wasn’t the intention.
‘I never imagined it as Diana’s ghost in the traditional sense,’ he told Variety magazine. ‘It was her continuing to live vividly in the minds of those she has left behind.’
The final six episodes of the series, which will be available in December, will see the family moving on from Diana’s death and cover William and Kate’s budding romance at St Andrews, finishing with Charles and Camilla’s wedding in April 2005.
Netflix boss Ted Sarandos has explained why the series ends there. ‘It was the cut-off to keep it historical, not journalistic,’ he said. ‘By stopping almost 20 years before the present day, it’s dignified.’
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