Charles' 'deepest regret' from Princess Diana's funeral: 'Haunts him'

A new book has claimed King Charles has one regret from Princess Diana's funeral, which 'haunts him'.

Christopher Andersen, author of The King: The Life of Charles III, has claimed Charles 'deeply regrets' making his sons Prince William and Prince Harry, who were 15 and 12 respectively at the time, walk behind their mum's coffin following her death in 1997.

Prince William, Prince Harry and King Charles
A new book has claimed King Charles has a 'deep regret' from Princess Diana's funeral that 'haunts him' to this day. Photo: Getty

"I think it haunts him because it haunts them, and they’ve spoken about it," Andersen told Us Weekly. "I’ve written that I believe it’s a form of PTSD." Andersen continued, saying that while he was researching the book, he learned that Harry has found it "triggering" to fly into London, as it brings back memories from that day.

"[He said] it reminds him of that day when he had to walk behind the coffin, and they were more or less bullied into doing it by the palace – by the men in grey who really run the palace, the people that Diana used to complain about," he said.

"[Charles, Earl Spencer], Diana’s brother … has also said that he felt that he was tricked into doing it and regrets it. He said it was like walking through a tunnel of grief."


Diana was just 36 when she died in Paris after the car she was travelling in crashed as a result of being chased by paparazzi.

"I think both William and Harry thought, 'Who are these strangers who never met her?''" Andersen added.

"So, they were angry about what had happened. And Charles, I think, understands that to some extent he was responsible for them having to suffer through [that]."

Prince Harry has been open about how difficult it was for him to walk behind the coffin at the funeral. The Duke of Sussex will give insight into the experience in his upcoming memoir Spare, which will be released in January.

Royal family walk behind Princess Diana's coffin
Prince Harry (pictured here with Prince Philip, Prince William, Charles Spencer and King Charles, has been open about how difficult it was for him to walk behind the coffin at the funeral and will speak about it in his memoir Spare. Photo: Getty

The book's publisher Penguin Random House said of the memoir: "It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother's coffin as the world watched in sorrow — and horror. As Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest, billions wondered what the princes must be thinking and feeling — and how their lives would play out from that point on."

Harry spoke about the moment in a 2017 interview with Newsweek, saying, "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."

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

He also appeared in the BBC documentary Diana, 7 Days, where he revealed it was a "group decision" to have the brothers walking in the procession.

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles
Prince William and Prince Harry were 15 and 12, respectively, when Princess Diana died. Photo: Getty

"But before I knew it, I found myself with a suit on with a black tie and a white shirt, I think, and I was part of it," he said. "Genuinely, I don't have an opinion on whether that was right or wrong. I am glad I was part of it. Looking back on it now, I am very glad I was part of it."

Prince William also spoke in the documentary, recalling it as a "long and lonely walk".


"It wasn't an easy decision, and it was a collective family decision to do that," the Prince of Wales shared at the time. "It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But we were overwhelmed by how many people turned out, it was just incredible. There was that balance between duty and family, and that's what we had to do."

Princess Diana's brother Charles has previously revealed that he doesn't believe "tiny" Harry should have been forced to do the walk.

"I was just so worried — what a trauma for a little chap to walk behind his mum's body," he told People in 2017's The Story of Diana. "It's just awful. And, actually, I tried to stop that happening, to be honest."

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