Prince Harry says Princess Diana’s death left ‘a huge hole’ in letter to grieving kids
20th March 2021

Prince Harry says Princess Diana’s death left a “huge hole inside of me” in a moving letter to kids grieving the loss of a parent.

The Duke of Sussex penned an emotional foreword for Hospital by the Hill, a picture book aimed at helping young people cope with losing a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While I wish I was able to hug you right now, I hope this story is able to provide you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone,” Harry wrote in the forward. “When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time, I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me. I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support.”

Britain’s Prince Harry has sent a message to children about grief from losing a loved one.Credit:AP

The royal knows the pain of bereavement all too well. Princess Diana died in a Paris car wreck in 1997 when Prince Harry was only 12 years old and Prince William was 15.

“When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me,” Prince Harry wrote. “I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support.”

Prince Harry with his mother, Princess Diana, in 1987.Credit:AP

He continued: “You may feel alone, you may feel sad, you may feel angry, you may feel bad. This feeling will pass. And I will make a promise to you – you will feel better and stronger once you are ready to talk about how it makes you feel.”

Prince Harry said although “we all cope with loss in a different way,” he used a particular coping mechanism: “When a parent goes to heaven, I was told their spirit, their love and the memories of them do not. They are always with you and you can hold onto them forever. I find this to be true.”

And he still does. During Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month, the Duke of Sussex said he “certainly felt [Princess Diana’s] presence throughout this whole process” of leaving the royal family.

Hospital by the Hill, written by by Chris Connaughton and illustrated by Fay Troote, tells the story of a young person grieving the loss of their mother, a frontline worker. Although the main character’s mother is a nurse, Connaughton said “your loved one could be an office worker, a cleaner or a journalist. They might be a waiter, a teacher or anyone else who is special to you. They will always be loved.”

The book will be released on March 23 on the United Kingdom’s National Day of Reflection, which marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown. The book is free to any child who has suffered a loss.

Prince Harry concluded his foreword, “I hope this book helps remind you of just how special your parent or loved one was. And how special you are too.”

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are parents to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who turns 2 in May. The couple announced on Valentine’s Day that they are expecting a baby girl in the summer.

The reveal had a special connection to Princess Diana: Harry’s late mother made headlines on Valentine’s Day in 1984 when she announced her second pregnancy. She gave birth to Harry on September 15 of that year.

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