Prince Harry: My mom ‘spoke the truth of her experience’ in the Panorama interview

The thing is, as I’m watching Netflix’s Harry & Meghan, I can’t help but think that it’s a glossy, well-done docu-series about two famous people who happen to be – at this point – adjacent to the Windsors. That’s not a diss, that’s the reality – Harry & Meghan isn’t some analytic screed against the monarchy, it’s literally two famous people reclaiming their narrative at long last. This is the kind of thing that they honestly should have done in 2020 to define themselves separately from the institution in the first year of the Sussexit. Maybe the second half of the series will go into more detail about who said what and who smeared whom and the nitty-gritty of how the Sussexes were betrayed by the institution. Right now, it’s not that. Of course, the docu-series is going in chronological order for the most part, and the first half is very much about their love story and what they brought into their relationship and how unprepared both of them were for what would happen next. Which isn’t to say that Harry hasn’t gotten a few shots in, here and there. Those shots are noteworthy:

Harry on Diana telling her story: “She felt compelled to talk about it. Especially in that Panorama interview. I think we all now know that she was deceived into giving the interview. But at the same time she spoke the truth of her experience.”

Harry on how his mother was treated: “The moment she divorced the moment she left the institution, then she was by herself. Yes she may have been one of the most influential, powerful women in the world but she was completely exposed to this. I saw things, I experienced things, I learned things. The pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution.

On how his girlfriends were treated: “I remember thinking how can I ever find someone who is willing and capable to be able to withstand all the baggage that comes with being with me? Every relationship that I had within a matter of weeks or months was splattered all over the newspapers and that person’s family harassed and their lives turned upside down. So, you know, after one or two girlfriends, the third or fourth girlfriend will be like ‘hang on a second, I don’t know if I want this.’ When I got to meet M, I was terrified of her being driven away by the media, the same media that had driven so many people away from me. I knew that the only way this could possibly work was by keeping it as quiet as possible.

The expectations placed on him right after Diana died: “When my mom died we had two hats to wear. One was of two grieving sons wanting to cry, grieve and process that grief because of losing our mum. Two was the royal hat, show no emotion, get out there, meet the people, shake the hands. The UK literally swept me and William up as their children. The expectation to see myself and William out and about was really hard for the two of us.

His wild teenage years: “That’s when all of the stuff that had been happening to our mom started happening to us. Not every story was false but there was a lot of typical exaggeration and rehashing. He’s bouncing between the walls, he’s taking drugs, drinking, he’s out late, he’s nightclubbing, he’s got a girlfriend here… there’s a difference between having to accept OK we have this position in this family and therefor there’s going to be a level of interest and being swarmed by paparazzi chasing you in cars through red lights. And then chasing you down the road on foot, which is what happened probably 30 or 40 times when I was younger. It was too much.

No guidance: “Everything that was happening in the UK was so intense. I was trying to balance the whole experience of being a young boy who was trying to deal with the loss of his mum without much support or help or guidance. It didn’t seem right, it didn’t seem fair. I was 18 years old and wanted to go and somehow carry my mom’s torch and try to keep her legacy alive and try to make her proud.

Being “brought up” in Lesotho: “Lesotho gave me the space and the freedom to breathe, to live and to grow. I went to Africa sometimes three months at a time. I’ve got a second family out there, a group of friends that literally brought me up. For me it’s always been quite special so it was absolutely critical to share it with Meg.”

[Transcribed by Celebitchy]

What Harry says about Diana’s Panorama interview is exactly right – sure, the story behind Martin Bashir’s activities to get the interview were wrong, but Diana told her story and she wanted to tell her story. Remember that Prince William called Diana paranoid and said that the whole interview was a “false narrative.” That’s still pretty disgusting to me, but there you go. The whole bit about how Harry had no guidance and he was left to fend for himself emotionally after Diana died is being seen as a “dig” at his father too. And it is a dig at Charles! Charles was too busy fussing over Camilla to be an actual parent. Harry’s also talking about how the institution abandoned Diana post-divorce and how that affected him, it’s hard not to draw a very apt comparison.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, ‘Panorama’.

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26 Responses to “Prince Harry: My mom ‘spoke the truth of her experience’ in the Panorama interview”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    It REALLY infuriates me when people try to diminish someone’s reality. That was Diana’s experience and no matter how the BaRF or media feel- it was her truth. Same goes for H&M’s experience.

  2. equality says:

    So PH spent a lot of time in Lesotho? Does that add up with wanting to be around PW all the time?

  3. Well Wisher says:

    Of course, she actually did and years later, we’ve witnessed her validation.

  4. ML says:

    Harry also explained the role of the British royal rota and how it’s a communications department for the royal family as well as how the establishment sees/ does not see racism in addition to the subtle grenades dealing with his mother. He also emphasizes that he’s his mother’s son and that he acts from the heart like Diana, and that Meghan (as opposed to other married-ins) is like Diana, too. Meghan details her experiences, while Harry is tossing the (as yet soft) criticism.

  5. K8erade says:

    I genuinely believe these statements are what is setting William off right now. Harry is countering what William said about their own mother. Harry is basically confirming that, yes, the British media is unscrupulous and Diana was tricked into doing the Panorama interview. However, he is also confirming that everything she said in that interview was true. Harry has completely undone William’s narrative on the subject.

  6. Duch says:

    So. Much. Content! Man, I see daily mail has 36 separate articles on vol 1.

  7. Tessa says:

    Some in the media are claiming wills wishes were not respected. Harry has a say in whether or not the Bashir interview can be shown. William cannot force him not to.

    • Harper says:

      I love this for Burger King. Love, love, love it. H is not going to play along with William’s demands that the Panorama interview never be seen again. Diana’s truth is important but it stands in the way of the Firm’s propaganda. Love that H said not so fast bro.

  8. Naomi says:

    A lot of what’s said in the series so far most of us already know, BUT one thing that I hadn’t considered was what one of the media experts on the documentary said: that W & H are the first generation to have really been born into this “invisible contract,” and we are seeing that play out. Sure, the BRF have always been cozy with the press, but something fundamentally changed – for the worse – about that relationship in the 80s/90s. It’s a level of toxicity QEII never had to deal with, and not even Charles when he was growing up and in his bachelor days. So when Harry’s grandparents, father, aunts/uncles etc all tell him “Well, all the married-in’s are hazed at the beginning” it’s just not the *same* scope or level of hazing as experienced by those in the Rota Era. (And then multiply that toxicity by a gazillion for liberal-leaning American biracial Black women career women.)

  9. Chaine says:

    Off topic but I adore that photo of Diana and baby Harry, the way she is cuddling him and touching his little hand 😍

  10. ariel says:

    Kind of in Charles’ defense as a parent- his parents sucked at being parents too. He had zero role models. But unlike Harry- he did not seem to want to make it better for his kids or be better for his kids. He just accepted the system – that was so awful for him to grow up in (per the Crown) and let his sons suffer through that.

    Not Harry. Harry made the change. It is actually very impressive. Not many of us can buck our family system like that – no matter what kind of “system” it is. Generational trauma and screwed up families are what all of us experience at some level.

    • Tessa says:

      Charles imo is a far worse parent. He let his elder son drive the younger one out. He treated their mother like dirt. Charles went to his biographer to complain about his parents

    • Flower says:

      Child psych’s say that children only need one ‘good enough’ parent for development.

      Harry’s story would seem to support that. He clearly suffered as a result of the added trauma of Diana’s untimely death, but as you state having Diana as a role model has left an indelible imprint of empathy and kindness that seems to skip the rest of the family.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      All the Windsors (Saxo-Coburg Gothas) were TERRIBLE parents. It goes back centuries – this is a family that cripples/eats its young because they know no other way – and they are aided and abetted in this by a rigid institutional structure that functions in an utterly inhumane manner.

      It is a miracle that Harry has turned out to be the compassionate man that he is.

  11. QuiteContrary says:

    I am so glad he stood up for Diana … unlike his weak and shameless older brother.

  12. HeyKay says:

    Diana was treated horribly. She married at 19 into a situation that wanted her to “Behave as we say” no matter what she went thru.
    I still blame Charles (and Camilla) for the cruelty she endured.

    Team Diana. Always. The interviews and the book by Andrew Morton, she spoke about her life, her feelings, her experiences. And good for her for doing it!

    I think Diana would be very heartbroken to know that her sons are no longer close.
    Even more so to see that William has become so brainwashed and closed ranks with Charles, and is willing to see George go into The Firm. It makes me sad, she whole-heartedly loved her boys. RIP Diana

  13. JJ says:

    That’s what I always thought of the Diana interview being pulled. Yes, she was lied to, but what she said in that interview was not a lie. It was her truth and it’s interesting that her own son, William, worked so hard to silence his mother because now the interview can’t be played. So glad Harry sees it differently and was able to get a snippet of the interview in his docuseries. Bet William is incandescent with rage again over that. Hehe.

    • SomeChick says:

      ITA. And let’s not forget that Charles had already done his tell-all interview at that point!

  14. Jen says:

    “She felt compelled to talk about it. Especially in that Panorama interview. I think we all now know that she was deceived into giving the interview. But at the same time she spoke the truth of her experience.”

    Exactly. As I understand it, she was afraid of giving her story to the wrong party and having it suppressed. Any lies and manipulations by Bashir were in service of getting the exclusive, not in the service of getting her to say anything she wouldn’t otherwise want public.