Prince Harry says Princess Diana’s death left a “huge hole inside me” in a moving letter to kids grieving a parent’s loss.
The royal knows the pain of grief 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.”
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 Chris Connaughton and illustrated by Fay Groote, 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 first anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown. The book is accessible to any child who has suffered a loss.