Prince Harry's grief for Diana is still 'wound that festers' and being followed by press is 'worst reminder of her life'

Prince Harry has revealed his grief for his mother Diana is still a "wound that festers", with every click and flash of a camera in the public eye instantly giving him "the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best".

Speaking to ITV's Tom Bradby during his and wife Meghan's recent 10-day tour of Africa, which saw him emotionally retrace Diana's footsteps 22 years after her death, the Duke of Sussex said everything he does reminds him of his mother.

But he said the media focus on his life as part of the royal family and the "pressures that come with that" means he gets "reminded of the bad stuff, unfortunately".

Harry opened up to News at Ten anchor Bradby, who travelled with the royal couple for an ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which airs on Sunday at 9pm on ITV.

Asked by Bradby if he feels at peace about his mother's death in 1997 or if it is "still a sort of wound that festers", the royal said: "I think probably a wound that festers. I think being part of this family, and this role, and this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back.

"In that respect ... it’s the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best."

Prince Harry spoke to Tom Bradby during the 10-day tour. Credit: ITV

The visit to Africa saw Prince Harry walk through the former minefield in Angola that Diana famously visited in January 1997 at the same age of 35, six months before her death in a Paris car crash while being pursued by the paparazzi.

Ahead of the walk, Harry said his own reflections of his mother are constant and made far harder by being in the public eye.

Prince Harry retraced his mother's steps 22 years on in Angola. Credit: PA

Reflecting on the opportunity to follow her symbolic steps in Angola, he told Bradby: "The last time I was here was in 2013. But being here now, twenty-two years later trying to finish what she started, yeah will be, will be incredibly emotional.

"But everything that I do reminds me of her. But, as I said, with the role, with the job and the ... sort of the pressures that come with that I get reminded of the bad stuff unfortunately."

Bradby gained intimate access to the royal couple, speaking to them about the causes and issues they care most about and exploring some of the pressures and challenges they face as a young family in the glare of the world's media.

The royal trip, which ran from the end of September to early October, was notable for the unprecedented statement issued by Prince Harry in which he accused sections of the British tabloid press of pursuing a "ruthless campaign" against his wife.

Prince Harry has said he fears for his wife in the public spotlight. Credit: ITV

"My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person," he wrote, in reference to Diana's press treatment before her death.

"I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces," he added.

In the statement, the duke said the positive headlines and stories which had been generated by the tour of southern Africa with the couple's baby Archie exposed the "double standards of this specific press pack".

The royal couple toured Africa with their son Archie. Credit: PA

Harry said some newspapers had "vilified (his wife) almost daily for the past nine months" and claimed they had published "lie after lie" at Meghan’s expense because she was out of public view on maternity leave.

The statement was released on the couple's website on October 1 as it was announced Meghan was suing the Mail on Sunday after it published a private letter she wrote to her father.

Law firm Schillings, representing the duchess, said she had filed a High Court claim against the paper and its parent company Associated Newspapers over the alleged misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.

A Mail on Sunday spokesperson said the paper denied the accusation and would be "defending this case vigorously".

  • Harry & Meghan: An African Journey airs on Sunday at 9pm on ITV