"I think it haunts [Charles] because it haunts them, and they’ve spoken about it," Christopher Anderson told a news publication on Tuesday, November 1, of Prince William and Prince Harry. "I’ve written that I believe it’s a form of PTSD."
The author of the upcoming biography, The King: The Life of Charles III, set to hit shelves on Tuesday, November 8, added that while researching the book, he learned that Harry, 38, has found it "triggering " to fly to London sometimes.
“[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 gray who really run the palace, the people that Diana used to complain about,” Christopher spilled, adding that “[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."
The entire experience certainly left an impact on the Prince of Wales, 40, and his younger brother, considering they were only 15 and 12, respectively, when their mom died in August 1997 following a car crash in Paris and had to grieve in front of thousands of mourners.
“I think both William and Harry thought, ‘Who are these strangers who never met her?'” said Christopher. “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].”
Both the estranged brothers have been open about coming to terms with the loss of their mother and how her death has impacted them all these years later.
“Slowly, you try to rebuild your life, you try to understand what happened. I kept myself busy, as well, to allow you to get yourself through that initial shock phase. We’re talking maybe as much as five to seven years afterwards,” William shared during HBO’s 2017 documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. “You know, there was times when you look to someone or something for strength and I very much felt she was there for me.”
In 2017, The Duke of Sussex also addressed how difficult it was for him to take part in Diana's funeral procession as a preteen, telling Newsweek at the time, “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," Harry declared. "I don’t think it would happen today.”
Despite the troubling experience, it seems that it was made easier by their grandfather, late Prince Philip, being by their side. Princess Anne revealed to ITV after his April 2021 death that Philip promised to join his grandsons for the procession, saying: “I seem to remember him saying that in fact, it was a question of, ‘If you’ll do it, I’ll do it.’”
Anne continued, “And that was him as a grandfather saying to them, ‘If you want me to be there, if that’s what you want to do and if you want me to be there, I will be there.’”