Prince Harry knows things would be different with his brother, Prince William, if their mother, Princess Diana, were still alive. During his sit-down with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s The Late Show, the Duke of Sussex was asked by the late-night host how he thinks Diana would have handled his and William’s public rift.
“We wouldn’t have got to this moment,” the 38-year-old royal said. “It’s impossible to say where we would be now, where the relationships would be now, but there’s no way that the distance between my brother and I would be the same.”
Diana was killed in a car crash along with her boyfriend, and their driver, in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.
When asked if Harry ever thinks of the advice his mother would have given him and William to fix their broken relationship, the Spare author admitted that he has felt his mother’s presence more than ever in recent years — and knows she is helping him navigate life.
“I’ve said quite a lot recently, in the different interviews that I’ve been doing that I have really felt the presence of my mom these last couple of years,” Harry said. “And I detail in the book, my brother and I talking at her grave and how he felt as though she had been with him for a long period of time and helped set him up with life. And how he felt she was now moving over to me. I have felt her more in the last two years more than I have in the last 30.”
Harry also admitted that he understands the “surprise” that has come with royal watchers learning that his and William’s relationship was not made stronger by the death of their mother because of the way things were presented to the world.
“Because that has been the narrative,” he told Colbert. “Anyone who suffers through trauma, shock, grief, loss, which we all will, know that you have got to put on a brave face, and I think to a large extent, me out there smiling, my brother out there smiling, working engagements together, it looks a certain way.”
Harry said that he can pinpoint exactly who is the blame on the narrative on what caused his rift with his brother in recent years.
“I guess more recently, the last six years, it is all the fracture of the relationship between me and my brother has very much been pinned on my wife,” he added.
In his memoir, Spare, Harry documents his account of the things that led to his rift with his brother, from their teenage years through adulthood. Though he recently confirmed that he is not on speaking terms with his father, King Charles III, and William, Harry shared what he hopes the family — and readers – will take away from his book.
“I don’t want to tell anyone what to think of it and that includes my family,” he told People. “This book and its truths are in many ways a continuation of my own mental health journey. It’s a raw account of my life, the good, the bad and everything in between.”
Aside from the explosive allegations in the book, Harry says there is a bigger goal for telling his story.
“My hope has been to turn my pain into purpose, so if sharing my experience makes a positive difference in someone’s life, well, I can’t think of anything more rewarding than that,” he explained.