King Charles 'haunted' by Prince William and Prince Harry walking behind Princess Diana's coffin

The decision for Prince William and Prince Harry to walk in their mother's funeral procession at 15 and 12 years old reportedly 'haunts' King Charles...

King Charles 'haunted' by 1997 decision, seen here with Prince William, Prince Harry and Earl Spencer following the coffin to the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales
(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

King Charles is still “haunted” by Prince William and Prince Harry walking behind Princess Diana's coffin on the day of her funeral according to a royal author. 

Following the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales in the world looked on as her nearest and dearest paid their respects. Ahead of her funeral service, her coffin travelled in a procession to Westminster Abbey and few could forget the sight of Prince William and Prince Harry walking behind it. They were accompanied by the now-King Charles, Earl Spencer and Prince Philip, who secretly comforted Prince William at the funeral. Now it’s been suggested that King Charles is “haunted” by the decision for the Princes to walk with him that day. 

As reported by, royal author Christopher Anderson whose book The King: The Life of Charles III has just been released, got candid about the impact of the decision for the Princes to walk behind Princess Diana’s coffin. 

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales walk behind the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Discussing the traumatic impact of this, Christopher told Royally US podcast host Christina Garibaldi that this moment “haunts” the King. 

The author claimed, “I think it haunts him, as it haunts them. [William and Harry have] spoken about it. I've written that, I believe, it's a form of PTSD. Harry uses terms like the triggering of even flying into London and it reminds him of that day when he had to walk behind the coffin.”

Christopher later alleged that the King’s sons weren’t given much of a choice and that there was a sense that they had to walk behind their beloved mother’s coffin. 

"They were, more or less, bullied into doing it by the Palace, by the men in grey who really run the Palace, [who] Diana used to complain about,” he said, before adding that their uncle Earl Spencer also had “regret” over trying to “convince” them to do it. 

Earl Spencer, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry on the day of Princess Diana's funeral

(Image credit: Photo by Jeff Overs/BBC News & Current Affairs via Getty Images)

The author expressed his belief that the King "understands that to some extent he is responsible for [William and Harry] having to suffer through".

Princess Diana died in a car accident in Paris on August 31st 1997 and her funeral took place on September 6. This was just nine days before Prince Harry’s 13th birthday whilst his older brother was 15 at the time they walked behind her coffin. 

Echoing Christopher’s statements about the moment also haunting her sons, Prince Harry recalled the harrowing memory that comes to mind when he thinks of Princess Diana and spoke about that day. 

Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Peter Phillips arrive at Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

(Image credit: Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

He told viewers of his and Oprah Winfrey’s The Me You Can’t See series, “By this point I was, both of us were in shock. It was like I was outside of my body and just walking along doing what was expected of me.”

Meanwhile, Prince William said that walking behind the Queen’s coffin “brought back memories” as he likely reflected on his mother’s funeral. On the day of the Queen’s funeral, her grandsons (aside from 14-year-old James, Viscount Severn who was perhaps considered too young) were joined by all of the Queen’s children as well as members of the extended Royal Family in the solemn procession. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.