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Prince Harry on Diana: No Child Should Have to Walk Behind Mom’s Casket

LONDON — Prince Harry has revealed the distress he suffered when walking behind his mother Diana’s casket through the streets of London following her funeral.

“No child should be asked to do that," the 32-year-old said in an interview with Newsweek.

Image: Earl Spencer, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles look at the coffin of Diana
Prince Harry (right) was aged 12 at the time of his mother's funeral. Russell Boyce / Reuters

Harry also discussed his future, saying none of the royal family really wanted the throne but were fulfilling a duty.

“We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he said.

Harry has spoken candidly in a series of interviews in recent months, revealing in April that he sought therapy to deal with his mother’s death and described having panic attacks.

Diana's funeral brought huge crowds onto the streets to witness Princes William and Harry — then aged 15 and 12 — following her casket out of Westminster Abbey and through the British capital on on Sept. 6, 1997.

In the Newsweek interview, Harry said the events of that day can still overwhelm him.

“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,” he said. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”

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He is grateful to his late mother for teaching him to remain grounded despite his life of privilege, the magazine said.

“People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live,” said Harry, who is fifth in line to the U.K. throne. “I do my own shopping. Sometimes, when I come away from the meat counter in my local supermarket, I worry someone will snap me with their phone. But I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too.”

However, he admitted the mix of ordinary and extraordinary was “a tricky balancing act” for the monarchy, saying: “We don’t want to dilute the magic. The British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”

Image: Prince Harry
Prince Harry WPA Pool / Getty Images

He added: “The monarchy is a force for good. We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people…. Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”

He told the magazine that he often ached to be “something other than Prince Harry.”

Reflecting on the maturity gained since he left the British army in 2015, Harry said he was keen to show he is a more rounded person.

“Sometimes, I can have too much passion,” he said. “It has got me into trouble in the past, partly because I cannot stand the idea of people mincing around the subject rather than just getting on with it.”

Harry, who will launch the latest Invictus games in Toronto, Canada later this summer, last week attended the reopening of London's Borough Market after the recent terror attack.

Image: Earl Spencer (2L) Prince William (3L) , Prince Harry and Prince Charles (R) watch as the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales is placed into a hearse
Earl Spencer, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles watch Diana's coffin leaving Westminster Abbey in 1997. Kieran Doherty / Reuters