Princess Diana foresaw Prince Harry's departure from Royal family, Duke claims

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Josie Ensor
·4 min read
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Diana, Princess of Wales, with Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William in 1995  - Johnny Eggitt/ AFP
Diana, Princess of Wales, with Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William in 1995 - Johnny Eggitt/ AFP

Prince Harry has revealed that he was financially able to step back from the Royal family because his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales left him an inheritance, telling Oprah Winfrey: "I think she saw it coming".

The Duke of Sussex told the interviewer Oprah Winfrey that he was now living off money left to him by his late mother after he was “cut off financially” early last year when he and the Duchess moved to the US.

“I have what my mum left me and without that we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” he said of his new life in Los Angeles. “It’s like she saw it coming and she’s been with us through this whole process.”

The princes were left about £6.5 million each when their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, died 23 years ago. The sum was invested and gathered substantial interest, so Prince Harry inherited around £10 million on his 30th birthday.

Diana's sons were also left her wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel and made of thousands of pearls, silk layers and a 25ft-train.

In 2013, Earl Spencer, Diana's brother, said that other items would also be handed over to William and Harry, in accordance with their mother's will.

Other items handed down include: 28 other dresses, designer suits and evening gowns that belonged to Diana, two diamond tiaras, the original text of the Earl Spencer’s tribute to his sister at the funeral in Westminister Abbey and the score and lyrics of the Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin's version of Candle in the Wind, played by Sir Elton at Diana's funeral.

In the interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry went on to compare his wife Meghan's plight with that of his late mother's.

"You know, for me, I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you with my wife by my side because I can't begin to imagine what it must've been like for [Diana] going through this process by herself all those years ago," the Duke said. "My biggest concern was history repeating itself."

Diana, Princess of Wales had spoken out about her struggles in the Royal family and in her marriage to Prince Charles, which ended in divorce in 1992.

The princess died five years later when her car crashed in a Paris tunnel while being chased by paparazzi. Prince Harry was 12 years old at the time and has since spoken openly about the emotional toll of losing his mother at a young age.

The Duchess of Sussex revealed to Oprah Winfrey that she had at times felt as Diana did, constrained by her role in the Royal family. She said the feeling of isolation left her with suicidal thoughts.

“What I was seeing was history repeating itself, but far more dangerous,” Prince Harry told Oprah. “And you add race in. You add social media in,” he said referring to what he saw as a racist tinge to the treatment of his wife, whose mother is black.

"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 said, at times appearing tearful. “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces."

During the interview, the Duchess of Sussex, 39, wore a bracelet that previously belonged to Princess Diana.

Prince Harry, 34, said Diana would feel “angry” and “sad” about what the couple went through.

“She would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad,” he said. “All she would ever want was for us to be happy.”

He said that the couple, who have son Archie together and are expecting a daughter, was in a much better place today.

“I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for [Diana] going through this process by herself all those years ago,” he said, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.”