On Prince Harry’s wedding day to Meghan Markle, there will be millions around the world watching him mark one of the biggest milestones of his life. But one woman in particular — his mom, Princess Diana — will be there in spirit, if not in body.
In 2016, Prince Harry opened up to Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview with Good Morning America to talk not only about the upcoming Invictus Games, but also how his mother has helped shape the man he is today. Now, as we watch his wedding, his words take on a new, even more significant meaning.
Sitting in his mom’s old sitting room at Kensington Palace, Prince Harry explained, with tears in his eyes, why it is so important to him to live a life he can be proud of — and one that would make his mother proud, too.
“I hope that a lot of my mother’s talents are shown in a lot of the work I do,” he said. “I hope she’s looking down, you know, with tears in her eyes, being incredibly proud of what we’ve established.”
That work includes not just the Invictus Games (an international Paralympic sporting event for wounded, injured, or sick veterans that Prince Harry founded) but Sentebale, a charity for the children of poverty-stricken Lesotho, many of whom suffer from HIV and AIDs. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006 in honor of Princess Diana. In addition to those and many other charities he works with, Prince Harry also continues to support The HALO Trust, a landmine charity supported by his mother.
“I hope that everything we do privately and officially, that it makes her proud,” Prince Harry explained. “We will do everything we can to make sure that she’s never forgotten and carry on all the special gifts, as such, that she had and that she portrayed while she was alive.”
The sudden and tragic death of his mother when he was only 13 has undeniably had a profound impact on Prince Harry, but it has also motivated him to help others at every opportunity.
“I think losing your mother at such a young age does end up shaping your life massively. Of course it does, and now I find myself trying to be there and give advice to other people who are in similar positions.”
At the time of his interview with Roberts, Prince Harry was just two months away from meeting Meghan — but marriage and children was already on his mind.
“I’m sure she’s longing for me to have kids so she can be a grandmother again,” he shared. “I can’t wait for the day. So, you know, it will be fantastic. I’ve got a kid inside of me. I want to keep that. I adore kids. I enjoy everything that they bring to the party. They just say what they think.”
In November 2017, when Prince Harry proposed to Meghan, he made sure to honor the most influential woman in his life. During their official engagement interview, the prince explained that the ring was made using his mother’s own jewelry.
“The ring is yellow gold because that’s [Meghan’s] favorite,” he said. “The main stone I sourced from Botswana and the stones on the side are from my mother’s jewelry collection to make sure she’s with us on this crazy journey together.”
Now, as the prince embarks on the next big chapter of his life, we can’t wait to see how he continues to honor his mother in both his charity work and his family.