Why William and Harry’s Last Phone Call with Princess Diana Still Haunts Them

The phone call they’ll regret for the rest of their lives.

On August 30, 1997, Princess Diana called to check on her sons Prince William, 15, and Prince Harry, 12. The boys were vacationing in Scotland with family while Diana was on a summer getaway in France with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. But as kids can be, a phone call with their mum paled in comparison to playing with their cousins. “Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, ‘see you later,’” Prince William said in a film interview. Little did the princes know that it would be the last time they’d ever hear their mother’s voice. Shortly after midnight, Diana died in a tragic car accident.

Twenty years later, in the 2017 documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, the two princes reflected on the regrets they have about that very phone call mere hours before their mother’s death.

“If I’d known now what was going to happen, I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it,” Prince William told the filmmakers. “But that phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”

The pangs of guilt and regret still eat away at his younger brother as well. “Looking back on it now, it’s incredibly hard. I’ll have to sort of deal with that for the rest of my life,” Prince Harry said in the documentary. “How differently that conversation could have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling her life was going to be taken that night.”

Despite their anguish about taking the last chat with their mother for granted, the boys continue to keep Princess Diana’s legacy alive. In fact, Prince William will often gush about his mother to his children as he tucks them away in bed. He even has them call her the sweetest name – Granny Diana. “Just to remind them that there were two grandmothers in their lives,” Prince William said in the interview.

Next, take a look back at these rarely seen photos of Princess Diana.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest