Jun 14, 2007

British princes still haunted by Diana's death

Britain's Prince Harry says he will 'never stop wondering' about the truth behind his mother Diana's death, in a joint interview with his brother William, who spoke of the emotional 'baggage' they carry as royals.In excerpts released Tuesday of an interview the princes gave to NBC News, both sons of Diana and Prince Charles said her death in a car accident nearly 10 years had cast a permanent shadow over their lives.Diana was killed when her speeding limousine, pursued by paparazzi, crashed in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31, 1997."Whatever happened in that tunnel, you know no one will ever know," Harry, 22, told NBC anchor Matt Lauer, according to advance excerpts reported by People Magazine"And I'm sure people will always think about that ... I'll never stop wondering about that," he said.William, 24 and second-in-line to the British throne, said the memory of his mother's death had failed to dwindle with time."There's not a day goes by I don't think about it," he said.The interview, recorded at the princes' official residence in London, will be broadcast June 18 on the US network.William was 15 and Harry 12 when their mother died. She had separated from Charles, heir to the British throne, in 1992 and they had divorced in 1996."Over the last ten years I personally feel as though she's always there," said Harry.The two princes are now officers in the British army. Their own colourful social lives -- including William's female companions and Harry's antics at night clubs and parties -- draw intense media scrutiny in Britain.Both acknowledged it was not possible to lead an entirely "normal" life."Within our private life and within certain other parts of our life we want to be as normal as possible," Harry said. "It's hard, because to a certain respect we never will be normal."William, whose break-up with girlfriend Kate Middleton made front page news in Britain, said forging relationships was difficult because of his royal status."I don't want to be liked by someone just because of who I am. I don't want the sycophantic people hanging around," William said."It's just as hard for our friends as it is for us," Harry added. "The reason I say that is because our friends have to put up with a lot -- when it comes to us." William agreed, saying: "There's a lot of baggage that comes with us, trust me -- a lot of baggage."Asked about their dream jobs if they were not British royals, William said he would like to be a helicopter pilot or work for the United Nations. Harry opted for life as a safari guide in Africa.The princes have organised a "Concert for Diana" on July 1, which would have been Diana's 46th birthday, with top stars to perform at London's Wembley Stadium.Meanwhile Tina Brown, whose biography of the British princess, "The Diana Chronicles," was just released in the United States, told CNN Tuesday that Diana was about to turn a corner in her life when the tragedy struck.Brown, who had lunched with Diana just weeks before her death, said she was near to emerging from her troubled post-divorce period and fully taking on her nascent role as a global human rights campaigner.There was "a sense that she was moving into a new act," Brown said of Diana, who had already carved out a place in AIDS and land mine awareness campaigns."I think she would have built on that," Brown said, calling Diana a model for celebrities now campaigning for human rights issues like Angelina Jolie.

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