Prince Harry opens up about losing mum Princess Diana as he pens sweet letter to military children who have lost parents

"Grief is nothing to be ashamed of; it's normal to feel sadness from loss"

Prince Harry
(Image credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo/Future)

To mark Remembrance Day, Prince Harry has spoken to military children who have lost parents and opened up about losing his own mother Princess Diana when he was just a boy. 

Memories of Princess Diana's tragic death are always lingering in the public consciousness, only evermore so thanks to Netflix's final season of The Crown in which her final moments alive were recreated for the screen and Prince William's reaction to his mother’s death was broadcast for all to see. 

With all the theories surrounding her passing and the collective grief that consumed the UK following her accident, it's easy to forget that at the heart of the tragedy were two young sons who had lost their mother. Both Prince William and Prince Harry have spoken out in recent years regarding their mother, with William revealing stories about her like the clever way she would ease his ‘anxiety’ over ‘going back to school’ and Harry sharing his belief that his mother 'would be sad' but understanding about his relationship with Prince William.

Now, Harry has opened up about the experience of losing his mother when he was just 12 years old, using the sad ordeal to help connect with children who have lost their parents during military duty as part of his new role as global ambassador for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity that helps provide emotional support for kids affected by parental loss. 

Diana, Princess of Wales holding Prince Harry in her arms while on holiday in Majorca, Spain on August 10, 1987.

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Georges De Keerle)

In a letter written to the charity's members ahead of Remembrance Day, Harry imparted wisdom taken from his experience with grief and encouraged children currently experiencing the struggle to 'feel sadness' but also to remember that they 'deserve' to feel happy too. 

"During what may be a particularly difficult time for you and your family, know that I am thinking of you and hoping for your Remembrance weekend to be filled with comfort, support, and shared understanding with your fellow Scotty's members,” he wrote.

"This is an incredibly important and emotional time of the year, when so many come together to pay their respects to your military parents and our military family, for their service and for their sacrifice. 

"Growing up, having lost a parent, is immensely difficult. But being part of such and resilient community like Scotty's can really help. Spending time with people who understand what you may be feeling and who can rally around you in moments of need is something to cherish. Scotty's will be there for you year-round, and I encourage you to take full advantage of all this community has to offer."

"Grief is nothing to be ashamed of; it's normal to feel sadness from loss. But don't forget that you also deserve to feel happiness - your parent would want that, trust me. On this Remembrance Sunday, I hope you carry a sense of pride for your mum or dad, as they do for you, with the understanding that they will never be forgotten. It's an honour for me to be a part of this community alongside you."

Prince William, Prince Harry and Diana

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Nikki Scott, who founded the charity in 2010, told PEOPLE Magazine that Harry's involvement in the charity is such a 'positive thing' for everyone and that he 'really gets' how to speak with the kids and help them deal with their emotions.

"It is such a positive thing for us," she said. "The fact that [Harry] was bereaved as a child and served in the military, the young people we support really resonate with him. He just really gets it, and you can feel the passion coming through when he talks and writes to us. He is so willing to help and so engaged."

She added, "To know that someone like Prince Harry is behind us and supporting us makes you feel and that people are listening – and he is going to help to get more people to listen and get our message across."

Currently, Scotty’s Little Soldiers supports over 650 members who have been impacted by military bereavement. They offer their members vital services like access to child bereavement support, guidance to parents and carers, personal education, learning assistance, and activities like holiday respite breaks and group events.

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.