Prince Harry recalls moment William used 'soul-crushing' three words about Princess Diana

Prince Harry reveals Prince William used a 'soul-crushing' vow about Diana saved for moments of 'extreme crisis'

Prince Harry William soul crushing three words
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry has recalled the heartbreaking moment Prince William begged him to belief that he only wants happiness for him, using a 'soul-crushing' vow about Princess Diana

  • Prince Harry opened up about a passage in his Spare memoir that recounts a devastating moment between him and Prince William during his ITV interview with Tom Bradby. 
  • During the tell-all chat, Prince Harry shared that one part of the book is about how Prince William begged him to believe that he wanted nothing but happiness for him in a poignant meeting after Prince Philip's funeral in 2021. 
  • In other royal news, Prince Harry says he was ‘naïve’ and ‘probably bigoted’ before he met Meghan Markle.

Sitting down with Tom Bradby for ITV's Harry: The Interview, Prince Harry touched on a passage from Spare that details a sad moment shared between him, Prince William and King Charles after the funeral of Prince Philip in 2021. 

With Bradby calling it a "extraordinary and heartbreaking scene", the interview featured Prince Harry narrating the exchange, claiming that William used the "universal password" for times of "extreme crisis" - "on mummy's life". 

The excerpt from the book says, "I pulled away, refused to meet his gaze. He forced me to look into his eyes, 'Listen to me Harold, listen, I love you Harold, I want you to be happy', the words flew out of my mouth, 'I love you too, but your stubbornness is extraordinary’, 'And yours isn’t?' I pulled away again."

Prince Harry William soul crushing three words

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harry goes on to write, "He grabbed me again, twisting me to maintain eye contact. 'Harold you must listen to me, I just want you to be happy, Harold, I swear, I swear on mummy’s life.

"He stopped. I stopped. Pa stopped."

The recollection continues, "He’d gone there, he’d used the secret code, the universal password, ever since we were boys those three words were to be used only in times of extreme crisis, 'on mummy’s life'."

Prince Harry William soul crushing three words

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sharing his reaction to his brother's powerful words, Harry confessed that he was stopped "cold" because they hadn't "worked".

He writes, "For nearly 25 years we’d reserved that soul-crushing vow for times when one of us needed to be heard, to be believed quickly, for times when nothing else would do.

"It stopped me cold, as it was meant to. Not because he’d used it, but because it didn’t work. I simply didn’t believe him."

Caitlin Elliott
Junior News Editor

Caitlin is a Junior News Editor for, covering all things royal, celeb, lifestyle, food, and family. Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry).