They were just 15 and 12 when their mother Princess Diana died in 1997, but Prince William and Prince Harry have recently admitted that they felt they let their mother down at the time, by not protecting her as her sons.

The young royals will speak about their late mother in a new 90-minute BBC documentary, which will mark the anniversary of her death in August of this year. The documentary will mostly track the aftermath of her tragic car accident in Paris, and the week following it.

Prince William admitted that he and Prince Harry wanted to take part in the documentary in order to make it up to Diana, whom they both felt they’d let down when she was alive.

He said, “Part of the reason why Harry and I want to do this is because we feel we owe it to her. I think an element of it is feeling like we let her down when we were younger.

“We couldn’t protect her. We feel we at least owe her 20 years on to stand up for her name and remind everybody of the character and person that she was. Do our duties as sons in protecting her.”

The emotional admission was followed by Prince Harry revealing just how taken aback he was by the love, support and shown after she died, “When she died there was such an outpouring of emotion and love which was quite, which was quite shocking.

“It was beautiful at the same time, and it was amazing, now looking back at it, it was amazing that our mother had such a huge effect on so many people.”

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He continued to say how being so young had an effect on the way he handled Diana’s death. He admitted, “When you’re that young and something like that happens to you I think it’s lodged in here, there, wherever – in your heart, in your head and it stays there for a very very long time.

“I think it’s never going to be easy for the two of us to talk about our mother, but 20 years on seems like a good time to remind people of the difference that she made not just to the Royal Family but also to the world.”

The documentary will also examine the profound effect the ‘People’s Princess’ had on the world, and will include interviews with her close friends, politicians, and journalists -many of whom will be speaking for the first time about the tragic week in August 1997.

From Woman & Home, our sister site.