August 31 is a very emotional day for Prince William and Prince Harry. This year marks 23 years since the untimely death of their mother, Princess Diana.
Over the years, Diana’s sons have found different ways of commemorating the day. This year, Harry and wife Meghan Markle decided to mark the anniversary by giving back, in Diana’s spirit of service.
Harry and Meghan visited a Los Angeles preschool, People magazine reports. The couple stopped by to join children and teachers at the Preschool Learning Center. There, they planted Diana’s favorite flowers, forget-me-nots. They also planted other flowers and vegetables with very eager and excited little ones.
Harry has emotionally struggled a lot since Diana’s death. In recent years, he’s opened up about the different ways his mom’s death has impacted him throughout his life. He’s even shared regret over his last conversation with his mom. It’s good to see Harry channeling his grief into giving back and being around children, two things Diana would have surely approved of.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle found a special way to celebrate Princess Diana’s memory on the 23rd anniversary of her death. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited a preschool in Los Angeles on Monday, August 31. There, they explored a learning garden with the children.
The little ones got their hands dirty in the garden. They planted flowers and vegetables, including petunias, California wildflowers, tomatoes, squash, sweet peas, and more.
“Everyone got their hands dirty digging holes for the new plants and seeds and making sure they were secure with enough soil,” a source told People magazine.
Harry brought along something extra to especially remember Diana. He planted forget-me-not seeds with the children. The flowers are widely known to have been the late Princess of Wales’ favorite flower. Harry and Meghan incorporated them into a photo marking Meghan’s first Mother’s Day last year.
Meghan and Harry also spent some time reading with the young kids. They read Jack and the Beanstalk, as well as other books about gardening and planting.
“They listened to children’s nursery music while they gardened and some of the children danced and sang.”
It’s wonderful to see Harry finding a positive way to channel his grief. In recent years, he’s opened up a lot about how the way he dealt with his mother’s death in the immediate aftermath was unhealthy. More recently, his focus on mental health has allowed him to process those emotions.
Harry was just 12 years old when he lost his mom. In the documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Harry recalls the last time he spoke with her. He and a 15-year-old William were at Balmoral, hanging out with their cousins, when she called from Paris.
“If I’d known that that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother the things that I would — the things I would have said to her,” Harry says in the moving documentary.
Harry also revealed later on that he has cried over his mother’s death only twice. The first time was at her gravesite at Althorp on September 6, 1997, the day she was buried. Since then, it’s only happened again “maybe, maybe once.”
“So there’s, you know, there’s a lot of — there’s a lot of grief that still needs to be let out,” he acknowledged. That said, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t think of her often.
“There’s not a day that William and I don’t wish that she was still around, and we wonder what kind of a mother she would be now, and what kind of a public role she would have, and what a difference she would be making.”
It seems that William and his family spent the anniversary at Balmoral. It’s the first time they’ve gotten to see the Queen since the health crisis forced them all into separate self-isolation. That said, it has to be bittersweet for him to be a world away from Harry, the only other person who understands what they experienced when getting the news that day. Hopefully, the brothers were able to mark the anniversary in some way of their own.
As for Diana’s larger, public legacy, William and Harry are working on something. The two released a joint statement announcing that a statue of Diana will be unveiled next year to mark what would have been her 60th birthday.
“The statue that Prince William and Prince Harry have commissioned to commemorate their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, will be installed next year on what would have been her 60th Birthday,” the statement reads.
“The statue was commissioned to mark the 20th anniversary of her death and recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world,” it continues.
“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking the Princess’s 60th birthday. The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.”