The Duke of Sussex made an appearance on Tuesday night’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the publication of his new memoir Spare. During the conversation host Stephen Colbert asked the royal, “If your mother were still alive, do you ever think about how she might handle this moment?,” referring to the current friction between him and the Prince of Wales. Harry replied, “We wouldn’t have got to this moment. It’s impossible to say where we would be now, where those relationships would be now, but there is no way that the distance between my brother and I would be the same.”
The comedian went on to ask if the Duke ever calls on his mother for guidance or advice, even after all these years. Harry said, “I’ve said quite a lot recently in different interviews that I’ve really felt the presence of my mom, especially in the last couple of years. And I detail in the book my brother and I talking at her grave and how he felt as though she had been with him for a long period of time and helped set him up with life and that he felt she was now moving over to me.” He added, “And I have felt her more in the last two years than I have in the last 30.”
Colbert then inquired about Harry’s feelings on turning 38 and now being two years older than Diana when she died in a car crash in Paris in 1997. “Well, she died at 36, and I was 36 when this all kicked off,” Harry explained. “January of 2020 was when my wife and I basically said, ‘Enough, we can’t cope. We can’t deal with this. We need to carve out something different.’ So that was an interesting overlap of time.” The Duke was referring to his and wife Meghan Markle’s decision to step down from their roles as working senior royals and move to California just months before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The late night host also brought up a detail from the royal’s memoir where he revealed that for years after his mother’s death he was certain that she was still alive somewhere. “For many years I had dreams. I was convinced that she was still alive. I mean, I was 12 years old,” Harry confessed. “I could not face the reality that she was gone.” When asked where he thought she was, he replied, “Hiding. Taking a break, plotting, planning, and then coming to get me and William to get us out of there because it was unbearable for her.” Colbert noted that, much like his mother, Harry also “removed” himself from a “toxic situation.” The Duke replied, “Yeah. And I’m glad…Not before trying to make it work. Believe me, we tried. And we’re still trying.”
Originally published on VanityFair.com