Why Princess Diana’s Name Was Banned from Church Service the Morning After Her Car Accident

After her sudden death, everything changed.

The Full Story Behind Princess Diana's Iconic HaircutNews UK Ltd/Shutterstock

The world stopped the morning after Princess Diana’s fatal car accident in August 1997. Everyone was in shock and didn’t know what the next steps for the royal family would be. Sadly, the family wasn’t able to hide from the world to mourn the loss of their loved one and instead had to spring into action to plan a funeral quickly. These were Princess Diana’s last words before she died.

Princess Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were very young at the time (15 and 12, respectively). Given their ages, the royal family was concerned about how they would take the news. The family allowed the boys to sleep in the morning after their mother’s death instead of abruptly waking them up to tell them. Another protective precaution the Queen took was banning all mentions of Princess Diana’s name at the church service that took place at Balmoral that day. This is what Kensington Palace looked like right after Princess Diana’s death.

princess dianaDavid Brauchli/AP/REX/Shutterstock

To further protect the boys from being traumatized by the details of their mother’s death, all of the televisions and radios in their home were hidden or moved. Even though the royal family tried to carry on as normal, the two princes were left feeling confused and devastated.

“Prince Harry actually asked his father, ‘Is it true that Mummy’s dead?’ Tina Brown, Princess Diana’s biographer shared in the documentary, Diana: 7 Days That Shook The Windsors. “The children couldn’t understand why everything was as normal, except a couple of hours earlier they’d been told their mother had died.”

The family may have tried to protect the two young princes as much as they could in the immediate aftermath, but it’s hard to help ease the pain of losing your mother. Now, learn the secrets about Princess Diana that no one knew until after her death.

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.