Related topics

Diana’s Mom Surprised by Grieving

July 16, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Princess Diana’s sons should be raised to be themselves, not ``shadows″ of their mother, the princess’s mother says in a television interview to be aired Thursday in the United States.

In the documentary ``The Real Diana,″ to be broadcast by Fox, Frances Shand Kydd said she spent the three nights before Diana’s funeral among mourners outside her daughter’s Kensington Palace home, drawing strength from their grief, according to a transcript published in The Mirror tabloid.

Mrs. Shand Kydd said she hoped Prince William, 16, and Prince Harry, 13, would be encouraged to ``grow up to be themselves.″

``I wouldn’t want them to be, or expect them to be, pointed in the direction of being a shadow of their mother, because they are themselves,″ she said.

Several times, Mrs. Shand Kydd deflected probing personal questions. She abruptly ended the interview when interviewer Cathy Crier tried to ask about negative comments made last month by Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Diana’s boyfriend, Dodi, who also was killed in the Aug. 31 car crash. Al Fayed called Mrs. Shand Kydd a snob and a poor mother.

Mrs. Shand Kydd said she was surprised at the mass grieving following Diana’s death. ``There aren’t words to describe it, and Diana above all would have had no concept of what has happened because of her,″ she said.

Speaking in the library at the Spencer family’s ancestral home, Althorp House, she commended her son, Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, for setting up a museum in memory of his sister.

The exhibition, which is open to the public for two months this summer, includes mementos from Diana’s childhood and home video footage of the young Diana.

Mrs. Shand Kydd called it ``really quite simply, breathtaking″ and said some of the media coverage of it had been ``very harsh and very hurtful at times.″ Some newspaper articles had accused Spencer of profiting from his sister’s death.

``I had qualms about it, nerves about it, wondering how I’d feel,″ Mrs. Shand Kydd said. But ``it is beautiful. It just flows from beginning to end. It’s very quiet, poignant, powerful,″ she said.

Update hourly