It is undoubtedly difficult for anyone to relive the painful moments of a funeral, burying a loved one. For the late Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, the cherished royal's funeral on September 6, 1997 no different.
"I’ve never seen it,” he told writer Diane Clehane during their lunch at Michael’s in New York City. “It’s quite distant [referring to the memory of his eulogy]. People do still talk to me about it and it’s quite interesting that my kids learned about it as part of British history in school.”
The father of seven children continued, “It’s hard to distinguish what I remember from what I’ve been told about it, but I do remember using my stomach muscles to stay upright by the end. It was much worse, though, walking behind the casket.”
Almost 20 years later, the memory and honor of his sister remains. The author of Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I , which is already a best-seller in England, keeps the Spencer family’s ancestral home Althorp open to the public 60 days a year. Though the Diana exhibition is no longer on display since it was specified in her will that Prince Harry receive most of the items when he turned 30 in September, visitors can still see the house and the grounds.
As for the current coverage of his nephews Harry and William and Kate Middleton, he explained, “I’m always amazed that there’s more coverage [in the United States] than in Britain. There seems to be something about them every day.”
Generally speaking, the hoopla is much more positive than what his late sister endured before her tragic death. “When we were in South Africa right before she died, [the paparazzi] were everywhere and it was very dangerous,” Charles said. “[That final summer] there were members of the British press stalking her. The money [being offered] was so huge — $250,000 — for those last sets of photographs.”
Charles, who has written four books, may have something else to look forward to watching over and over — his latest novel. Lionsgate and Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, have expressed interest in bringing it to the big screen.
Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I hits American shelves on Tuesday.