The Devastating Reason Balmoral Haunts Prince Harry And Prince William

On Thursday, September 8, upon the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II was in ill health, members of the royal family congregated by her side at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in order to be with her in her final hours. This included everyone from the queen's four children to her grandson, now the heir apparent to the British throne, William, Prince of Wales. The younger son of the new King Charles III — Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex — was unable to make it in time and only arrived at Balmoral after his grandmother's death. 

Balmoral Castle has a long history within the royal family. It was originally purchased by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, in 1852, per Architectural Digest, and has remained the private property of each ruling monarch ever since. It also has a deep and haunting connection to William and Harry, in large part due to the tragic death of their mother, Diana, in 1997. 

Princes William and Harry learned of their mother's death at Balmoral Castle

As many royal family observers will recall, Diana, the former Princess of Wales, died in August 1997 in a tragic car accident. Her sons, Princes William and Harry, were only 15 and 12 years old at the time. According to The Associated Press, the young boys were vacationing at Balmoral Castle for the summer with their father, now King Charles III, and grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at the time of their mother's death. The morning after her passing, shortly before dawn, they were awoken by their father who shared with them the tragic news. Naturally, the young princes soon became the subject of much media attention.

The Sunday morning after her death, William, now the Prince of Wales, and Harry, now the Duke of Sussex — along with their father — all wore black and attended church services at Crathie Kirk, a small church near Balmoral Castle known for being the regular place of worship for the royal family while they are in the area. William later said that while he was "touched" by the public's expression of sympathy for their loss at the time, "None of it sank in." 

"All I cared about was, I'd lost my mother, and I didn't want to be where I was," William recalled in the 2017 BBC documentary, "Diana, 7 Days." "When we go out and do things like that, in order not to completely and utterly break down, we have to put on a bit of a game face."