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Prince Harry pens emotional message to bereaved children in new book

Prince Harry opened up about the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in a foreword for a new book created for children who have lost a parent to COVID-19. Harry, who was 12 at the time of his mother's death, wrote that despite the "hole" losing a parent creates, the memories of them live on forever.

The book, "Hospital by the Hill," tells the story of a child whose mother died from COVID-19 while working on the front lines of the pandemic. The book has been made available for free to children in the United Kingdom.   

Royal Baby Leaves Hospital
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) leaves the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with her son Prince Harry, in Paddington, London, England, 16th September 1984. Harry had been born the previous day. Getty Images

"When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time I didn't want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me," Prince Harry wrote. "I know how you feel and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support. ...when a parent goes to heaven, I was told their spirit, their love and the memories of them do not." 

"They are always with you and you can hold onto them forever." 

Diana, Princess of Wales, died from injuries sustained from a car crash in 1997. The car Diana was traveling in had been chased by paparazzi leading up to the accident. 

Chris Connaughton, the author of the book, wrote on the book's website that "writing about death is hard," but that "talking about it can be even harder." The book was created with the help of child bereavement specialists.

"It's always hard and horrible to deal with the death of someone you love, to lose someone who loved you," Connaughton wrote. "...Whoever you are thinking about, I hope this story helps make some of the hard and horrible stuff a bit easier."

The book was released on Friday, and was immediately met with praise on Twitter. 

"Grief is hard for an adult but [for] a child it's unimaginable," one user said. "I lost my sister to COVID & my heart breaks every time I think of her & the pain she endured all alone." 

The Duke of Sussex often speaks fondly of his late mother, and has often compared her criticism-heavy experience in the Royal family to what his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is currently experiencing. 

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 7, he said that "all she'd ever want is for us to be happy," and that Diana would feel "very angry" with how Meghan has been treated since the couple got married in 2018. He attributed his and Meghan's ability to leave their royal duties to Diana.

"I brought what my mom left me," he told Winfrey. "And without that, we would not have been able to do this, so touching back on what my mother would think of this, I think she saw it coming. I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process."

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