She was one of Princess Diana’s closest friends, a loyal confidante who offered support and advice during her darkest days. And after Diana’s death, Julia Samuel, a bereavement psychotherapist, lavished the same love and attention on her children.
The connection is so close that Mrs Samuel was chosen to be godmother to Prince George, William’s eldest son, and was one of the few chosen to attend the unveiling of Diana’s statue in Kensington Gardens, along with William and Harry. Diana was also godmother to Mrs. Samuel’s son.
Now, Ms Samuel has posted an intriguing video on her Instagram page, which many interpret as a concerned plea for Prince Harry to mend the rift with his brother, following damaging allegations issued in his memoir, Spare. While she doesn’t mention the Princes by name, Ms Samuel warns that “big fights” can occur in families after an “unexpected death” and said that where we “love the most” we also “hate the most”.
Julia Samuel was one of Princess Diana’s closest friends, a loyal confidante who offered support and advice during her darkest days. Pictured: Diana, Princess of Wales, with Mrs. Julia Samuel in the royal box on Wimbledon’s Center Court, 1994
Ms Samuel revealed that while she, too, had been involved in family feuds, she was “lucky” that such incidents “were kept private, because none of us want those worst parts of ourselves exposed.”
In the video, shared with her 40,000 followers, Ms Samuel goes on to say that “there is no favorite child” in any family and “there is no one truth”. Her words seem to be a clear intervention in the ongoing feud between the brothers, and Harry’s insistence that he wrote his book bomb in the name of ‘truth’.
One of Ms Samuel’s followers, Amy Smith, posted a response to the video, saying: “Sounds like a message to Prince Harry.” Great publication that reflects the complexities of families, the nuances, the different perspective.’
Another follower wrote simply, identifying the apparent target of Ms Samuel’s comments: “Prince Harry…”
In his memoirs, written by American ghostwriter JR Moehringer, Harry accuses William of “pounced” on him and, in another incident, pushed him to the ground and broke his necklace.
Julia Samuel has posted an intriguing video to her Instagram page (pictured), which many interpret as a concerned plea for Prince Harry to mend the rift with his brother, following damaging allegations issued in his memoir, Spare.
Throughout the book, Harry complains about being treated as the minor “leftover” of William’s “heir”, revealing, for example, that he was given a smaller room when they were children.
In her video, Ms Samuel said: “I’ve been thinking about families and how every family has a story. We all have a story of love and loss and joy and pain and that within every family where we love the most we hate the most and make our deepest mistakes and there is no such thing as a perfect family.
‘All families operate on a functional and dysfunctional spectrum depending on internal and external pressures.
‘And the greatest external pressures are around large peaks of change. So obviously it’s death and even more so unexpected death, but also separation and illness where internal and external pressures put everyone in the family under stress.
“Everyone in that family can have different ways of coping, have different emotional needs and have different desires and that can cause real conflict in families.”
Princess Diana died in August 1997 in a car accident in Paris, when the princes were just 15 and 12 years old, and the lasting shock and grief from that tragedy is a recurring theme in Harry’s book.
Ms Samuel added: “Often where there is death in the family, at the heart of fracture and heartbreak in families is the loss of the one they love and the struggle for the limited resources of love just as they experience them at that moment.
Known in royal circles for her discretion, Mrs Samuels has said little about the siblings’ relationship, except to say that Diana “would be very proud of them”. Pictured: Prince Harry and Julia Samuel in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
‘And that can cause big fights. I know for myself that none of us is immune from these fights. I have had many fights around these issues that I have by no means been my best self and am not proud of at all.
‘Fortunately [these fights] we’ve stayed private because none of us wants those worst parts of ourselves exposed.
“But what I was thinking was that when families push and pull, there can be the idea that there is a correct story or a truth. And that’s really never the case. There is no hero or favorite son. There are multiple stories and multiple truths.’
In a message posted below the video, Ms Samuel writes: “Such conflicting attitudes can tragically tear a family apart. Where each family member keeps a different version of her experience. Or you want to be seen as the ‘right’ one. Or the victim. Or the ordained heir of the dead father.
Prince William is a patron of Mrs Samuel’s Child Bereavement UK charity, a role previously held by Diana. But she also remains close to Harry.
Ms Samuel is believed to have offered advice to the Duchess of Sussex when she suffered from mental health problems during pregnancy. In her revealing television interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Meghan said: “One of the people I reached out to, who remained a friend and confidant, was one of my husband’s mother’s best friends, one of my husband’s best friends. Diana .’
Pictured: Princess Diana and Julia Samuel at the 1990 Wimbledon Tennis Championships
Later that year, the grief specialist was invited to an event the palace described as “a very personal moment for the family” – the unveiling of a statue of Diana in Kensington Gardens.
There, Mrs. Samuel was seen hugging Harry as it became apparent that the relationship between the brothers was already starting to fall apart.
Known in royal circles for her discretion, she has said little about the siblings’ relationship except to say that Diana “would be very proud of them”. She has described her role as godmother to Prince George as “a great honour” and has spoken about the gifts she brings him for her birthday.
Two years ago, he told writer Elizabeth Day on the How To Fail podcast: “I do to George what [Diana] made us, which is giving impossible toys that are really loud [and] it takes a lot to do.
‘I’m coming off a bit inclined by the size of the gift that William has to spend days putting together. And then assemble all the machinery.
‘And it makes horrible noises and flashing lights and all that. That makes me laugh and it makes George laugh.
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