The Duke of Cambridge made a rare public admission over his mother Princess Diana’s death as he comforted Aoife a nine year old girl, who lost her father to cancer.
During a visit to an east London bereavement centre with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, the prince asked Aoife: “Do you know what happened to me?
“You know I lost my mummy when I was very young too. I was 15 and my brother was 12. So we lost our mummy when we were young as well”. “Do you speak about your daddy?” William asked the girl. “It’s very important to talk about it. Very, very important.”
William is royal patron of the Child Bereavement U.K. Centre, a charity that helps families deal with the loss of a loved one.
Aoife’s mother, Marie, spoke to journalists after the event and said the conversation almost brought her to tears. “I couldn’t believe it when he started to talk about his mother. It was very emotional and I was willing myself not to start to cry. I almost did,” she said.
William and Kate met with children at the facility in Stratford today and encouraged them to create memory jars to help them deal with their grief.
While participating in the event, William met Lorna Ireland and her 12-year-old son, Shinobi Irons. They were filling their jar with bands of colored salt in memory of the child’s grandmother (who died three years ago) and his godmother (who died in 2015). Lorna explained the Prince began chatting with Shinobi. “He told my son that, when his mum died, he was 15 at the time, and he was very angry and found it very difficult to talk about it,”
It is known that there isn’t a day that passes during which Prince William and Prince Harry do not think about their late mother, Princess Diana. As Harry once said, “She was quite simply the best mother in the world.”
It was 20 years ago when Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris. William was just 15 years old at the time, his brother only 12.
The shocking events of August 31, 1997, made William and Harry the human faces of an international tragedy. While millions cried openly in the street at their mother’s funeral, the boys remained dry-eyed and stoic as they paid tribute in the most public of circumstances by walking behind her coffin as it made its way slowly down The Mall.
Royal life seemed to go back to normal in the years that followed. Attention focused on how to protect the boys from becoming prey for the press, like their mother. Soon after Princess Diana’s 10th anniversary, Prince William and Harry put a lid back on their heartbreak, reluctant to mention her name publicly again.
Last month, Harry admitted he had also repressed his feelings. In the documentary “Prince Harry in Africa”, he said, “I’d never really dealt with what had actually happened, so there was a lot of buried emotion and, for a huge part of my life, I just didn’t even want to think about it.