Royals

Prince William comforts grieving young girl: “I lost my mummy when I was very young too”

The royal opened up about his beloved mother’s passing during a visit to a child bereavement centre in London.

Prince William

Prince William has spoken out once more about the importance of talking through grief, as he and Duchess Catherine spent time with children at the Child Bereavement UK Centre.

The centre provides support for children and families when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement, according to its official website.

During their visit, the royals spoke with several children – including nine-year-old Aoife, whose father John died from pancreatic cancer six years ago.

The Prince speaks with nine-year-old Aoife, who lost her father to pancreatic cancer. Photo: Getty
The Prince speaks with nine-year-old Aoife, who lost her father to pancreatic cancer. Photo: Getty

Opening up about the loss of his own mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in 1997, the prince told 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.”

“Do you speak about your daddy? It’s very important to talk about it. Very, very important,” he continued.

During their visit, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sat down with families to create ‘memory jars’ in tribute to loved ones who had died.

Prince William was just 15 and Prince Harry, 12, when their mother was killed in a car crash. Photo: Getty
Prince William was just 15 and Prince Harry, 12, when their mother was killed in a car crash. Photo: Getty

Speaking to 12-year-old Shinobi Irons and his mother Lorna Ireland, William again stressed the importance of not bottling up grief.

“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,” Lorna said.

“So it was very important that Shinobi talked to somebody about how he was feeling even now years on. It was very personal and it was very special.”

The visit concluded with a cake to mark the centre's first anniversary.
The visit concluded with a cake to mark the centre's first anniversary.

William has been involved with Child Bereavement UK for many years, having first become the charity’s Royal Patron in 2009. The organisation was founded in 1994 by Julia Samuel, who was best friends with Diana and is now Prince George’s godmother.

In recent years, both Prince William and Prince Harry have opened up more and more about their mother’s death.

In Prince Harry in Africa, a documentary on the royal’s charity work with Sentebale that aired on ITV in December, Harry spoke about how he dealt with his grief over losing his mother.

“My mother died when I was very, very young. I never really dealt with what had happened. There was a lot of buried emotion,” he revealed.

“So for a huge part of my life I just didn't even want to think about it.”

However, it was his mother’s memory that eventually spurred him on to set up Sentebale, which helps improve the lives of children and youth living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

“I want to do something really constructive with my life. I want to do something that makes my mother proud,” Harry explained.

“My mother stood for something. There's a lot of unfinished business and a lot of work that my mother never completed.”

Prince Harry is carrying on the legacy of his mother's charity work.
Prince Harry is carrying on the legacy of his mother's charity work.

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