On an official visit to Church on the Street in Burnley, Lancashire – a centre dedicated to helping those struggling with poverty, homelessness, addiction or other problems including grief – the 39-year-old royal met with a number of local residents, including 11-year-old Deacon Glover, who recently lost his mother.
Putting his hand on the boy's shoulder, the Duke of Cambridge, who was just 15-years-old when his mother Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris, said: "I know how you feel."
The Duke then went on to tell young Deacon that "it gets easier", and the pair spent and emotional 15 minutes bonding with each other over their grief. But, the conversation wasn't dominated by sadness, as the pair also had plenty of common interests, including a passion for football.
Noting that Deacon was sporting a Burnley FC football shirt, Prince William pointed out that his father is also a big fan of the team. "I only found out a few years ago that my dad is a Burnley fan," he told the 11-year-old, before revealing he himself is an Aston Villa fan and hopes his own children will follow his lead. "I need to spread the love a bit," he joked.
But, this isn't the first time the Duke has spoken about his mother, who passed away 25-years ago, or his experience with grief. "What my mother recognised back then – and what I understand now – is that grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure," he said back in 2015.
In a break from royal tradition, he's also been open about his sadness at knowing his mother will never meet his three children, Prince George (8), Princess Charlotte (6) and Prince Louis (3). "I would like to have had her advice," William said in a 2017 interview. "I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won't, that they will never know her."
Despite that, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been keen to keep Diana's memory alive, and have made a point of using her parenting skills to raise their three children.
You Might Also Like