Duchess Kate, who was wearing a royal blue Eponine dress, accompanied him to the Stratford, London, center on Wednesday, January 11. The royal couple helped the kids make memory jars in honor of family members who had passed away.
The second-in-line to the throne, 34, told a 9-year-old girl, Aoife, who lost her father to pancreatic cancer six years ago, that he had been through the same pain. “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,” he said. “Do you speak about your daddy? It’s very important to talk about it, very, very important.” It was a rare, emotional moment for William since he and his brother, Prince Harry, have only talked about Diana’s death publicly on a few occasions.
Aoife’s mother told reporters after the event, “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.”
William also told the children that he went through a period of “anger” after his mother’s sudden death. “He told us how he felt angry when she died. He very specifically used that word anger, he felt angry about it,” a mother, Lorna, said. “He also told us how important it was to talk about how we feel when we lose someone as he found it very difficult to talk about it.”
It has been nearly 20 years since Princess Diana died in a fatal crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. She was 36. There will be several commemorative events this year, including a new holiday, National Kindness Day, in her memory.
The Duke of Cambridge is a big supporter of Child Bereavement UK, which was founded by a close friend of Diana, Julia Samuel. Samuel remains close to the family and is even one of Prince George’s seven godparents.