The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a poignant visit to a child bereavement centre on Wednesday (Jan. 11) and it was then that Prince William comforted a grieving girl. The royal, who will mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death in August, spoke to Aoife, nine, about losing her dad.
"Do you know what happened to me? You know I lost my mummy when I was very young too," said William. "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? It's very important to talk about it, very, very important."
Aoife's mother, Marie, said afterward: "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. I am telling my children that if they take anything away from this day, it is what he said about how important it is to talk. Kids do not forget that. Sometimes it hurts but we can remember the happy things too. It is so important to talk."
William and Kate were visiting the Child Bereavement UK Centre in Stratford, London to mark the centre's one year anniversary. William, who has been patron of Child Bereavement UK since 2009, and Kate heard how the charity supports families when a baby or a child passes away.
Speaking to a grieving boy Shinobi Irons, 12, who had lost his grandmother and godmother, William again spoke about his late mother. He admitted that he was "very angry" when Princess Diana died in 1997.
The little boy's mother revealed: "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. 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," she added about William's comment.
The charity was set up in 1994 in the presence of William's mother Princess Diana, whose best friend, Julia Samuel, is founder patron of the organisation. Mrs Samuel is still close friends with the royals and is Prince George's godmother. She was also present at the engagement.
William, 34, and Kate, 35, met families who have been helped by the charity as well as professionals and volunteers who work at the service.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also attended one of the charity's Family Support Group sessions where children, their parents, and carers can meet other families to explore themes of memories, feelings, support networks and resilience.
The engagement concluded with a short reception to mark the Stratford centre's first anniversary, where William and Kate met funders of Child Bereavement UK's East London service.
Kate, who looked elegant in a royal blue Eponine London coat, had carried out a solo engagement earlier in the day. The Duchess visited the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in north London.