Prince William Shares His Grief
Eleven years after Diana’s death, the prince goes public with his very private feelings-find out why
For the first time, Prince William has shared his feelings about losing his mother, Princess Diana. William was just fifteen and his brother Harry, 11, when Diana, then the most famous woman in the world, was killed in a tragic car accident in Paris.
William, now 26, has finally spoken about his grief. He said, “Initially there is a sense of disbelief that this could ever happen to you. Real grief often does not hit home until much later. For many it is a grief that is never entirely lost…. Life is altered as you know it, and not a day goes by without you thinking about the one thing you have lost…Never being able to say the word ‘Mummy’ again in your life sounds like a small thing. However, for many, including me, it’s now really just a word–hollow and evoking only memories.”
William has always before refused to share his feelings. But he has become the Royal Patron of a charity that helps bereaved families. By speaking out, he hopes to bring attention to the organization and the work it does. Princess Diana helped launch the group that a friend of hers, a counselor, heads. William said, “What my mother recognized then–and what I understand now–is that losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever endure.”
Princess Diana was always a devoted mother, and she looked happiest in photographs when she was playing with her sons. She was determined that they not be brought up in the austere and formal way their father, Prince Charles, had been raised. She took them to fast-food restaurants, on a memorable trip to Disney World and went swimming and on the flume ride with them.
On the night Diana died, August 31, 1997, William and Harry, were at Balmoral Castle with their father and Queen Elizabeth. Diana had been on a vacation with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. In one of her last phone calls, Diana she said how eager she was to return to England and see her boys.
Prince Charles was first informed his ex-wife had been in a serious accident in a Paris tunnel while her car was being chased by paparazzi. Hours later, Charles learned that Diana had died and he had to tell his sons when they woke up that morning.
One of the saddest moments during the days of grief experienced around the world for “the people’s princess” was when teenage William and young Harry walked with their father through the streets of London behind their mother’s casket in her funeral procession.
William, now an adult and future king, is being praised for finally opening up about his profound grief as a way to help others who mourn.