Royalty and statesmen

"Never being able to say the word 'mummy' 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," said the second-in-line to the throne. He made the moving speech to mark his appointment as patron of the Child Bereavement Charity
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"Life is altered as you know it, and not a day goes past without you thinking about the one you have lost. However I know that over time it is possible to learn to live with what has happened and, with the passing of years, to retain or rediscover cherished memories," continues William, pictured with his mother at his first official appointment in 1991
Photo: © Getty Images

Wills opens heart for first time about his grief at Diana's death

13 MARCH 2009
Second-in-line to the throne Prince William has spoken publicly for the first time about the devastating effects of losing his mother, Princess Diana, as a teenager. "Never being able to say the word 'mummy' 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," said William, who was only 15 when his mother died in a car accident.

The 26-year-old royal has always avoided discussing his grief, but spoke out after becoming the patron of the Child Bereavement Charity, which his mother was involved in before her death in 1997.

William was speaking at a London event to mark his appointment. He also helped launch the charity's 'Remember her on Mother's Day' campaign, which encourages people to spare a thought for mothers who have lost a child and children who have lost their mothers. "I can… wholeheartedly relate to the Mothers Day campaign, as I too have felt – and still feel – the emptiness on such a day as Mother's Day," he revealed.

The Prince also spoke candidly about his emotions following Diana's death in a car accident. "Initially, there is a sense of profound shock and disbelief that this could ever happen to you. Real grief often does not hit home until much later. For many it is a grief never entirely lost," he said.

"Life is altered as you know it, and not a day goes past without you thinking about the one you have lost. However I know that over time it is possible to learn to live with what has happened and, with the passing of years, to retain or rediscover cherished memories."


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