Prince William opens up about his experience with grief after losing Princess Diana

The prince has visited Christchurch, New Zealand in the wake of last month's terror attacks

Words by Maisie Bovingdon

Prince William has opened up about his experience with grief and how he coped following the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, during his solo visit to New Zealand in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks last month.

As part of his visit, the Duke of Cambridge met with New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and gave a heartfelt speech at the Al Noor mosque, one of two places where the shootings took place.

In the speech, William called on his personal dealings with grief as he addressed the grieving population.

The prince – who lost his mum in 1997 when he was a teenager – said: ‘I have had reasons myself to reflect on grief and sudden pain and loss in my own life. And in my role, I have often seen up close the sorrow of others in moments of tragedy, as I have today.’

The 36-year-old royal, who celebrates his eighth wedding anniversary to Kate Middleton today, acknowledged the ‘shock’, ‘pain’, and ‘sadness’ is never forgotten, but insisted that while grief can be a test of character and show your true self, it will not change who you are.

He added: ‘What I have realised is that of course grief can change your outlook. You don’t ever forget the shock, the sadness, and the pain. But I do not believe that grief changes who you are. Grief—if you let it—will reveal who you are. It can reveal depths that you did not know you had.’

Hear, hear.

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