The second in line to Britain‘s throne opened up about his grief earlier this week during a visit to a hospice in Bedfordshire, east England, as he comforted a 14-year-old boy who had lost his mother to cancer last year.
“I know how you feel. I still miss my mother every day – and it’s 20 years after she died,” said the 34-year-old royal.
“The important thing is to talk about it as a family. It’s ok to feel sad, it’s ok for you to miss her,” he said.
During the visit to the Keech Hospice in Luton, the Duke of Cambridge was accompanied by wife Kate. The Duchess also made her own connection with the bereaved when she gave a hug to a six-year-old boy who had lost his eldest brother two years ago, saying: “I love cuddles.”
The royal couple later visited the Young Minds youth mental health charity in London, where William warned volunteers he was feeling emotional.
“I’m carrying a lot of things at the moment. I’ll be in floods of tears at the end otherwise. I’ve had too many sad families with the air ambulance so I can’t have any more stuff. Something on the lower level if I can,” he said as he joined a mental health helpline to receive calls.
The prince was referring to his part-time job as a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) since July 2015, having previously served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) search and rescue.
In recent months, William and Kate have focused much of their public work on promoting the emotional and psychological well-being of children and young adults.
Young Minds is a member of their Heads Together umbrella group of charities, launched by the duke and duchess with Prince Harry to tackle mental health issues.