Will’s 20-year heartache over Diana’s death


PRINCE William has revealed it has taken him 20 years to open up about his mother’s death, speaking out about his sadness that his children will never know her.

In a candid interview with British GQ, the second-in-line to the throne opened up about his “raw” emotions about Princess Diana, who died in a car crash 20 years ago this August.

Speaking about the imminent anniversary of his mother’s death, Prince William said: “I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better.

“It has taken me almost twenty years to get to that stage. I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw.”

Opening about his mother, he added: “I would like to have had her advice. I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”

He added that the public’s attention around the Princess of Wales’ death had made it harder, saying: “And also it is not like most people’s grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her. It is a different situation for most people who lose someone they love, it can be hidden away or they can choose if they want to share their story.”

The interview was accompanied by a rare photograph of the young royal family, including Prince William’s children George and Charlotte, relaxing on the grass together.

Adorable Charlotte can be seen smiling and George crawls towards his parents, with the family dog running in the background.

The Duke said: “I could not do my job without the stability of the family. Stability at home is so important to me. I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world and that is so important to both of us as parents.

“I want George to grow up in a real, living environment, I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls, he has to be out there. The media make it harder but I will fight for them to have a normal life.”

Kensington Palace announced the latest interview, saying Wills had spoken to mental health campaigner Alastair Campbell, who “shares a common cause to tackle the taboo around mental health”.

media_cameraPrincess Diana with her sons, William and Harry, at the Royal Tournament in London in 1988. Picture: Getty

The interview comes as Prince William and wife Kate have thrown their weight behind the Heads Together campaign, encouraging people to speak about their mental health.

The 34-year-old said: “Smashing the taboo is our biggest aim. We cannot go anywhere much until that is done. People can’t access services till they feel less ashamed, so we must tackle the taboo, the stigma, for goodness sake this is the 21st century.

“I’ve been really shocked how many people live in fear and in silence because of their mental illness. I just don’t understand it. I know I come across as quite reserved and shy, I don’t always have my emotions brewing, but behind closed doors I think about the issues, I get very passionate about things.”

media_cameraPrincess Diana takes Prince William to his first day of preschool in 1985. Picture: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

He continued: “I rely on people around me for opinions, and I am a great believer in communication on these issues. I cannot understand how families, even behind closed doors, still find it so hard to talk about it.

“I am shocked we are so worried about saying anything about the true feelings we have. Because mental illness is inside our heads, invisible, it means others tread so carefully, and people don’t know what to say, whereas if you have a broken leg in plaster, everyone knows what to say.”

William has previously said that he had not spoken about his mother’s death enough.

Fiona + Alastair | Heads Together | #oktosay

Princes Will and Harry, along with Duchess of Cambridge Kate, earlier spoke out on the importance of talking about difficult subjects in a YouTube film to promote their Heads Together mental health campaign.

It comes after Harry bravely told how he came close to a breakdown, spiralled into “total chaos” and ended up seeking counselling after “shutting down all my emotions” for nearly two decades.

Kate, 35, also said how mental health sufferers have told her talking is “like medicine” as they share a chat in the gardens of Kensington gardens in the new campaign video.

media_cameraPrince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge have thrown their weight behind a mental health awareness campaign. Picture: Andrew Parsons — WPA Pool/Getty Images

This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.

Originally published as Will’s 20-year heartache over Diana’s death

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