prince william on princess diana death
Opening up

Prince William on finding out mom Princess Diana died and ‘dark days’ that followed

The Duke of Cambridge recalled a range of memories while at a major event in Scotland

Prince William recounted the unbearable moment he found out his mother Princess Diana passed away. The Duke of Cambridge, 38, opened up about her death in 1997 while attending the opening ceremony of the General Assembly of The Church of Scotland on Saturday, May 22. Getting to the core of why the country has a special place in his heart, the royal touched on his “dark days of grief.”

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Speaking before the assembly as Lord High Commissioner, William divulged his connection to Scotland. “Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories, but also, my saddest,” he candidly said. “I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning.”

Crathie Kirk is a small church in Scottish village of Crathie. As royal aficionados may know, it’s the regular place of worship of the royal family when they’re in residence at Balmoral Castle. The dad-of-three went on to say: “And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.”

William was there to listen, too. In his speech he said: “It is my duty today to speak, but equally I am here to listen.” The General Assembly is a crucial event in the Church of Scotland calendar. Held annually, the gathering aims to examine the work and laws of the Church and then make decisions for going forward. Watch William’s speech below:

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