Prince William has had an emotional exchange with a grieving 9-year-old girl about their shared experience of losing a parent and it had us sobbing into our cups of tea this morning.
William and The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, were visiting the Child Bereavement UK Centre in London on Wednesday, speaking to families about coping with loss.
Child Bereavement UK supports families and assists and educates professionals when a baby or child dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
William’s a staunch supporter of the organisation, having lost his mum, Princess Diana, in tragic circumstances when he was just a teen.
The couple spent time cutting a cake to celebrate the centre’s anniversary, talking to children, parents and staff, and working on a therapeutic ‘memory jar’ project with the kids.
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The Duke and Duchess visit a @childbereavementuk Centre in Stratford, as the London Centre marks its one year anniversary – The Duke here joined a 'Memory Jar' exercise, designed to help bereaved families. Child Bereavement UK provides support for children and families when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. The charity also provides training for professionals whose work brings them into contact with bereaved families.
“We lost our mummy”
One particular, heartfelt exchange has sparked a collective, emotional response.
William was chatting to a little girl who lost her father to pancreatic cancer several years ago.
“Do you know what happened to me?” The Prince asked 9-year-old Aoife gently.
“I lost my mummy when I was very young too,” he said.
“It’s very important to talk about it”
“I was 15 and my brother was 12. So we lost our mummy when we were young as well,” William explained.
He urged Aoife to continue talking about and remembering her late dad.
“Do you speak about your daddy? It’s very important to talk about it, very, very important,” he encouraged.
Aoife said talking to the Prince really made a difference.
“It was really nice that he talked to me. It was like there are other people who know what it is like to lose someone,” People Magazine reports.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 11, 2017
Authentic and heartfelt
The charity’s patron, Julia Samuel, was a close friend to Princess Diana and is Prince George’s godmother. She says William’s involvement in the organisation is invaluable, genuine and special.
“He is helping us raise awareness in a way that no one else can do. That’s because people can see how authentic, and heartfelt he is and he’s experienced it,” Julia said.
“People can pick up authenticity within seconds.”