For Prince William, he was 15 when his mother, Princess Diana, died suddenly in a car accident. However, when he became a father, all the pain of the trauma returned. In a BBC documentary on mental health, he described the experience as at times “overwhelming”.
Story of Princess Diana
More than 24 years have passed since Princess Diana lost her life in devastating accident. While the whole world remembers her through timeless photographs, television shows like The Crown, and film and documentary adaptations, she is an irreparable loss.
And the only person who could find it harder than anyone else is her firstborn, William. Maybe he never closed his pain. As a child, he saw his mother suffer from media attention, legal proceedings, family stress and the constant conflict between herself and the princess role in public who obeyed the rules dictated by the royal family.
He also witnessed the complicated relationship between his mother and father and their bitter divorce battle. Although the couple split in 1992, it wasn’t until 1996 they got divorced.
According to the NY Times, Diana wanted to retain her royal title “Her Royal Highness” given that she was the mother of the future heir, and Queen Elizabeth II even agreed. But the post says Prince Charles was “determined” that Diana would be deprived of the title and the privileges that go with it. Without having the titles, Diana would lose all formal ties to her children and even overtake her in rank, meaning she had to abide by various royal rules such as bowing to her own children.
Mourning Princess Diana
The Princess’s former butler, Paul Burrell, remembers how Prince William, then just 15, tried to comfort his mother. In his book, A Royal Duty, Burrell writes: “She remembered how he sat down with her one night she was upset over the loss of her royal title, he hugged her and said, ‘Don’t worry, Mum, I will return it to you someday, when I am king.”
She passed away a year after the divorce was finalized and his promise couldn’t be kept.
By Prince William’s sentimental talks, he hasn’t overcome the pain for the loss of his mother. In fact, in a recent interview, William spoke candidly about fatherhood and the loss of his mother, which showed that age-old injuries haven’t yet fully healed.
He was speaking for the program focused on men’s mental health where the Duke of Cambridge admitted: “Having children is the biggest change in life now, it really is,” the BBC quotes.