Just three months short of the 20th anniversary of the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince William gave his most “candid interview he has ever given,” to British GQ. Here, he speaks to writer Alastair Campbell of his grief over the loss of his mother at a young age, his personal regrets, Heads Together, and what he promises to give his son, Prince George, the third in line to the British throne.
William was asked what has been the hardest part of losing his mother. He explained that he really wished to have her around to ask for her advice. William also regrets that his mother never met Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. It also gives him great pain that his children will never have known his mother, nor will she have had the joy of watching her adorable grandchildren grow up.
“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.”
William also expressed his appreciation for his family and the “stability” it has given him. In fact, stability is the most important gift that they want to give their children.
What else has Prince William promised to do for Prince George? He wants him to have a “normal” life. He does not want him sheltered behind the palace walls. He wants him out in the world.
“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.”
This may not be much of a surprise to those who had followed how Princess Diana raised Prince William and Prince Harry. She made a point of letting the boys experience the real world. She took the boys to a homeless shelter, where they volunteered, and she took them to Disney, where they enjoyed rides. There is no doubt that this has influenced William.
In the past year, William and Harry both have shared how they felt after the painful loss of their mother in their early teens. William confessed that it took nearly 20 years to really come to grips with it because it was so “raw” to him. Unlike most people who lose a loved one, everyone knew who Princess Diana was, and she was beloved by so many. Everyone knows the horrific circumstances that led to the car crash and her death. Millions around the world mourned her death. Elton John wrote a song about her. The French movie Amelie began when Princess Diana died. There was no doubt that she was everywhere.
William explained that because she was a public figure, her death was public, and he really could not get away from the circumstances of her death or the memory of when she was alive.
“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.”
William also spoke of Heads Together, the organization he started along with Kate Middleton and Prince Harry to “smash the taboo” of mental illness. He wants to help others to open up the lines of communication. He is dedicated to this cause.
“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. I rely on people around me for opinions, and I am a great believer in communication on these issues.”
Do you have any thoughts about Prince William revealing he regrets that his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, would never be there to give him advice, meet his wife, and be there as a grandmother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte>?
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