In a speech in Manchester, England, on Tuesday, Prince William opened up about living with grief.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the city to open and attend a memorial, called the Glade of Light, in honor of the victims of the 2017 terrorist attack at Manchester Arena.
Twenty-two people were killed by a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017, and more than 50 people were seriously injured. An estimated 800 further victims suffered physical and psychological wounds.
William spoke about visiting the city just after the attack, saying he remembered “only too well the shock and grief on the faces of those I met.”
“Five years on, I know that the pain and the trauma felt by many has not gone away,” the duke said.
“As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten,” he went on, in an apparent reference to his mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997, when William was 15. “There is comfort in remembering. In acknowledging that, while taken horribly soon, they lived. They changed our lives. They were loved and they are loved.”
“It is why memorials such as the Glade of Light are so important,” William said. “Why Catherine and I so wanted to be amongst you today.”
The duke has mentioned his own grief in public remarks before, alluding to his mother’s death in a powerful speech against extremism after a terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
William and his brother, Prince Harry, unveiled a memorial to their late mother last year, on what would have been her 60th birthday.
The statue, created by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, occupies a permanent space in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden.
“Today, on what would have been our Mother’s 60 birthday, we remember her love, strength and character ― qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” the brothers said in a statement at the time.
“Every day, we wish she were still with us,” they continued. “Our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”