Prince William opens up about how Queen looked after him and Harry following Diana’s death

Prince William has posted a heartfelt tribute to his late grandmother, the Queen, who was by his side during the ‘saddest days of [his] life’.

Posting on Instagram, the Prince of Wales acknowledged the support his ‘Grannie’ had given him throughout his life in difficult times – a nod to how she made him and his brother Harry her top priority following the death of their mother, Princess Diana.

In his tribute to the Queen today, the first time William has publicly spoken since her death, he said: ‘She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life.’

Following the death of Diana, the monarch fiercely protected the princes who were just 12 and 15 years old at the time, and became a mother figure to them throughout their adolescence.

At the time of Diana’s death on 31 August 1997 the princes, who were staying at Balmoral with their grandmother, were fast asleep as news came in shortly after midnight.

After receiving the devastating news Diana had died in hospital following the car crash in Paris, the Queen instructed her staff to let the young boys sleep in before telling them.

That morning, which was a Sunday, the family still attended church as normal, but the Queen forbid any mention of Diana’s death from the service.

After breaking news of their mother’s death to William and Harry, the Queen shielded them from upsetting details about the crash by instructing staff to hide all the TVs and radios at Balmoral.

Over the years the Queen became a maternal figure for the princes, who grew up incredibly close with their grandmother.

Speaking ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, William paid tribute to his grandmother for all her support when he was a teenager.

He told The Queen at 90 documentary: ‘Having lost my mother at a young age, it’s been particularly important to me that I’ve had somebody like the Queen to look up to and who’s been there and who has understood some of the more complex issues when you lose a loved one.’

He added: ‘She’s been incredibly supportive and I’ve really appreciated her guidance.’

In his tribute to the Queen following her death, the Prince of Wales said he was ‘grateful’ to have learnt and been supported by the Queen throughout his life.

He said: ‘I have had the benefit of the Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade.

‘My wife has had twenty years of her guidance and support. My three children have got to spend holidays with her and create memories that will last their whole lives.’

William added that while he always ‘knew this day would come’ it didn’t quite feel real that his grandmother was no longer around.

He said: ‘It will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.

‘I thank her for the kindness she showed my family and me. And I thank her on behalf of my generation for providing and example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.

‘My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen.’

 

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