Prince William reflects on the pain of grief as he pays tribute to Princess Diana

Prince William empathised with those who have lost a loved one as he gave a speech for Child Bereavement UK on Thursday evening. The Prince, who is royal patron of the charity, spoke about how grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure.

William lost his own mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, when he was just 15 years old. The People's Princess died in a car crash in August 1997.

Addressing guests at the charity's 21st birthday dinner, the future King said: "What my mother recognised back then – and what I understand now – is that grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure.

"Grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure," said Prince William

"My mother was determined to help those in need and she would have been immensely proud – as I am – of all that Child Bereavement UK has achieved these last 21 years. As a father to two young children, I now appreciate it all the more."

William added that he was "honoured" to be appointed royal patron of the charity, which has always been "very dear" to him.

The 33-year-old has always had close links to the charity. The organisation, which supports families when a child or parent is facing bereavement, was set up in the presence of Princess Diana and Diana's close friend Julia Samuel is its founder patron.

Prince Charles' ex-wife, who helped shine a spotlight on the charity, attended its launch 21 years ago.

William is the charity's royal patron, while Princess Diana's close friend Julia Samuel (left) is founder patron

William enjoys a close bond with his mother's friend and chose Julia to be a godmother to his son Prince George.

During the charity dinner, Gary Barlow performed for the 270 guests at the Banqueting House in London. The singer and his wife Dawn had a stillborn daughter Poppy in August 2012 and Gary took a moment to address the couple's loss.

"Dawn and I have always felt our own personal bereavement was too painful and private to talk or comment on publicly," said Gary. "Instead I will sing joyous music in support of Child Bereavement UK to say thank you for all the help it has given us and many other families."

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