Prince William has opened up about missing his late mother Princess Diana during a visit to a hospice in Luton. The future King, who was 15 when his mother died, was speaking to a young teenager who had also lost his mum.
"I know how you feel," William said, empathising with Ben Hines, 14, whose mother Alexandra passed away in June 2015. "I miss my mother every day. It's okay to feel sad."
The Prince, who was recalling bereavement on the eve of the 19th anniversary of Diana's death, was visiting Keech Hospice Care in Luton with his wife Kate. The organisation helps adults and children with life-limiting conditions live pain and symptom free, spend time with their family and friends, and stay out of hospital.
Prince William empathised with a young boy, saying: "I miss my mother every day"
William advised Ben, the youngest of three brothers that met the royals, on how to deal with his loss. "As four boys, you have to talk a lot better, we're not good sharers. It's a classic example of lots of talking needed," he said. "Time makes it easier. I know how you feel, I still miss my mother every day and it's 20 years after she died. The important thing is to talk about it as a family, it's okay to feel sad, it's okay for you to miss her."
Before leaving the family the Prince said: "Promise me you will talk to each other." Thomas Hines, the 20-year-old brother to Ben, replied to William: "I promise, sir."
William and Kate also met Jamie and Ethan Coniam, ten and six, who lost their brother Kieran when he was ten after a battle with cerebal palsy, epilepsy and autism. Ethan asked Kate if he could have a hug, to which the Duchess replied: "Yes of course, I love cuddles." She then offered a hug to Jamie, which he accepted.
The royals were visiting Keech Hospice in Luton
William and Kate's visit to the hospice was the second engagement of the day in Luton. The Duke and Duchess had just come from Youthscape to learn about the charity's work with young people. Youthscape specialises in young people's social, emotional and spiritual development.
William and Kate visited the charity's new home, Bute Mills, which has just been revamped. They were given a tour of the facilities and an introduction to the charity.
During a baking demonstration where they watched a group of young people make chocolate treats, Kate revealed that she often bakes at home with George. "When I try to do this with George at home, chocolate and the golden syrup goes everywhere," she said. "He makes so much mess. It's chaos."
William was 15 when Princess Diana passed away
The royals also met young people who use the charity's drop-in centre. The Prince joined in on a game of Fifa and scored for his football team Aston Villa, but rushed off when he saw that Kate had moved on. The pair also sat down with Holly and Ellis, two teenagers who explained how the charity has helped them in times of need.
William and Kate were also shown the Innovation Wall, where the charity develops new ideas and models. Before leaving, they unveiled a wall to commemorate the official opening of Youthscape's new home.
The Duchess looked radiant in an L.K. Bennett dress
The Duke and Duchess were making a return to the royal circuit as summer draws to an end. Their day out in Luton was their first joint engagement after a month off, which saw the royals go on holiday to France with George and Charlotte.
Fresh-faced and eager to champion their causes, William and Kate arrived on Wednesday morning. Their three engagements reflected their continued support for mental health, as well as hospice care. Kate recently stated that she and William would not hesitate to seek professional help for their children if they needed it.
Their third and final engagement took the Duke and Duchess to manufacturing giants Hayward Tyler, whose key products include the boiler circulating pump and wet-wound motors. William and Kate presented the company with The Queen's Award for Enterprise (International Trade) and opened their newly built Centre of Excellence. They walked the production line and met graduates, apprentices and staff members, before presenting the award.