Princess Diana's close friend Julia Samuel has opened up about her relationship with her royal godson, Prince George, saying that it's a "lovely way" of honouring the late People's Princess.
Speaking to The Observer, Julia, a grief counsellor and founder of the charity Child Bereavement UK, of which Prince William is also a patron, said: "Well, I feel lucky I was such a good friend of Princess Diana. And I really love my godson, George. And it's a lovely way of loving her."
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When asked about how much influence she had on Prince William and Prince Harry to champion mental health in the public sphere, Julia continued: "I think both the Princes have really turned the dial on talking about grief so honestly and also about mental health. But that was all theirs – completely off their own bats."
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She also opened up about her own grief after losing her friend 25 years ago, saying: "I felt angry. I was angry that she died, and shocked and I couldn't really understand it all. I mean, I understand it better now. I understand that people felt they really knew and loved her. But I still feel sad today."
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Julia is one of seven godparents to Prince George and was a good friend of Diana's. The pair struck up a friendship after meeting at a dinner in 1987; they enjoyed plenty of laughs together, hit the social scene often and Julia lived close to Kensington Palace.
Diana would sometimes even pick up Julia's children from school. Julia also asked Diana to be a godmother to her son Benjamin.
Princess Diana was godmother to Julia's son Benjamin
Speaking on the How to Fail with Elizabeth Day podcast in 2020, Julia also said of her godson George: "He is amazing. He's funny and feisty and cheeky and God she (Diana) would have loved him so much. That is heartbreaking for all of them."
Julia added of the family tradition: "So I do to George what (Diana) did to us, which is give impossible toys which are really noisy, take a lot of making… that William then has to spend days putting together. And then put all the machinery together and it makes awful tooting noises and lights flashing and all of that. That makes me laugh and it makes George laugh."
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