William and Kate visit bereavement centre

Prince William and KateImage copyright Child Bereavement UK

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited a bereavement centre to mark its one-year anniversary.

Prince William, who opened Child Bereavement UK’s Stratford centre in east London in 2015, has been the charity’s royal patron since 2009.

The charity supports parents who have lost children as well as helping children who are bereaved.

William and Kate were introduced to staff and volunteers, before meeting families who have used the service.

The duke made a rare public admission about his feelings following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, telling a grieving boy he was “very angry” when she died.

The duke was a teenager and his brother, Prince Harry, 12 when their mother was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997.

He spoke openly during his visit to the centre, where he and Kate sat down with families and made memory jars in honour of loved ones who had died.

As Lorna Ireland, 36, and her son Shinobi Irons, 12, each filled their individual jars with bands of coloured salt – representing memories of the boy’s grandmother who died three years ago and godmother who died in 2015 – the future king spoke about his feelings.

Miss Ireland said: “He told my son that when his mum died he was 15 at the time and he was very angry and found it very difficult to talk about it.

“So it was very important that Shinobi talked to somebody about how he was feeling even now years on.”

Image copyright Child Bereavement UK
Image caption Prince William, who is a patron of the charity, helps a support group make marmalade “memory jars”

Ann Chalmers, Child Bereavement’s chief executive, said she was “honoured” to have the duke and duchess visit the centre.

The charity was set up in 1994, and Princess Diana attended its launch.

One of the charity’s supporters, actor Jason Watkins, spoke to BBC Breakfast on Wednesday about the loss of his two-year-old daughter in 2011.

‘She had clearly died’

Maude became ill with a cough and a cold and was treated with steroids by a GP. She died from sepsis.

Mr Watkins said: “We put her to bed, did all the things we were told to do by the medical professionals.

“My older daughter had been trying to play with her in the bedroom… and I went in to see if she was alright and she had clearly died.”

Media captionActor Jason Watkins reads a diary entry he wrote in the days following his two-year-old daughter’s death.

He told the programme it was an “awful, traumatic, hysterical and terribly painful event” for all of the family.

“You never get out of bed, you spend days in bed, you can’t get out.

“It’s like people who have had an operation you feel completely obliterated and have no energy. You feel like you’re trying to get out of a dark pit that you can’t get out of.

“Your heart aches…you feel your heart is broken.”

But “that acute phase of trauma, it does pass and you do come through that,” he said.

His eldest daughter, Bessie, is nine years old, and wrote in her diary:

“When Maude died I was three, I didn’t know what death was. I was in shock for a long time that I would never see her again.

“Maudey will never come back but she will always be in our hearts.”

egy blog

Leave a Reply