Prince William isn’t shy to admit the great anguish he endured after losing his beloved mother.
In a preview for the BBC special “A Royal Team Talk: Tackling Mental Health,” which explores how others, particularly men, can candidly speak about their emotions, the British royal opened up about his greatest loss.
Princess Diana of Wales passed away in 1997 at age 36 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. William was 15 at the time.
“I think when you are bereaved at a very young age, anytime really, but particularly at a young age – I can resonate closely to that – you feel a pain like no other pain,” the 36-year-old admitted in the clip.
“And you know that in your life it’s going to be very difficult to come across something that is going to be an even worse pain that that,” he added.
William shared that while losing a loved one can be very challenging, especially at such a young age, he did find strength in sharing his story with others.
“It also brings you so close to all those other people out there who have been bereaved,” he explained. “So instantly, when you talk to someone else… You can almost see it in their eyes sometimes.”
According to William, British people tend to keep a stiff upper lip, as it’s known, rather than expressing themselves freely.
“There has to be a moment for that… [to] be able to talk about our emotions, because we’re not robots,” he explained.
Harry, 34, was recently in The Hague to launch the official countdown to the Invictus Games next year. Van der Stroom, 31, revealed his conversation with the royal was “amazing” and “emotional,” as the pair cycled together around the site.
The two veterans (Harry served in the Army for 10 years) lost their mothers. In 2014, van der Stroon’s mother died from chronicle lung disease. In 2015 he was diagnosed with PTSD.
“I told Harry about my mother and we talked about our shared experience of missing a mom,” said van der Stroon. “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother. He said he meets a lot of people in his work who have lost a mother, father, sister, brother or relatives and when he hears their story, as he heard my story, he said he doesn’t feel so alone.”
Van der Stroon also shared that his wife Mireille is 20 weeks pregnant with their first child, a girl.
“He told me how special it was that his son has just been born,” he claimed. “Harry talked about how having a small child was his new focus and new goal and I told him how a couple of months ago, I was struggling with my mental health but my wife’s pregnancy has given me a goal.”
“Above all, he said he was just amazed by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy,” he continued. “He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet. But he also told me not to make too many plans and that there’s no way you can plan for when the baby arrives.”