The royal admits that he is “in a better place” about the upcoming 20th anniversary of Diana’s death but also revealed that he is sad that she isn’t able to meet her grandchildren.
“I would like to have had her advice,” he said. “I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”
Still, he is coping better with her tragic death.
“I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better,” he said of Diana. “It has taken me almost 20 years to get to that stage. I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people’s grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her.”
William also revealed that he wouldn’t be able to cope with his very public role if it wasn’t for Kate and their children.
“Stability at home is so important to me,” he said. “I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world and that is so important to both of us as parents. I want George to grow up in a real, living environment, I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls, he has to be out there. The media make it harder but I will fight for them to have a normal life.”
The prince also talked about Heads Together, his joint mental health campaign with Kate and brother Prince Harry. William explained that the trio is aiming to smash the taboo surrounding mental illness in the U.K. and trying to open up the conversation among families about mental health.
“I cannot understand how families, even behind closed doors, still find it so hard to talk about it,” he said. “I am shocked we are so worried about saying anything about the true feelings we have.”
WATCH: What’s Next for Princess Charlotte
Dylan Jones, the editor of GQ said in a statement that William’s honest interview was unprecedented.
“Never before has Prince William talked with such honesty about the death of his mother and his attitudes towards the tabloid press, together with insight into one of his chosen charities,” he said. “[Interviewer Alastair Campbell]’s interview is complemented by pictures which we believe amplify The Duke and Duchess’s engaging determination to spearhead a different side of sovereignty. We are enormously proud of this interview, not least because we’ve been able to bring the issues supported by Heads Together to a wider public.”
This isn’t the first time that William has appeared on the cover of a magazine. In June 2016, the royal made history by taking part in a cover story for British LGBT magazine Attitude.
Kate has also been a cover star in her own right. In April 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge posed for a portrait for British Vogue‘s 100th anniversary issue.
See the full shoot in the July issue of British GQ, on sale Thursday, June 1, and to download from Tuesday, May 30.