The prince, 33, spoke at a gala celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Child Bereavement Charity in London
Credit: Bauer-Griffin; Inset: Anwar Hussein/Getty

Prince William opened up about his painful past in an emotional speech.

The 33-year-old royal spoke of the heartbreak of losing a loved one on Thursday night when he attended a gala in London celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Child Bereavement Charity, an organization that was supported by his late mother, Princess Diana.

“Twenty-one years ago last month, my mother attended the launch of the Child Bereavement Charity,” William began his speech. “Fifteen years later, I was honored to be invited to become Patron of Child Bereavement UK to continue my mother’s commitment to a charity which is very dear to me.

“What my mother recognized back then and what I understand now is that grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure,” he continued. (William and his brother Prince Harry lost their mother, Diana, in 1997 when they were 15 and 12, respectively.)

“I have witnessed first-hand the difference CBUK has made and continues to make to the lives of bereaved families,” the prince said. “CBUK works with military families, with the wrecked families of suicide victims, with little children whose lives are torn apart by the inexplicable death of a parent. And yet amid all this misery, CBUK – and I don’t know how they do this – brings warmth, comfort, a guiding hand, a way through, even color and joyfulness, and a renewed opportunity for love as a family reknits itself after tragedy.”

It’s been a busy day for William, who spoke at St. John’s College at Cambridge University earlier in the day and touched on the growing personalities of his two children, Prince George, 2, and Princess Charlotte, 5 months.

“He said George is very lively and Charlotte is very lady-like,” Professor Christopher Dobson told reporters after he met with the royal. “He said they were both delightful of course.”

Last week, Julia Samuel, godmother to George and friend of Diana said that she believes that the late Princess of Wales would have been “a really fantastic grandmother.”

“It breaks my heart even thinking about it, because she would have been amazing, she really would,” Samuel told The Mail on Sunday‘s You magazine.

Reporting by SIMON PERRY

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