The royal dad helped host a dinner in his palace home to mark the 25th anniversary of Child Bereavement UK
The royal dad helped host a dinner in his palace home on Monday to mark the 25th anniversary of Child Bereavement UK. The charity’s launch had been supported — and attended — by Diana, who died in 1997. William was 15, while his brother Prince Harry was just 12 at the time of their mother’s death.
At Monday’s party at the Kensington Palace Pavilion, William, 36, chatted to families who have received support from Child Bereavement UK and then got the dinner off to a start by making a speech.
He also made a passionate speech about the impact that the charity has made.
“With great sympathy and sensitivity, you have spent the last 25 years working with children, young people and families to help them navigate the difficult path of grief,” he said. “This is a path no one chooses. It has no map. And no end. But with careful support, it is a path that can become easier under foot.”
He added, “You have also played a pivotal role in changing attitudes – and helping people to talk more freely about the way they are feeling and the daily challenges they face. By providing professionals and people across the UK with the tools and guidance they need to support friends, family and colleagues who are bereaved, you are helping to create a support network aimed at providing comfort to those in the most painful situations.”
“And you shine a beacon of light in the darkness as families learn to live with their loss, and find hope – and laughter – again.”
The charity is an important one for the prince, who knows what it is like to need help following sudden grief.
“I have witnessed firsthand the difference CBUK has made and continues to make to the lives of bereaved families,” William said four years ago at its 21st birthday gala. Then, he spoke about how important it was for him to become its patron in 2009 and “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 said.
The charity hopes for all families to have the support they need to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. It supports families and educates professionals, both when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, and when a child is facing bereavement.
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The founding trustee of Child Bereavement UK is grief counselor Julia Samuel, who was a close friend and Diana. William and wife Kate Middleton chose her to be one of the godparents to their son Prince George.