Archive footage of Prince William discussing how “important” he feels it is that his children “know” who Princess Diana was and that she “existed,” has gone viral on social media after fans of the royal uploaded it to TikTok.
William has rarely spoken in-depth about his mother, opening up most explicitly in 2017 as part of documentary films marking the twentieth anniversary of her death in a 1997 Paris car crash at the age of 36.
Filmed as part of the documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, the clip uploaded to TikTok by user remembering.diana shows William discussing the ways in which he keeps the spirit of his mother alive for his children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 (who was born after the film was made).
Prince William photographed January 19, 2023. And (inset top) Princess Diana, June 17, 2997. And (inset bottom) Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, June 2, 2022. Kirsty Wigglesworth – WPA Pool/Getty Images/Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
“Constantly talking about Granny Diana,” was one of the ways he explained he ensured his children know their grandmother.
“We’ve got more photos up around the house now of her, and we talk about her a bit and stuff. It’s hard because obviously, Catherine didn’t know her, so she cannot really provide that level of detail,” he said, referring to his wife, Kate Middleton, who since September 2022 has adopted Diana’s old title of Princess of Wales.
“So, I do regularly, putting George or Charlotte to bed, talk about her and just try and remind them that there are two grandmothers, there were two grandmothers in their lives, and so it’s important that they know who she was and that she existed,” William said.
The TikTok clip has been viewed over 150,000 times as of press time, receiving in excess of 10,000 likes and 300 comments, many of which praise William for his emotional revelation.
“Total Respect to William we All miss Our Queen of Hearts princess Diana,” wrote one user.
“Granny Diana … so beautiful they keep her memory alive,” said another, with a further commenter saying: “As long as we speak about our dearest missing ones, they keep living with us.”
Alongside William, Prince Harry has also spoken about the importance of keeping his mother’s memory alive for his children’s benefit, showing a scene in his Netflix docuseries, released in December, of his son Archie being held up to see a photograph of the princess on the wall of their California mansion.
Speaking about Diana in 2022, Harry said: “I certainly hope and believe everything I do makes her proud.”
“In the 12 short years I was lucky enough to have with her, I saw and felt the energy and lift she got from helping others, no matter their background, ailment or status. Her life and theirs was better for it, however short theirs or hers was,” he said. “I honor my mother in everything I do. I am my mother’s son.”
Princess Diana, Prince Harry and Prince William photographed at Eton College, September 1995. Anwar Hussein/WireImage
At a polo event that took place days before the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death, the prince also discussed his children and how he wishes they could have known her personally.
“Next week is the 25th anniversary of my mother’s death, and she most certainly will never be forgotten,” he said. “I want it to be a day filled with memories of her incredible work and love for the way she did it. I want it to be a day to share the spirit of my mom with my family, with my children, who I wish could have met her.”
Alongside the clip of William, the viral TikTok video also features two handwritten messages from Prince George and Princess Charlotte to their grandmother.
These were posted to Instagram to mark Mother’s Day in 2021 when Britain was facing lockdowns owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mother’s Day will be different once again. Many of us will be apart from our loved ones, but looking forward to a time in the not too distant future when we can give our mother a hug again,” William and Kate’s official Instagram account wrote.
“But for those experiencing bereavement, today may be particularly challenging. Each year on Mother’s Day, George, Charlotte and Louis make cards remembering their Granny, Diana, for William. “Whatever your circumstances, we are thinking of you this Mother’s Day.”
George’s message read: “Dear Granny Diana, Happy mother’s day. I love you very much and think of you always, sending lots of love from George.”
“Dear Granny Diana,” wrote Charlotte, “I am thinking of you on Mother’s Day. I love you very much. Papa is missing you. Lots of love, Charlotte.”
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.
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