It's been nearly 20 years since Princess Diana's heartwrenchingly tragic death at the age of 36. Now, her eldest, Prince William, is remembering his mother and opening up about being a dad of two in a stirring, candid interview with British GQ. William shared that he wishes his mom had lived to be a part of his life these days. (If you hadn't guessed by now, you may need to grab some tissues to keep reading.)
"I would like to have had her advice," the Duke of Cambridge said in the July 2017 cover story. "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."
This is the first time Prince William has really opened up about his late mother—and there's a reason for that. "I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better," William explained. "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. It is a different situation for most people who lose someone they love, it can be hidden away or they can choose if they want to share their story."
Not only was his late mother such a public figure, but her relationship with the press was extremely fraught. For that reason, absolutely no one would be surprised if William opted to keep his family very much out of the spotlight. But in navigating adult life in the public eye, William wants to ensure that his and Kate's children Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, 2 experience the real world.
"I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world and that is so important to both of us as parents," he explained. "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."
He also explained that a peaceful home life is integral to his success overall. "I could not do my job without the stability of the family," he noted. "Stability at home is so important to me." Of course, this is likely true for any parent, but it's easy to understand why it would be particularly important to Prince William.
It's clear the Duke is doing his best as a father in a truly unique, and often challenging, situation. No doubt Princess Diana would have been tremendously proud of her son and his beautiful family.