The Duke of Cambridge was just 15 when the Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at age 36. His brother, Prince Harry, was 12 at the time. On Saturday, May 22, William attended the opening ceremony of the General Assembly of The Church of Scotland and spoke about his love for the land, where he also met his wife, Kate Middleton in college, and where he and the rest of the royal family have often vacationed at his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's summer home, Balmoral Castle.
"Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories but also my saddest," the duke said in his speech. "I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk [church] that very morning and in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors."
He continued, "As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep. And yet alongside this painful memory, is one of great joy. Because it was here in Scotland, 20 years ago this year, that I first met Catherine. Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart."
"George, Charlotte and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here too," William said in his speech. "We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the Central Belt, from the Islands to the Borders."
In March, William and Kate shared on Instagram Mother's Day cards that their children made for their late "Granny Diana." The couple said it was an annual family tradition.
Earlier this week, on Harry and Oprah Winfrey's new AppleTV+ docuseries The Me You Can't See, the Duke of Sussex talked about how Diana maintains a presence in his family's life and especially that of his and wife Meghan Markle's 2-year-old son, Archie Harrison.
"I got a photo of her in his nursery, and it was one of the first words that he said—apart from 'mama,' 'papa,' it was then 'grandma'. Grandma Diana," Harry said. "It's the sweetest thing, but at the same time, it makes me really sad because she should be here."
He added on the show, "I wish she could've met Meghan. I wish she was around for Archie."