Prince William Gave Deborah James’ Kids Advice on Losing a Parent

Prince William and Deborah James.
Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Shutterstock; Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Sharing wisdom. Prince WilliamDeborah James, the late BBC presenter, gave advice to the children about how to deal with the loss of a parent when he visited them earlier this year.

“He’s obviously been through similar grief with the loss of his mother, [Princess Diana], so he gave powerful advice to the children that will stay with them forever,” James’ husband, Sebastian BowenAccording to the UK newspaper, The TimesIn a story published Monday, August 15. “He felt like a friend, but he was the future king. That was strange. He was so relaxed; he came and sat down in the garden and had champagne with the family.”

The Duke of Cambridge, 40 years old, visited James and her families at their home in May to confer a damehood upon her. This was just one month after she died from cancer at the age 40.

“Prince William actually came to our family house today,” the journalist, who was in hospice care at the time, wrote via Instagram after their afternoon together. “I am utterly honoured that he joined us for afternoon tea and champagne, where he not only spent a generous amount of time talking to my whole family but also honoured me with my Damehood. It’s quite surreal having a royal pop in at home, and yes you can imagine the cleaning antics and preparation went off the scale – but it was all irrelevant because William was so kind and he put us all at ease.”

James’ post continued: “It was such a special day for my whole family, making memories to last a life time. He’s welcome back any time!”

William, in the wake her death, was Duchess Kate released a rare personal statement expressing their grief and sharing their condolences with James’ family. “We are so sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah,” the royals said at the time. “Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones. Deborah was an inspiring and unfalteringly courageous woman whose legacy will be cherished. W & C.”

William has previously shared his personal experiences with his mother’s death in August 1997, in a car crash.

“Slowly, you try to rebuild your life, you try to understand what happened. To help you get through the initial shock phase, I kept myself busy. We’re talking maybe as much as five to seven years afterwards,” the former pilot said in the 2017 HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Legacy and Life. “You know, there was times when you look to someone or something for strength and I very much felt she was there for me.”

In the documentary, William explains that he often shares stories about his mother to his children, Prince George (9 years old), Princess Charlotte (7 years) and Prince Louis (4 years old). “We’ve got more photos up around the house of her, and we talk about her a bit and stuff,” he said at the time. “And it’s hard because obviously Catherine didn’t know her, so she cannot really provide that level of detail. So I do regularly, putting George and Charlotte to bed, talk about her, and just try to remind them that there are two grandmothers — there were two grandmothers in their lives. And it’s important they know who she was and that she existed.”

In March 2021, William and Kate, 40, revealed that the three little ones also write Mother’s Day cards to their late grandmother every year, in addition to Camilla Duchess. “For those experiencing bereavement, today may be particularly challenging,” the couple wrote on the Kensington Palace Instagram page. “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.”

They also shared photos of the trio’s cards, including one that included one from Charlotte to Diana which included the message, “I am thinking of you on Mother’s Day. I love you very deeply. Papa is missing you.”

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