While attending the official opening ceremony of the Manchester Arena memorial Prince WilliamHe opened up about his own grief journey.
“For Catherine and I, it is very important that we are with you here today. To remember the 22 lives lost. To acknowledge the hundreds of lives that were irrevocably changed and to pay tribute to the resilience of this great city,” William, 39, who was joined by wifeDuchess Kate, said Tuesday, March 10, during a heartfelt speech. “I remember only too well the shock and grief on the faces of those I met when I visited Manchester in the days following the atrocity.”
The Duke of Cambridge noted that he knew “the pain and the trauma” has not gone away following the 2017 bombing, which occurred during an Ariana Grande22 people were killed in concert. “As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten,” he continued. There is comfort in remembering. Recognizing that they lived, even though it was terriblely soon, is comforting. They changed our lives.”
William added: “They were loved, and they are loved. This is why memorials like the Glade of Light are so significant. Catherine and me wanted to be with you today. And we remember the entirety of the Manchester community who responded in the most heart-warming and life-affirming ways possible to support those affected.”
The U.K. native called for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their hearts, saying, “On that day you told each other that you would not look back in anger. You showed the world the heart of this amazing place. So, when we come to this memorial let’s look back with love for those we lost.”
William has spoken out about his grief over the loss of Princess Diana over the years. After suffering injuries in a Paris car accident, Princess Diana died in August 1997 at the age of 36. William was 15 years old at the time she died, while his younger brother, Prince HarryIt was 12.
“Slowly, you try to rebuild your life, you try to understand what happened. I kept myself busy to help you get past the shock phase. We’re talking maybe as much as five to seven years afterwards,” William shared during HBO’s documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Legacy and LifeIn 2017, “You know, there was times when you look to someone or something for strength and I very much felt she was there for me.”
Harry and William, both 37, paid tribute to their mother in July 2021 with a statue they had commissioned 20 years ago.
“Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” the brothers said in a joint statement during their reunion at Kensington Palace in London for the unveiling. “Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”