Prince William was only 15 when his mother, Princess Diana, died in a tragic car crash in Paris. Miles away, the now Duke of Cambridge was devastated by the news, and he recently opened up about how he reacted on that day.
“Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also my saddest,” Prince William told the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on Saturday, May 22, during a royal tour, according to Entertainment Tonight. “I was at Balmoral [Castle] when I was told my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning. And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.”
Balmoral is one of the Windsor family’s many estates and a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II; fans of The Crown will remember the royal family often celebrates holidays and other occasions there. “Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart,” Prince William also said, according to E.T. “I’ve been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy. As I grew up, I saw how my grandmother relishes every minute she spends here. And my father is never happier than when walking among the hills.”
Prince William also shared a happier memory of the country: meeting Kate Middleton at the University of St. Andrews. “And yet alongside this painful memory is one of great joy. Because it was here in Scotland, 20 ago this year, that I first met Catherine,” he told the crowd, adding, “Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart.”