In a rare moment, Prince William paid tribute to and opened up publicly about the passing of his mother Princess Diana.
The British royal attended the 21st anniversary dinner of the charity, Child Bereavement UK, Thursday where he gave a speech that honored his late mother. Diana helped launch the charity in 1994, three years before she was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris.
"Twenty one years ago last month, my mother attended the launch of the Child Bereavement Charity," he told the crowd. "Fifteen years later, I was honored to be invited to become Patron of Child Bereavement UK to continue my mother's commitment to a charity which is very dear to me."
The organization, which is run by Julia Samuel, a close friend of Princess Diana's and Prince George's godmother, helps children of military families, suicide victims and terminally ill parents cope with the death or inevitable death of a parent. "What my mother recognized back then–and what I understand now–is that grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure," Kate Middleton's husband said, referencing the pain he felt when his mother died in 1997.
"But my mother was determined to help those in need and she would have been immensely proud–as I am–of all that Child Bereavement UK has achieved these last 21 years."
Although he said he has "witnessed first-hand" how the charity brings "warmth" and "comfort" to children during the "darkest" moments of their lives, Prince William admitted that he gained even more perspective once he had children of his own.
"As a father to two young children myself, I now appreciate it all the more," he said.
Prince William has been opening up about his family a lot recently, giving an update to host Professor Christopher Dobson about his son Prince George and daughter Princess Charlotte during a visit to St. John's College at Cambridge University earlier Thursday.
"He said George is very lively," the professor told reporters, "and Charlotte is very lady-like. He said they were both delightful, of course."