Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Stratford bereavement centre
- Credit: PA
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a Stratford bereavement centre today to mark its first anniversary.
William and Kate took a tour of the centre, run by the national charity Child Bereavement UK, and met some of the parents and children it has helped.
The charity supports parents who have lost children as well as offering help to a child if they experience bereavement themselves.
The Duke is royal patron of Child Bereavement UK and his visit was welcomed by the charity’s chief executive Ann Chalmers.
She said: “We are honoured to have the Duke and Duchess visit our bereavement service in east London, which opened a year ago in Newham in response to the great need for bereavement support in this area.
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“I think one of the things that’s really apparent when you hear the Duke talking to the families is that he has a real empathy and depth of understanding of their situations.
“He’s also a fantastic listener and really wants to learn from the families what the challenges are that they’re facing, and in that there are some things he can recognise from his own experiences.”
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The visit also saw the Duke open up about his feelings following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, telling a grieving boy he was “very angry” when his mother died.
As Lorna Ireland, 36, and her son Shinobi Irons, 12, filled memory jars with bands of coloured salt - representing memories of the youngster’s grandmother who died three years ago and godmother who died in 2015 - the prince spoke about his feelings.
Miss Ireland said: “He told my son that when his mum died he was 15 at the time and he was very angry and found it very difficult to talk about it.
“So it was very important that Shinobi talked to somebody about how he was feeling even now years on.”
She said about the admission: “It was very personal and it was very special.”
Before leaving, William and Kate cut a cake to mark the occasion.