I'll give it back to you when I am king: Prince William's heartbreaking promise to his mother Princess Diana was never fulfilled
Prince William promised his mother Princess Diana that he would restore her title when he became king
Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, formally separated in December 1992 and, as a result, Diana had her title taken away. Queen Elizabeth was reportedly okay with her keeping her title but Prince Charles was not and so Diana had to ditch her 'Her Royal Highness' title. Losing the title meant that Diana now had to curtsy to everyone in the royal family, including her sons.
Prince William was just 14 years old at the time of his parents' divorce. He was studying at Eton College in Windsor, Berkshire when he made a promise to his mother Princess Diana which has only now been revealed.
In his book 'A Royal Duty', Diana's close friend and butler Paul Burrell revealed that William vowed to help Diana reclaim her title. In his book, Burrell shared how William had said, "Don't worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king". However, Princess Diana passed away three years later in a car crash in Paris and William never got to fulfill his promise.
On the 20th death anniversary of Diana, Prince William said that he regretted his last conversation with her. In a documentary which is titled 'Diana, Our Mother: Her life and legacy' Prince William had said that he had hurried her off the phone when she had called him from Paris as he and Prince Harry were playing with their cousins in Balmoral. Unfortunately, she passed away a couple of hours later.
"Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know, 'see you later'. If I’d known what was going to happen, I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it and everything else. But that phone call sticks in my mind, quite heavily," Prince William revealed. Prince Harry even struggles to remember what exactly the call was about.
"It was her speaking from Paris. I can’t really remember what I said, but all I do remember is probably regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was," Prince Harry shared. "Looking back on it now, it’s incredibly hard. I’ll have to sort of deal with that for the rest of my life. Not knowing that was the last time I was going to speak to my mum. How differently that conversation would have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling her life was going to be taken that night," Prince Harry continued.
It is very clear that Princess Diana had a special bond with her two children Prince William and Prince Harry. More than a decade after her death, the then 26-year-old recalled the pain of losing his mother when he was just 15-years-old and said, "Losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever endure".
"Never being able to say the word 'Mummy' again in your life sounds like a small thing. I too have felt — and still feel — the emptiness on such a day as Mother’s Day," he continued. As a new father of three, Prince William along with his wife Kate Middleton now has his hands full at home at the Kensington Palace and would definitely not have it any other way.
According to a family friend who spoke to People, "[William] is a very good father. As his own father has been. [Charles] has been a very good father to those boys and they’re very, very fond of him". No matter the fact that time has moved on and William now has a family of his own, the loss of his mother is something that will always affect him.
"[William] can do all the things that he thinks are important for family life and make sure that his children have that loving, caring, fun home that his mother was trying to create," the friend went on to add. Thanks to growing up with a hands-on mother like Diana, William's parenting style is based on what he experienced with his mother.
During royal outings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte always hold William's hands and he has often been seen getting down to their level to explain their surroundings to them even during high profile events. William also revealed that he often talks to his children about the grandmother that they never got to meet and he and Kate Middleton have filled up their home with photographs of her.
According to the family friend, the act of sitting down and explaining situations to his children is a quality that he picked up from his mother Princess Diana who would always attempt to make her children Prince Harry and Prince William feel comfortable as well as involved in any situation. "At all these landmark moments, [William’s] mother is missing, and it’s sad," the friend continued before adding, "But they are creating their own legacy now".