Prince William surprised a small group of royal fans this week, sneaking out of Kensington Palace to personally greet the supporters who had gathered outside the gates to honour his late mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 58th birthday.
Well-wishers were overcome with emotion on Monday night after spending the day holding a vigil for the much-loved royal when they saw the father-of-three walk through the palace gates and into Kensington Gardens where they had been paying their respects, The Daily Mail reports.
At around 6.45pm William arrived outside the palace with small security detail to greet the group of six who had set up flowers and pictures of Diana.
According to The Daily Mail he shook each of their hands and stood chatting for around seven minutes before making his way back inside the palace when crowds began to form.
Speaking about the emotional experience, John Louhrey, 59, said he was still shaking from excitement after the chat in which William apparently told them he knew they’d be coming there for years to honour his mother.
The royal fan explained how the prince admired the badges of Diana on his hat and said it was “wonderful” they were so committed to honouring her life.
“He said ‘I’m touched by what you do, you’ve got quite the collection’,” John said according to The Daily Mail. “I told him that I pray for his mother every Sunday at Westminster Abbey and he seemed really touched.”
Among those he met was ‘superfan” John Loughrey who was left ‘shaking’ by the encounter. ‘William told me that he knew we had been coming here for 22 years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother, ‘ he said. pic.twitter.com/3fyFr2dtIW
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) July 1, 2019
John said they also spoke of a proposed statue of a Diana and when it will be erected outside the palace to which William apparently pointed to the gardens and said it will happen soon, but added that it’s “important to get it right”.
Fan Maria Scott, 48, also spoke out, admitting they were shocked to see William walking down the path towards them on Monday night as they honoured Diana’s legacy.
“None of us could believe it when William suddenly walked down the drive to come and thank us,” she said according to The Daily Mail. “He really is his mother’s son.”
Meanwhile, last week the Duke of Cambridge revealed how he would react if his children were to come out as gay. The father of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – said he would support his children with whatever decision they made.
The 37-year-old made the comments ahead of the annual Pride in London parade and visited the Albert Kennedy Trust (akt) – an organisation that aims to provide members of the LGBT community with accepting, supportive and caring homes. It was the first ever visit to a LGBT youth charity by a member of the royal family.
Prince William officially opened the charity’s new services centre in Hoxton – which will host drop-in sessions for young people. During the visit, a young man quizzed the father-of-three on what he would think if one of his children was LGBT. Prince William admitted that he’d only started thinking about the topic since he became a father.
“It is something I’m nervous about,” he admitted. “Not because I’m worried about them being gay or anything, it’s more about the fact I’m worried about the pressures they’re going to face and how much harder their life could be.”
“For my family, particularly in the position we are in, that’s the bit I’m nervous about,” he continued. “I fully support whatever decision they make, but it does worry me from a parent point of view how many barriers, hateful words, persecution, scrutiny, discrimination that might come, that’s the bit that really troubles me a little bit.”