Prince William surprises fans honoring Princess Diana

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Prince William gave well-wishers the surprise of their life when he stopped by a vigil honoring the late Princess Diana’s birthday. 

The Duke of Cambridge emerged from Kensington Palace on Monday night to say thank you to those gathered to remember his mother who was born on July 1, 1961, the Daily Mail reported.

“William told me he knew we’d been coming here for years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother,” John Loughrey, a 59-year-old admirer, told the outlet. “I think I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional.” 

Loughrey said that after shaking William’s hand, he asked the prince about the forthcoming Diana memorial that will stand at Kensington Palace. 

“Soon, very soon,” the prince said. “We just want to make sure it is right. It’s important to get it right.” 

EMBARGOED TO 0001 Sunday July 23, 2017. NO USE AFTER MONDAY JULY 31, 2017. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO USE ON THE FRONT COVERS OF ANY UK OR INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINES. NO COMMERCIAL USE (including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use including, for example, calendars, books and supplements). This photograph (whose copyright is vested in the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry) is provided to you on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. This photograph released by Kensington Palace, from the personal photo album of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, shows the princess holding Prince William whilst pregnant with Prince Harry, and features in the new ITV documentary ‘Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy’, which airs on ITV at 21.00hrs on Monday 24th July.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 Sunday July 23, 2017. NO USE AFTER MONDAY JULY 31, 2017. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO USE ON THE FRONT COVERS OF ANY UK OR INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINES. NO COMMERCIAL USE (including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use including, for example, calendars, books and supplements). This photograph (whose copyright is vested in the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry) is provided to you on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. This photograph released by Kensington Palace, from the personal photo album of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, shows the princess and Prince Harry on holiday and features in the new ITV documentary ‘Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy’, which airs on ITV at 21.00hrs on Monday 24th July.

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In the past few years, Princes Harry and William have become more candid about dealing with grief in the wake of their mother’s unexpected death from a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Harry said that for a long time, he just closed off his emotions, rather than deal with them. 

“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” the Duke of Sussex said in a 2017 interview with The Telegraph. 

William and Harry look at tributes left by the public dedicated to their mother Princess Diana following their visit The White Garden, dedicated to the memory of Princess Diana, in Kensington Palace on Aug. 30, 2017.

He added: “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum because why would that help? It’s only going to make you sad. It’s not going to bring her back.”

Later, he turned to counseling and boxing at the age of 28 to begin working through his struggles. 

“The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realize that actually you’re part of quite a big club,” Harry said.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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