Speaking to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on Saturday, Prince William recalled the moment he learned of the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997 at the royal holiday home in Balmoral.
“I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died,” he said.
“Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning and in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors.
“As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.”
Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997, after a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. She left behind her two children, Prince Harry and Prince William, who were respectively 12 and 15 years old at the time.
While Scotland was a source of such a “painful memory,” Prince William also said it was also a place of “great joy.”
“It was here in Scotland 20 years ago this year that I first met Catherine,” he said of his wife, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.
“Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart.”