EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 21: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during a visit to Spartans FC's Ainslie Park Stadium, to hear about initiatives in Scottish football that champion mental health ahead of the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday, on May 21, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William shared both his happiest and “saddest” memories of Scotland as the country where he learned that his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, had died in 1997.

On Saturday, the Duke of Cambridge visited the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to fulfill a new role as Lord High Commissioner, as appointed by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. Wife Kate Middleton joined him for the trip, which includes stops to Edinburgh, Fife and Orkney to thank essential workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a speech published by ITV, William described spending summers in the U.K. country with his family. “In short, Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories, but also, my saddest,” said the 38-year-old royal, explaining that he was visiting Balmoral, the queen’s Scottish castle, when he learned that Diana had died in a Paris car crash. At the time of her death, William was 15 and his brother Prince Harry, was 12.

 

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