Princes William And Harry Pay Tribute To Their Mum At Memorial Garden

Photos: Kensington Palace/Twitter

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, Princes William and Harry, accompanied by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, toured the White Garden on the grounds of Kensington Palace.

In advance of the garden tour, Kensington Palace issued a press release which read, in part: “Together they will reflect on the significant achievements of the Princess, and the legacy of her work which continues to resonate with so many today.”

The memorial garden features white roses, narcissi and a thick carpeting of forget-me-nots around the Sunken Garden, of which Diana was a fan. The abundance of white flowers are inspired by her life, including her infamous white “Elvis” Catherine Walker dress.

As heavy rains fell, the royals huddled under umbrellas for a private tour of the grounds.

William, Duke of Cambridge, was only 15 years old when his mother died in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997. Prince Harry was a mere 12 years old. “Losing someone so close to you is utterly devastating, especially at that age,” William, now 35, said in the documentary, Diana, Our Mother. “There’s not many days that go by that I don’t think of her.”

Diana’s sons have recently stepped into the limelight to discuss both their mothers’ untimely death and their personal battles with mental health issues.

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017

“We’ve never really talked about losing a mum at such a young age,” Harry, 32, revealed in Diana, Our Mother. “I always thought to myself, ‘What’s the point of bringing up the past, what’s the point of bringing up something that’s only going to make you sad? It ain’t going to change it, it ain’t going to bring it back.’ And when you start thinking like that, it can be really damaging.”

He continued, “She was our mum. She still is our mum. And of course, as a son I would say this, she was the best mum in the world. She smothered us with love, that’s for sure.”

Head gardener Sean Harkin met with William, Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge for the guided tour and pointed out Diana’s favourite flowers. When the temporary tribute was first unveiled in the spring, Harkin reminisced on how Diana would take the time to chat with the gardeners who cared for the flowers.

“They remember Princess Diana coming by and she would stop and she would admire the changing floral displays in the garden,” he said. “And we change them over in springtime and in summer, so it can look quite different. And she would stop and she would have a chat with the gardeners and comment on all their hard work.”

The princes also met with representatives from the various charities Diana supported over the years, including the National Aids Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Leprosy Mission, Royal Marsden Hospital and the English National Ballet.

Afterward, the princes ventured to the outer gates of Kensington Palace to greet fans and well-wishers who stopped by to place flowers in front of the makeshift memorial on the property.

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry paused to chat with the crowd and pose for pictures.

The official Kensington Palace Twitter account later sent out the following message: “The Duke and Prince Harry are grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they have received about their Mother.”