LONDON - Britain's Prince William comforted a nine-year-old girl over the death of her father by telling her: "I lost my mummy when I was very young too."
The Prince's mother was Diana, Princess of Wales, who died when he was 15 in a car crash in Paris on August 31 1997.
William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate were visiting an east London child bereavement centre when he met nine-year-old Aoife, who lost her father to pancreatic cancer six years ago, according to reports.
"You know, I lost my mummy when I was very young too. I was (15) and my brother was 12. So we lost our mummy when we were young as well.
"Do you speak about your daddy?" William asked the girl. "It’s very important to talk about it. Very, very important.”
William is patron of the Child Bereavement UK, a charity that helps families deal with the loss of a loved one.
Aoife’s mother, Marie, spoke to journalists after the event and said the conversation almost brought her to tears.
“I couldn’t believe it when he started to talk about his mother. It was very emotional and I was willing myself not to start to cry. I almost did,” she said.
"I am telling my children that if they take anything away from this day, it is what he said a out how important it is to talk. Kids do not forget that. Sometimes it hurts, but we can remember the happy things too. It is so important to talk."
The Prince, whose brother is Prince Harry, also made a rare public admission about his feelings following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, telling a grieving boy he was "very angry" when his mother died, said Britain's Telegraph.
William's candid comment came at the start of a year that will see the 20th anniversary of Diana's death marked over the coming months.
As Lorna Ireland, 36, and her son Shinobi Irons, 12, each filled individual jars with bands of coloured salt - representing memories of the youngster's grandmother who died three years ago and godmother who died in 2015 - Britain's future king spoke about his feelings.
Miss Ireland said: "He told my son that when his mum died he was 15 at the time and he was very angry and found it very difficult to talk about it.
"So it was very important that Shinobi talked to somebody about how he was feeling even now years on."
She said about the admission: "It was very personal and it was very special."
In recent years, the royal siblings have begun to talk about their feelings surrounding their loss with Prince Harry saying last summer in an interview he now regrets not opening up sooner about how his mother's death affected him, said the Telegraph.
William and Kate were visiting a bereavement centre in Stratford run by Child Bereavement UK which the Duke supports as royal patron.
The organisation, first launched in 1994, had Diana as a keen supporter and today it continues to support parents who have lost children as well as offering help to a child if they experience bereavement themselves, the Telegraph said.