Prince William may have lost his beloved mother, Princess Diana, 14 years ago when he was only 15, but the young prince is finding little ways to make sure his mom is part of the most important day in his young life as he prepares to marry Kate Middleton.
Earlier this week, the young couple went out to where his mother is buried -- a place called "The Oval", which sits on the Spencer family's Althorp Estate.
They put flowers on the grave and visited with her for a little while before leaving her behind to have their day. William has been very open about his grief for his mother, which is unusual for a man, many of whom are expected to be endlessly stoic and never show sadness.
The engagement ring he gave Kate -- Diana's diamond-and-sapphire ring -- was "my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement," Will said. After all, what would thrill her more than seeing her beloved boy marry his love?
I understand what he is feeling. I also lost my mother as a teenager and spent a lot of time missing her at big events like my graduations and my wedding and the births of my children.
These moments are bittersweet because every step you take into a new life is one you take away from the old one, the one that person you loved so much was a part of.
It was nearly 30 years ago to the day that Prince Charles (Prince William's father) married 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer. In 1997, Princess Diana was fatally injured in a car crash in Paris. She and her eldest son were very close and he has been very open about his longing for her.
As he prepares to walk down that aisle with his new bride, he will feel a mix of things, I'm sure. He will wish his mother were there to cry (which she surely would) and he will likely wish she were there to meet his new bride and wish her well. Perhaps she would guide the new princess into life as a royal, explaining just what it means to join this family.
She may be there in spirit, if you believe in that kind of thing. And even if you don't, Prince William has found many ways to make sure that his new bride will "know" his mother as best as anyone can under the circumstances.
He will likely always wish things had been different, but tomorrow he will gain a wife who will hopefully help to heal the ache he surely feels. By speaking out openly about his grief and the mix of emotions he is feeling, he is doing anyone who has ever lost anyone close to them a great service.
Even though I am not a royal watcher, I relate to the young prince and I hope that he and his new bride have all the happiness they deserve. He has already been through enough pain in his short life.
Does this make you sad?
Image via Splash