Image: Prince William
WPA Pool  /  Getty Images
Prince William is briefed on The Child Bereavement Charity at a reception Thursday in London, England.
updated 3/13/2009 12:26:18 PM ET 2009-03-13T16:26:18

Britain's Prince William recalled the death of his mother, Princess Diana, on Thursday as he became a royal patron of a charity she once was associated with.

"Losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can endure," William said at event organized by the Child Bereavement Charity.

"Never being able to say the word 'mummy' again in your life sounds like a small thing. However, for many, including me, it's now really just a word — hollow and evoking memories," said William, the second in line to the British throne after his father, Prince Charles.

The charity tries to raise awareness of the problems that mothers whose children die and children who lose their mother can face.

Continuing mother's work
Prime William said his mother once supported the charity and that he wanted to continue her work.

Diana, the world-famous Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris almost 12 years ago, when William was 15.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: The lives of princes

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  1. The lives of princes

    Follow Princes William and Harry from cradle to adulthood, as they grew up in the spotlight of modern-day royalty.

    Prince William looks on as his brother Prince Harry receives a sandbag from a soldier as they build a flood defence wall at Eton End School on Feb. 14, 2014 in Datchet, England. (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Suit up!

    Prince Charles arrives with his sons Princes Harry and William to Lancaster House in London to attend the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference on Feb. 13, 2014. (Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Sporty brothers

    Left: Britain’s Prince Harry coached students from across England in rugby on Oct. 17, 2013 at Twickenham Stadium in London, where he was joined by Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson. Harry is the patron of the Rugby Football Union’s All Schools program.

    Right: Prince William trains with players in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in London to mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary on Oct. 7, 2013. (AFP, Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Granting knighthood

    Prince William granted knighthood for the first time on Oct. 17, 2013 when he stepped in for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, to help carry out the investiture of 88 recipients of various honors. Headteacher Sir Kenneth Gibson, pictured here, was honored for his work in education. (Jonathan Brady / PA Photos via Landov) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A hearty salute

    Prince Harry salutes members of the Royal Australian Navy on Oct. 5, 2013. More than 50 ships participated in the International Fleet Review in Sydney Harbour to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet arriving in Sydney, Australia. (Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Brrrrrrrr

    Prince Harry, pictured second from right, helps take down a tent during a cold-chamber training exercise with the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge 2013 British team at Nuneaton in central England on Sept. 17, 2013. Three teams of wounded service members from Britain, the United States and the Commonwealth are training to race more than 200 miles to the South Pole in November 2013. (Darren Staples / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Helping 9/11 victims

    Prince William, right, and Prince Harry trade stocks on the BGC Partners trading floor in London on Sept. 11, 2013 as part of a charity event in memory of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The brothers found time to joke around at the event, with Harry accusing his older brother of indulging in "baby chat" over the phone with his infant son, Prince George. (Chris Jackson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Call of the wild

    Prince William handles a Harris Hawk, during a falconry display on Aug. 14, 2013 at the Anglesey Show, a large agricultural event in North Wales. (Andrew Yates / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Harry and Cressida

    Prince Harry and his girlfriend Cressida Bonas leave the Prince of Wales Theatre in London after attending a performance of “The Book of Mormon” in October. Whether Britain’s “partying Prince” Harry plans to marry his steady squeeze remains to be seen, but the rumors swirling around the couple have led one question to rise above the others: Who is Cressida Bonas, and has the most eligible royal met his match in her? (Splash News and Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Polo match for charity

    Prince Harry, right, speaks to Prince William during a charity polo match at Coworth Park in southern England on Aug. 3, 2013. It was Prince William’s first public appearance since leaving the hospital with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their newborn son, Prince George. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Family portrait

    Duchess Kate’s father, Michael Middleton, captured this portrait of Prince William, Duchess Kate, their son Prince George, their cocker spaniel Lupo and the Middletons’ retriever Tilly in the garden of the Middleton family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, Britain in August 2013. (Michael Middleton Handout / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Grooving

    Right: Prince William dances with Vanessa Boateng at Centrepoint, a charity that provides housing and support to improve the lives of homeless young people aged 16 to 25.

    Left: Prince Harry poses with Usain Bolt at the Usain Bolt Track at the University of the West Indies on March 6, 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica. Harry was in Jamaica representing Queen Elizabeth II on the Diamond Jubilee Tour. (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Honoring the queen

    Prince Harry, Duchess Kate and Prince William stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London during the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 15, 2013 to mark Queen Elizabeth’s birthday. (Max Mumby/indigo / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A magical time

    Prince Harry, Duchess Kate and Prince William raise their wands on the set used to depict Diagon Alley in the “Harry Potter” films during the inauguration of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in London on April 26, 2013. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Wedding day

    Britain's Prince William, center left, and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, center right, pose for a photograph with, clockwise from bottom right, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Tom Pettifer and William Lowther-Pinkerton in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace following their wedding at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29, 2011. (Hugo Burnand / Clarence House via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Snuggling up

    Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton pose in one of two official engagement portraits, taken by photographer Mario Testino in the Cornwall Room at St James's Palace in London on November 25, 2010. The couple were married on April 29, 2011 in a ceremony watched by more than 2 billion people around the world. (Mario Testino / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Two women, one ring

    A combo shows a picture (R) of Prince Charles and his then fiancee, Lady Diana Spencer, on the day their engagement was announced in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, in London. Prince William used the engagement ring of his late mother when he proposed to Kate Middleton on a safari in Kenya, in October 2010. (EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Paying respects to a brother in arms

    Prince Harry plants a cross for Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate during the opening of the Royal British Legion Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance, in the grounds of Lydiard Park, Swindon on Nov. 9, 2010. The Prince planted a cross dedicated to his friend Woodgate, who was in the Household Cavalry Regiment with Prince Harry, and was killed on foot patrol in Afghanistan earlier in the year. (Ben Birchall / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Horning in

    Prince Harry struggles with his klaxon horn while attending the opening of the Royal British Legion Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance to commemorate soldiers fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan in Lydiard Park on Nov. 9, 2010, in Wootton Bassett, England. (David Parker / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Wedding guests

    Kate Middleton and Prince William attend Harry Meade & Rosie Bradford's wedding at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul on Oct. 23, 2010 and set tongues wagging that their own engagement was imminent. On Nov. 16, 2010, the royal family announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged. (Indigo / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Royal salutes

    Prince William, left, and Prince Charles salute Royal Air Force airmen on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19, 2010. (Luke Macgregor / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Controversial drama

    Australian-British actor Sebastien Reid, center, played the title role in "The Taking of Prince Harry," a "dramatized documentary" about the fictional capture of the Prince Harry while on military duty in Afghanistan. The TV-movie generated controversy when it was shown in Britain in October 2010. (Chanel 4 via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Heir in the air

    Britain's Prince William is seen sitting at the controls of his Sea King helicopter on Sept. 3, 2010. The following month, he completed his first mission as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter copilot, plucking a stricken worker from an oil rig. (Flight Sergeant Andy Carnall / MoD via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Pups for a cause

    Prince Harry holds Veyron, an 8-week-old puppy, during a visit to the charity Canine Partners Training Centre, in Midhurst in southern England on July 13, 2010. The charity specializes in assistance dogs, and the prince is particularly interested in helping wounded armed forces veterans. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / Pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Lending a hand

    Prince Harry and Prince William put gloves on a young boy during a visit to a child education center on June 16, 2010 in Semonkong, Lesotho. The two princes are on a joint trip to Africa where they'll be going to Botswana, Lesotho and finally South Africa. During that time they will visit a number of projects supported by their charities and the England vs. Algeria World Cup match in Cape Town. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Help for Haiti

    Prince Harry wears a T-shirt bearing the slogan "Haiti We Care" as he dances with a local singer at a fund-raising concert on Jan.31, 2010, in Bridgetown, Barbados. (John Stillwell / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. For the children

    Prince Harry attends a Garden Party for Barbados' orphaned and vulnerable children at the Garrison Museum on Jan. 30, 2010 in Bridgetown, Barbados. Prince Harry visited the island with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho for the Sentebale Polo Cup to help raise funds to support Lesotho's vulnerable children. (Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Fans Down Under

    Britain's Prince William is greeted by members of the public as he arrives at Government House in Melbourne on Jan. 21, 2010, the third and final day of his unofficial visit to Australia. (Scott Barbour / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. After the blaze

    Britain's Prince Williams speaks with bushfire victim Richard Fox (left) on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 21, 2010. The prince was on the last day of a three-day trip to Australia. (Luis Enrique Ascui / Pool via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Winning his wings

    Britain's Prince Charles, left, presents his son, Prince William, with his wings during a ceremony at RAF Shawbury in England on Jan. 15, 2010. (Marc Giddings / Pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. A princely portrait

    Artist Nicky Philipps stands with her portrait of Prince William and Prince Harry at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Jan. 6, 2010. The painting is the first double portrait of the royal brothers. (Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Solemn occasion

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, center, and her grandsons Prince William, left, and Prince Harry, right, attend the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony at in London on Nov. 8, 2009 as the military reported the 200th British soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Saving the earth

    Prince William, left, and Prince Harry appear in a May 2009 video as part of a campaign to protect the world's rainforests launched by Britain's Prince Charles. The video is aimed at raising awareness of deforestation and climate change. (Clarence House via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Prince of the city

    From top left, Prince Harry plays polo on Governors Island on May 30, 2009, in New York City, and pays respects to the victims of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks on the same day. At bottom, Prince Harry and Lesotho's Prince Seeiso speak to students during a tour of the Harlem Children's Zone school, also on May 30, 2009. (Getty Images, Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Happily ever after

    Prince William and Kate Middleton started dating in 2002 and were married on April 29, 2011. (Peter Jordan / News International via Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Relationship rollercoaster

    Prince Harry dated Chelsy Davy on and off for five years, but the two split up for good in January 2009. (Jamie Mcdonald / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Flying high

    Prince William, right, receives his flying wings from his father, Prince Charles, after graduating as a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot. (Paul Ellis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Military men

    Left: Prince William is an officer in the army but is also training with other parts of the British military, of which he will be commander-in-chief when he becomes king. As a junior officer in the Royal Navy, he took part in a $80 million drug bust in the North Atlantic. Right: Prince Harry, right, served for 77 days in the war in Afghanistan, but was sent back home after the global media revealed that he had been secretly fighting on the front line. (Left: L. Pitarakis / AFP - Getty Images / Right: John Stillwell / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Remembering Diana

    Prince Harry and Prince William hosted and helped organize the Concert For Diana on July 1, 2007 in London, England. The concert marked the 10th anniversary of their mother's death with an event to celebrate her life. (Dave M. Benett / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Must love sports

    Left: Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton at a rugby match at Twickenham stadium in London, February 2007. Right: Prince Harry with Chelsy Davy, watching the Champions League match at Stamford Bridge in London, April 2007. (Alastair Grant / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Second Lieutenants

    Prince Harry (photo on the right, second from right) grins as his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II inspects the Sovereign's Parade. Prince Harry went to Sandhurst Military Academy after graduating from Eton College. After attending St. Andrews University, Prince William attended military school as well. He graduated on Dec. 15, 2006 (left), after his younger brother. Both now serve in the military. (Left: Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP / Right: Dylan Martinez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Media glare

    A man reads the "The Sun" in London, January 2005. The headline is critical of Prince Harry for wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party. He quickly issued a formal apology "Harry's had sort of his fair share of hard time given by the media," remarks his brother, Prince William. Prince Harry also faced criticism after British tabloid News of the World revealed a video of Harry calling a soldier wearing a turban a "raghead." (Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. In their mother's footsteps

    After graduating from Eton College, both princes spent a year traveling around the world doing humanitarian work. At left: Prince William carries a log used to construct walkways during an expedition in the village of Tortel in southern Chile. At right: Prince Harry and a young orphan boy plant a peach tree at a children's home in Lesotho. Both Prince Harry and Prince William say they learned values and humanitarian work by their mother's example. "It's the way she was the whole time," says Harry. (Left: Toby Melville / Pool via Getty Images / Right: A. Joe / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Sports-minded

    Left: Prince William, like his father and brother, enjoys playing polo. Here he is photographed during a match at Cirencester Polo Club, June 10, 2007. Right: Prince Harry talks to fellow supporters prior to a Rugby Union International match in 2003. (Left: Kelvin Bruce / Abaca / Right: David Rogers / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. On the field

    Left: An 18-year-old Prince William plays soccer at Eton College. In 2006, William is appointed President of the English Football Association. Right: Prince Harry, 20 years old, coaches rugby at Greenfield Primary School, in Walsall, England. (Left: St. James Palace via Getty Images / Right: David Rogers / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. Royal fans

    Left: A 14-year-old Prince Harry walks past cheering teenage girls during a visit to a high school in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. Prince William, 9 years old, shakes hands in an enthusiastic crowd of Canadian women. (Left: Carlo Allegri / Getty Images / Right: Tim Graham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. An outpouring of grief

    Earl Spencer, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at Princess Diana's funeral, September 6, 1997. The memorial services were watched by millions around the world. "After it happened, we were always thinking about it," says Prince William of their mother's death. "There's not a day that goes by... that I don't think about it once in the day." Prince Harry tells TODAY that for the brothers, time has gone by "really really slowly." (FNP / Express UK via Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. First day at Eton College

    Left: Prince William on his first day at Eton College, England's premier school. Photo is dated September 7, 1995. Right: Three years later, Prince Harry follows in his brother's footsteps and also goes to Eton. Both are wearing the traditional Eton tail coat. (Tim Graham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Privilege and tradition

    A 7-year-old Prince William and a 4-year-old Prince Harry watch the Beating Retreat Parade at The Orangery, Kensington Palace. (Tim Graham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. A life in the public eye

    Prince William poses with members of the press at Kensington Palace for his 2nd birthday. Of press coverage of his life and relationships, Prince William recently told TODAY's Matt Lauer, "[I] occasionally see a bit of it here and there, but you just let it wash over you." (Tim Graham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. Sons of Charles and Diana

    Left: Princess Diana helps a 10-month-old Prince William stand up during a photo shoot. Right: Prince Harry, aged 1, at home in the playroom at Kensington Palace. (Tim Graham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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