Kate makes incredibly rare comments about Diana during visit to Wales
Kate makes incredibly rare comments about Princess Diana during visit to Wales – and reveals secret about her engagement ring
- The Prince and Princess of Wales have been visiting the town of Aberfan, Wales
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Kate Middleton has given a rare insight into her feelings about her late mother-in-law while chatting to royal fans in Wales.
The Princess of Wales normally maintains a discreet silence regarding her husband’s late mother, but while chatting to wellwishers in Aberfan yesterday, she made some touching remarks.
When asked by a royal fan about wearing Diana’s engagement ring, she confirmed it was the ‘same ring’, adding that she didn’t have to have it adjusted to fit.
‘And it was exactly the same size,’ she said. ‘It is very special. What an honour to be able to wear it.
‘But sadly I never got to meet her.’
The Princess of Wales seemed happy to talk about what her ring meant to her and said it was an honour to wear it
She added that Diana would have been a ‘brilliant grandmother’ and that the family ‘miss her every day.’
The comments came during a walkabout in Aberfan to pay tribute to those who tragically lost their lives during the coal-tip landslide on 21st October 1966.
After visiting a memorial garden, which is located on the site where the Pantglas school once was, the royal couple took the time to speak with members of the public.
One asked Kate if she remembered Diana, to which Kate replied, ‘I never met her, sadly’.
She then said that – what with the children and grandchilden – that Diana would have been a ‘brilliant grandmother’.
When asked if she was missed, she said ‘So much. The family miss her every day.’
A video of the exchange was captured by Laura-Ann Barr, and posted on her Instagram page @all.thats.pretty.
In 2010, Prince William presented the ring, which features a 12-carat oval Ceylon surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, to Kate for their engagement.
Kate was given the ring – which used to be Princess Diana’s – when she got engaged to William in 2010
Princess Diana wearing her engagement ring, which Kate Middleton, 41, now wears with honour
Kate and William met with crowds while in Aberfan to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the 1966 tragedy
The 28-year-old Prince used the dazzling oval blue 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring when he popped the question while they were on holiday in Kenya.
When they later posed for pictures at St James’ Palace, William said giving Kate the ring was his way of ensuring his late mother could be part of the occasion.
In front of the world’s press, he said: ‘It is very special to me. It was my way to make sure my mother did not miss out on today and the excitement that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together.’
Diana, who died in 1997, chose the elegant cluster ring after becoming engaged to Charles in 1981.
It was created by British jeweler Garrard and at the time cost £28,000.
The Prince and Princess of Wales have become the third generation of royals to visit the small Welsh village that was struck by tragedy in 1966 when a landslide of coal waste engulfed a local school, killing 144 people including 116 children.
Queen Elizabeth was criticised for waiting eight days before visiting the decimated mining village in the Welsh Valleys, which was dramatised recently in The Crown.
But survivors say they have a ‘special bond’ with the Royal Family, with the late monarch making five visits to Aberfan during her reign and King Charles, then the Prince of Wales, visiting on the 50th anniversary of the disaster.
In the crowd was survivor Gareth Jones, 63, who crawled out of a window of Pantglas School as his classmates were buried alive by the 150,000 tonnes of waste in the worst mining disaster on record.
The Prince and Princess of Wales followed in the late Queen’s footsteps today as they visited the Aberfan Memorial Garden to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the disaster
The couple met with schoolchildren as they arrived at the garden, which is located on the site where the Pantglas school which was tragically destroyed in a coal-tip landslide on 21st October 1966
Her Majesty visited the village Aberfan (pictured) on October 29 1966 – eight days after the horrific disaster in 1966
Mr Jones chatted with Kate outside the memorial gardens and said: ‘I told her I was a survivor – I think she was quite surprised.
‘She said she has three little children herself and can’t imagine what we went through. She said she felt for all the bereaved parents.
‘I spoke to Prince William after, he wanted to know the effect on families in the aftermath of what happened.
‘I told him: “We just had to get on with it.”
‘The Royal Family have never forgotten us and it was lovely to see the new Prince and Princess of Wales here to pay their respects.
‘People think the disaster is ancient history but to me it feels like it happened the other day.
‘I’m sure Prince William was told what happened here when he was growing up, it’s embedded in the royal family – there’s a special bond between us.’
Mr Jones, just six at the time, met the Duke of Edinburgh when he visited the village the day after the tragedy.
But the father-of-three never blamed the Queen for not turning up to console villagers for more than a week.
He said: ‘To me, she held back as a mark of respect to the families who lost children.
‘The Queen waited for the dust to settle, I still think it was the right thing to do. She was showing respect to the people of Aberfan.’
King Charles also paid a visit to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, at the Aberfan and Merthyr Vale community centre on October 21, 2016
Survivor Gaynor Madgwick showed Kate a number of newspaper cuttings about previous royal visits to the area (pictured)
The Princess appeared to have dressed for the occasion, opting for a dark long line coat and repeating a houndstooth dress from Zara
The last surviving teacher at the school, Mair Morgan, 81, also told the royal couple how she was teaching five year olds at the school and regularly visits to pay her respects.
They also met the 12 surviving members of the Aberfan Wives Group set up shortly after the disaster as a group of solidarity for the women in their thirties who had lost children and partners in the avalanche.
There were lighter moments at the event too.
At one point, Princess of Wales spoke with mother Lucy Williams, who was holding her one-year-old son Daniel.
As his mother spoke with the royal, the cheeky toddler expressed an interest in Kate’s miniature £695 Mulberry handbag.
The Princess of Wales laughed as she handed over her Mulberry handbag to one-year-old Daniel Williams in Aberfan today
In a clip posted on Twitter by ITV Wales News, the one-year-old is seen happily holding the accessory up to his face.
After a few moments, Lucy – whose mother-in-law survived the 1966 disaster – tells her son: ‘Okay let’s give it back.’
But not ready to part with the bag just yet, the adorable tot starts to cry.
Reassuring the mother that there is no rush, Kate laughs it off and moves onto the next member of the public while Lucy tries to prise the bag from Daniel.
While Kate’s back is turned, Daniel then decided to let go of the bag – dropping it onto the fence.
Luckily for Lucy, she anticipated her son’s action and managed to grab it in the knick of time.
Turning to face another mother, Lucy looks relieved to have caught the bag and then hands it back to Kate.
Speaking to ITV News, Lucy explained how Kate made her feel at ease in what could have been an embarrassing moment.
The cheeky toddler refused to give the bag back to the Princess of Wales during the walkabout and then proceeded to drop it
The children’s Princess! Kate was all smiles as she watched the adorable tot playing with her bag
The mother-of-three reassured Lucy that there was no rush to return the bag – after she struggled to prise it off her son
The Princess of Wales took time to speak with royal fans at the memorial garden in Aberfan this afternoon
The cheeky tot wasn’t ready to give the bag back to the Princess at first – prompting Kate to move onto other members of the public
She explained: ‘I think she sympathised with how hard it is with children. She said, “He can have it to play with, I’ll come back for it!’ like it was any other person in the street.”
‘It’s typical him though. He’s a bit of a hurricane, I wouldn’t expect anything less!’
The royal couple were somber as they arrived at the garden, which is located on the site where the Pantglas school which was tragically destroyed in a coal-tip landslide on 21st October 1966. The incident led to the loss of 144 lives, including 116 children.
The couple were greeted by schoolchildren at the site, while survivor Gaynor Madgwick showed Kate a number of newspaper cuttings about previous royal visits to the area.
The Prince and Princess were then guided around the garden by one of the Aberfan survivors, David Davies, and Professor Peter Vaughan, Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan.
The royals went on to share a photograph as they laid a floral tribute at the site, tweeting a message in English and Welsh reading: ‘In Aberfan to pay our respects to the 116 children and 28 adults who lost their lives on 21 October 1966.’
A second photograph showed the floral tribute and the message left by the couple, which read: ‘In loving memory.’
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