He was only 15 in 1997, when he was informed that his mother had died in a car crash.
Prince William and Prince Harry spent a lot of their growing years in Scotland, and that place is filled with a lot of happy memories for them. But, for William, Scotland is also where he has the "saddest memory."
According to PEOPLE, the older brother opened up about his personal connection to the country while speaking at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on May 22, 2021, during his royal tour of Scotland.
He started talking about his love for the country by telling the audience, "here is something I do want to tell you." "Scotland is incredibly important to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I've been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy," he said. "As I grew up, I saw how my grandmother relishes every minute she spends here. And my father is never happier than when walking among the hills."
"In short, Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest," added William.
In 1997, he was at the Balmoral Castle with his dad and brother when he learned of his mother's death. "I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died," said the Duke of Cambridge. She had died in a car crash in Paris.
"Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning," he continued. "And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep."
As he continued his speech, he moved on to some of the happier memories of his life, including his beloved wife. "And yet alongside this painful memory, is one of great joy. Because it was here in Scotland – twenty years ago this year — that I first met Catherine," he said of his wife of 10 years. The two met while they were both studying at St. Andrews.
He then spoke of the "four formative years" he spent in college, adding that he experienced a sense of freedom there, per BBC. "I spent four very happy and formative years studying in St Andrews. The town and the students left me alone to get on with student life, allowing me to share their freedoms - and their pubs."
"Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart," he added, noting that their love for Scotland is something they will pass along to their three children.
"George, Charlotte, and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us, and they are starting to build their own happy memories here too. We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the Central Belt, from the Islands to the Borders"
Here's hoping that the family gets to make more happy memories in a country that they hold close to their heart!
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos By (R) Jane Barlow (L) Daily Express/Hulton Archive