William and Kate visit bereavement centre


William and Kate visit bereavement centre

Image caption
The organisation was first launched by Princess Diana in 1994

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited a bereavement centre to mark its one year anniversary.

Prince William, who opened Child Bereavement UK”s Stratford centre in east London in 2015, has been the charity”s royal patron since 2009.

The charity supports parents who have lost children as well as helping children who are bereaved.

William and Kate were introduced to staff and volunteers, before meeting families who have been helped.

During the visit, the royal couple joined one of the charity”s support group sessions and made memory jars, learning how these can help families.

Chief executive of the charity, Ann Chalmers, said she was “honoured” to have the duke and duchess visit the centre.

Image caption
Patron of the charity, Prince William, joins in a support group during his visit

One of the charity”s supporters, actor Jason Watkins, spoke to BBC Breakfast about the loss of his two-year-old daughter in 2011.

Maude became ill with a cough and a cold and was treated with steroids by a GP. She died from sepsis.

Media captionActor Jason Watkins reads a diary entry he wrote in the days following his two-year-old daughter”s death.

Mr Watkins said: “We put her to bed, did all the things we were told to do by the medical professionals.

“My older daughter had been trying to play with her in the bedroom… and I went in to see if she was alright and she had clearly died.”

He told the programme it was an “awful, traumatic, hysterical and terribly painful event” for all of the family.

“You never get out of bed, you spend days in bed, you can”t get out.

“It”s like people who have had an operation you feel completely obliterated and have no energy. You feel like you”re trying to get out of a dark pit that you can”t get out of.

“Your heart aches…you feel your heart is broken.”

But “that acute phase of trauma, it does pass and you do come through that,” he said.

His eldest daughter, Bessie, is nine years old, and wrote in her diary:

“When Maude died I was three, I didn”t know what death was. I was in shock for a long time that I would never see her again.

“Maudey will never come back but she will always be in our hearts.”