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Prince George’s godmother says her role in his life is a “lovely way of loving” the late Princess Diana.
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, chose Julia Samuel to look after the spiritual welfare of their eight-year-old son and she is thankful the role provides her with a connection to her beloved friend, who died in a car accident in 1997.
She told the Observer magazine: “Well, I feel lucky I was such a good friend of Princess Diana. And I really love my godson, George. And it’s a lovely way of loving her.”
The grief counsellor recalled how “angry” she was in the aftermath of Diana’s death, when so many people around the world were publicly mourning her friend, but now she better understands how the tragedy impacted on people the princess had never met.
She said: “I felt angry. I was angry that she died, and shocked and I couldn’t really understand it all. I mean, I understand it better now.
“I understand that people felt they really knew and loved her. But I still feel sad today.”
Julia praised William and his brother, Prince Harry, for speaking openly about grief and mental health, but she insisted she had no influence on their decisions to do so.
She said: “I think both the princes have really turned the dial on talking about grief so honestly and also about mental health. But that was all theirs – completely off their own bats.”
The ‘Every Family Has a Story’ author understands she will always be asked about her private friendships with the royal family.
She said: “I feel that in some ways, my professional life is completely separate from my friendships and private life. But, of course, nothing is separate. Who I am and who I know is also part of my professional self. And so… That’s me.”