To support grieving children who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, Prince Harry has spoken about the impact Princess Diana's death had on him growing up.
The Duke of Sussex has written an emotional foreword for Hospital by the hill, a book from the Hampshire child bereavement support charity, Simon Says.
“If you are reading this book, it’s because you’ve lost your parent or a loved one, and while I wish I was able to hug you right now, I hope this story is able to provide you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone,” the duke begins the foreword with.
He then goes to talk about his own experience on losing a parent.
“When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me. I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support.
"We all cope with loss in a different way, but when a parent goes to heaven, I was told their spirit, their love and the memories of them do not. They are always with you and you can hold on to them forever. I find this to be true."
He sheds some light on the emotions they might be coping with, telling them that things will get better.
“You may feel alone, you may feel sad, you may feel angry, you may feel bad. This feeling will pass. And I will make a promise to you – you will feel better and stronger once you are ready to talk about how it makes you feel.”
The note ends on a reassuring note: “I hope this book helps remind you of just how special your parent or loved one was. And how special you are too.”
In the past, Prince Harry has spoken about depression and dealing with grief after Princess Diana's death a number of times. He also advocates the importance of mental health awareness.
Hospital by the hill has been written by Chris Connaughton and illustrated by Fay Troote. It tells the story of a young person coming to terms with the loss of their mother, a frontline worker at hospital.
“In Fay's pictures, the person looks like a nurse, but your loved one could be an office worker, a cleaner or a journalist. They might be a waiter, a teacher or anyone else who is special to you. They will always be loved. Whoever you are thinking about, I hope this story helps make some of the hard and horrible stuff a bit easier,” Connaughton has written in a note.
Hospital by the hill which will be available for free to children in the UK affected by the death of a loved one from Covid-19.