Prince William tells grieving 11-year-old whose mother died last year 'it will get easier'

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (right) meet Carole Ellis and her great grandson Deacon Glover,11, whose mother, Grace Taylor has passed away, during a visit to charity, Church on the Street, in Burnley, Lancashire, where they met with volunteers and staff as well as a number of service users to hear about their experiences first-hand. Picture date: Thursday January 20, 2022.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Deacon Glover,11, whose mother, Grace Taylor, has passed away. Credit: PA

Prince William offered comfort to a grieving schoolboy whose mother died last year, telling the 11-year-old that it will get "easier" while on a visit to a centre helping vulnerable people.

William, whose mother, Diana, Princess of Wales died in 1997 when he was 15, told Deacon Glover, “I know how you feel”, after learning his mother, Grace Taylor, died recently aged 28.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent about 15 minutes talking to the Deacon and his great-grandmother, Carole Ellis, during a visit to Church on the Street in Burnley, Lancashire, a centre that helps people struggling with poverty, homelessness, addiction or other problems.

"It gets easier, I promise" - Prince William sympathises with 11-year-old Deacon Glover whose mother died last year

William, 39, an Aston Villa fan, chatted to the 11-year-old about football, but the youngster, who was wearing a Burnley shirt, seemed unimpressed at first.

“He thought it was a footballer coming here so he was gutted when he found out it was William and Kate,” one volunteer at the centre said.

William and Kate went to Burnley after seeing television reports about the work of Pastor Mick Fleming, who set up Church on the Street in 2019 to help the homeless and disadvantaged living in Burnley and surrounding areas and finding it “very moving”.

Since then the project has grown and the Church, housed in a former gym, now offers refuge and a safe space for anyone struggling, including those with mental health problems.

Kate looks over at her husband, Prince William, as he tells 11-year-old Deacon Glover his grief 'will get easier'. Credit: PA

Funded by donations, it provides a food bank, clothing bank, hot showers, laundry, a cafe, recovery groups, addiction and mental health support, access to a qualified counsellor, and a safe space for up to 200 people at any one time.

Pastor Mick, who leads church services, said he hoped the visit would help provide extra support for the people using his services.

“They said they’d seen a BBC report on what we were doing and they’d found it very moving.

“I’m very grateful because hopefully it will mean more people will get to know about what we are doing and more people here will get support because of their royal highnesses coming here.

“We rely on donations and we don’t charge a penny for our services.”

“So sweet” - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met a hospital’s new four-legged recruit when they visited to thank staff for their work throughout the pandemic

Later, William and Kate made friends with 10-week-old cockapoo Alfie at Clitheroe Community Hospital after travelling to Lancashire.

The pup, who licked William’s cheek, will be trained to support patients and colleagues at the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust alongside therapy dog Jasper.

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