He’s been visiting the country since he was a “small boy” and developed a somewhat bittersweet connection after experiencing devastating tragedy, finding enduring love, and facing life-changing loss.
Keep reading to learn more about how William developed a bittersweet connection to Scotland.
Prince William said Scotland is the source of some of his happiest memories
While speaking in Scotland during a 2021 royal tour, William said the country is “incredibly important” to him and “will always have a special place in [his] heart.”
“I’ve been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy,” he shared (People). “As I grew up, I saw how my grandmother [Queen Elizabeth II] relishes every minute she spends here. And my father [King Charles III] is never happier than when walking among the hills.”
William also met his wife Kate Middleton while they were students at St. Andrews University in Scotland. “Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart,” he shared.
Furthermore, William said that his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, “already know how dear Scotland is” to their parents and are “starting to build their own happy memories” there.
“We have no doubt they will grow up sharing our love and connection to Scotland …,” William offered.
“In short, Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories,” he concluded. “But also, my saddest.”
Prince William was in Scotland when he learned of Princess Diana’s death
While visiting Scotland in 2021, William looked back on Princess Diana’s death, noting he was at Balmoral Castle when he learned his mother died. The 36-year-old “People’s Princess” was in Paris when she received fatal injuries in a car accident in 1997.
“Still in shock,” William recalled, “I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning.”
“And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors.”
“As a result,” he shared, “the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep.”
Prince William traveled to Scotland when Queen Elizabeth died
After William spoke of his happiest and saddest memories from Scotland, he traveled to Balmoral to be with his ailing grandmother at her beloved estate. According to Newsweek, sources reported the queen died just before he arrived.
After her death, William and Kate met with the workers behind national events that marked the end of the queen’s reign. They shared that they had long-established plans that took into consideration her many residences.
“Did the Balmoral element make it complicated for you guys?” Willliam asked them, adding that he heard “that was the least planned-for plan of them all.”
Queen Elizabeth was 96 when she died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, and William is now first in line to the throne.