PRINCE William has told of his “dark days of grief” when his mum died as he reels from the report into how Martin Bashir duped Diana.
The Duke of Cambridge, 38, said he loved Scotland but remembered how he had been at Balmoral when he heard of his mum's death in 1997.
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William, who spoke at the Opening Ceremony of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, also hailed memories of meeting his future wife Kate at St Andrew's University ten years ago.
The royal, who was greeted by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh, said: "In short, Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest.
“I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, 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, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep. And yet alongside this painful memory, is one of great joy.
“Because it was here in Scotland – twenty years ago this year – that I first met Catherine.
“Needless to say, the town where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart."
William also told the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland how much his family love the country: “I’ve been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy.
"As I grew up, I saw how my grandmother relishes every minute she spends here. And my father is never happier than when walking among the hills.”
He added: "As we try to emerge from a long period of uncertainty and turmoil, I am grateful for the chance I will get this week to really listen, with humility and compassion, to many people in Scotland."
The scene was in contrast from later in the day when he looked happy and relaxed as he grabbed a pint with first responders in Edinburgh to watch the Scottish Cup Final.
The Duke of Cambridge, 38, appeared to be in fine spirits at the Cold Town House as he watched St Johnstone defeat Hibs at Hampden Park.
Wills, a keen Aston Villa fan, seemed glued to the match as he chatted with a group of specially invited frontline workers.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge social media account shared a quick seven second video from the scene of the rooftop bar.
It read: "#ScottishCup final set up!
"Taking this opportunity to thank emergency responders for their dedication and commitment over the last year."
William spoke after his brother Harry accused his family of showing "total neglect" for his mental health woes and claims dad Charles made him "suffer".
In his doc – The Me You Can't See – the Duke of Sussex, 36, opens up about the trauma that still haunts him after his mum was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997.
He said: "My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to both William and I, 'Well, it was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you.'
"That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean your kids have to suffer. Actually quite the opposite."
The Queen made her first public appearance today since Harry's comments as she visited a £3.2billion warship.
She was touring the Navy's flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth – also known as 'Big Lizzie' – amid a tumultuous week for the Royal Family.
The beloved monarch has not made any comment on either of the latest stories to embroil her family.
Meanwhile, William blasted the "livid and false" claims BBC journalist Bashir made to interview Diana in 1995.
Wills, just 13 at the time of the broadcast and 15 when his mother died, spoke candidly following the publication of Lord Dyson’s damning report.
The report found Bashir forged bank statements, told Diana she was being spied on and that Charles was having an affair with Tiggy Legge-Bourke — Harry and William’s nanny.
Bashir spun malicious tales in a bid to win her trust and secure a world-exclusive interview amid her divorce.
William said: “The findings are extremely concerning.
“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.
"The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse. And has since hurt countless others.
“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her."
After finally agreeing to speak with Bashir, Diana referred to Camilla Parker Bowles, now Charles’s wife, when she sensationally said: “There were three of us in the marriage.”
The revelation caused shock waves across the world and led to the princess being “cast adrift” and left to fend for herself outside the royal circle.
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