In an emotional moment fans will never forget, Prince William made a surprise appearance to an annual vigil for Princess Diana held outside Kensington Palace. A group of the late-Princess’s adoring fans held the vigil outside the palace to honor her birthday on July 1, this time marking her 58th year.
But something slightly different occurred this year when Prince William himself walked out from the palace quietly with a “small security detail” — and what happened next has captured hearts across the world.
The prince was seen speaking to the guests who had been holding the vigil for Diana since 5:30 a.m. At around 6:45 p.m., he joined them, walking up to six people and shaking their hands. According to the Daily Mail, the scene was incredibly moving.
“I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional,” one fan, John Loughrey told the publication. “William told me he knew we’d been coming here for years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother.”
Loughrey said that William had also shared his liking for the badges that he had of Princess Diana adorned on his hat, calling them “wonderful.”
“He said ‘I’m touched by what you do, you’ve got quite the collection,” he explained.
“I told him that I pray for his mother every Sunday at Westminster Abbey and he seemed really touched.”
The emotional royal fan added that he and his fellow attendees at the vigil were dedicated fans of Diana because she “was born with two hearts — one for her and one for us.”
“People must never forget that.”
Another onlooker told the publication, “None of us could believe it when William suddenly walked down the drive to come and thank us. He really is his mother’s son.”
William also addressed the statue of his mother, which is understood to be erected outside Kensington Palace.
William told fans, “Soon, very soon. We just want to make sure it is right. It’s important to get it right.”
William spent around seven minutes speaking to the group of people before leaving when crowds started to gather.
Earlier in the day, William’s wife Kate visited Hampton Court garden, where her incredible Chelsea Flower Show design, named the “Back to Nature Garden,” was moved.
Wearing a gorgeous green summery dress by Sandro along with her signature wedges, Kate was joined by children from the Anna Freud National Centre, Evelina Children’s Hospital, Action for Children UK and Place2Be.
At the event, Kate revealed that her and William’s young son George had played a big part in the creation of the special design.
Indeed it turns out young Prince George had wanted the addition of stepping stones — he apparently loved jumping across them!
July is certainly off to a beautiful start for the Cambridges.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.