Prince William surprises fans outside Kensington Palace

– July 1 marked what would have been Princess Diana‘s 58th birthday.

– To commemorate the day, royal fans gathered outside the gates of Kensington Palace to pay tribute to the Princess of Wales.

Prince William surprised the crowd by coming out of Kensington Palace to greet all of those who’d been honoring his late mother’s birthday. Well-wishers were understandably shocked by the prince’s unexpected, and very sweet, gesture.

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Princess Diana is still loved and missed by people all over the world. And on July 1, 2019, when Diana would have turned 58, fans of the Princess of Wales gathered outside the gates of Kensington Palace to commemorate her legacy.

Having spent much of the day outside the palace, fans were totally shocked when Prince William himself came out to thank them all for honoring his mother. The Daily Mail royal correspondent Rebecca English exclusively reported on the prince’s surprise appearance. “At around 6.45pm they were astounded to see her eldest son walk quietly and without fanfare through the palace gates into Kensington Gardens with a small security detail,” she wrote.

On Twitter, English revealed that William “chatted to well wishers for around six or seven minutes, before slipping back inside when crowds began to gather. Those there said he shook their hands and thanked them for their dedication.”

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The Duke of Cambridge seemed to truly appreciate the immense support for his late mother. One particular fan, John Loughrey from London, revealed to the Daily Mail: “William told me he knew we’d been coming here for years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother. I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional.”

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.

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