Upon the Prince’s arrival at the cemetery there was a picture set out of his mother laying a wreath at the same location 20 years earlier. William took a moment to view the black-and-white photo, which showed Diana wearing a navy coat as she paid her respects on February 7, 1995, before signing the book of condolences on the table.
A photo of Princess Diana was laid out showing her visit from 20 years earlier Photo: Getty Images
Often keeping the thoughts of his mother private, William opened up about his grief last year after becoming the royal patron of the Child Bereavement Charity.
“Never being able to say the word ‘mommy’ again in your life sounds like a small thing,” he said. “However, for many, including me, it’s now really just a word — hollow and evoking only memories.”
Princess Diana at the Japanese War Cemetery in 1995 Photo: Getty Images
The Duke took time to tour the cemetery before following in his mother’s footsteps and placing his own wreath at the memorial. He accompanied the arrangement with his own heartfelt message. “May we never forget all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” he wrote.
The Duke took a moment to view the photo of his mother Photo: Getty Images
Later that day, the 32-year-old had a more lighthearted engagement in which he helped launch the Innovation is GREAT campaign in the Tokyo district of Roppongi Hills. He then donned a traditional Japanese Happi coat and took part in a sake barrel breaking ceremony at Mori Academy. The father of Prince George then spoke about some of the dream jobs he had as a child.
Later in the day, William took part in a sake barrel breaking Photo: Getty Images
“When I was younger, I dreamt of being an astronaut,” he said. “But I also thought that I was going to be a policeman one day, as a very small boy.” And showing off his humorous side, the Prince added, “I’ve always wanted to say I’d be something like a fire breather. But that’s far too alternative. So sadly, just a policeman for me.”
Audiences were delighted to see the Prince in traditional Japanese garb Photo: Getty Images
The future king arrived in Tokyo on Thursday as part of a weeklong tour through Japan and China, a first for the royal. Also on the royal itinerary are visits to Beijing and Shanghai, where he will be highlighting British links with Japan and China and addressing issues such as innovation, trade and creativity. US HELLO