07/05/2019 11:16 EDT | Updated 07/05/2019 11:21 EDT

Prince William Surprises Fans Honouring Princess Diana

"I think I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional," one fan said about his visit.

Prince William gave well-wishers the surprise of their life when he stopped by a vigil honouring the late Princess Diana’s birthday. 

The Duke of Cambridge emerged from Kensington Palace on Monday night to say thank you to those gathered to remember his mother who was born on July 1, 1961, the Daily Mail reported.

“William told me he knew we’d been coming here for years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother,” John Loughrey, a 59-year-old admirer, told the outlet. “I think I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional.” 

Loughrey said that after shaking William’s hand, he asked the prince about the forthcoming Diana memorial that will stand at Kensington Palace. 

“Soon, very soon,” the prince said. “We just want to make sure it is right. It’s important to get it right.” 

Anwar Hussein via Getty Images
Prince William with Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry on the day he joined Eton in Sept. 1995.

In the past few years, Princes Harry and William have become more candid about dealing with grief in the wake of their mother’s unexpected death from a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Harry said that for a long time, he just closed off his emotions, rather than deal with them. 

“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” the Duke of Sussex said in a 2017 interview with The Telegraph. 

EMPICS Entertainment
William and Harry look at tributes left by the public dedicated to their mother Princess Diana following their visit to The White Garden, in Kensington Palace on Aug. 30, 2017.

He added: “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum because why would that help? It’s only going to make you sad. It’s not going to bring her back.”

Later, he turned to counseling and boxing at the age of 28 to begin working through his struggles. 

“The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realize that actually you’re part of quite a big club,” Harry said.