Prince William surprises well-wishers at vigil to mark Princess Diana's birthday

The Duke of Cambridge stunned fans. [Photo: Getty]

Prince William stunned well-wishers who had gathered outside Kensington Palace to mark what would have been his mother Princess Diana's 58th birthday on Monday.

A group of fans gathered outside the gates from 5:30am to hold a vigil for the late princess, who was tragically killed in a car crash in 1997.

The Duke of Cambridge, 37, astounded the well-wishers when he emerged through the palace gates to speak to them.

The small group who had brought flowers and bunting were left emotional when William shook their hands and thanked them for their support.

One fan John Loughrey, 59, told 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," he added.

Mr Loughrey said William admired his collection of badges pinned to his hat and said he thought it was 'wonderful' that they were celebrating his mother's life and legacy.

"He said 'I'm touched by what you do, you've got quite the collection."I told him that I pray for his mother every Sunday at Westminster Abbey and he seemed really touched."

William and Harry were just 15 and 12 when Princess Diana died in 1997.

A statue of Diana will be erected in the grounds of Kensington Palace at the request of her sons. The brothers commissioned the project in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of her death but its completion has been delayed, as they want to make sure the monument is 'completely right.'

51 PHOTOS
Princess Diana
See Gallery
Princess Diana
File photo dated 29/6/1994 of the Princess of Wales arriving at the Serpentine Gallery in London's Hyde Park to attend a gala dinner as its patron. Twenty-five years ago, the Princess of Wales stepped out in her "revenge dress".
Diana and the Queen snapped in good spirits.
TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Princess Diana Resting Her Head In Her Hands Whilst Sitting On The Steps Of Her Home At Highgrove, Gloucestershire. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales rides in the passenger seat of a vintage Mercedes-Benz.

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles at William's first day at Eton.
circa 1965: A young Lady Diana Spencer (1961 - 1997), later the wife of Prince Charles.
Prince Charles and his fiancee Lady Diana Spencer with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, 7th March 1981.
Prince Charles  and Lady Diana Spencer on their wedding day.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on their wedding day.
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales kissing his wife, Princess Diana (1961 - 1997), on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their marriage.
Princess Diana on her wedding day.
(FILE PHOTO) The Prince and Princess of Wales leave St Paul's Cathedral after their wedding, 29th July 1981. She wears a wedding dress by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel and the Spencer family tiara.
A pregnant Princess of Wales joins the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony, June 1982. The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Alexandra of Kent and Angus Ogilvy are among the group. 
(FILE PHOTO) The Princess of Wales attends a dinner held by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in Islamabad during her official visit to Pakistan, September 1991.
Princess Diana pictured in a tiara.

Diana looks deep in thought on her wedding day.

Princess Diana smiles for the cameras.
Princess Diana in a stylish evening gown.
Princess Diana and Prince Philip at a polo match in Windsor on July 26th , 1987.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana leave St. Mary’s Hospital in London, with Prince Harry on September 16, 1984.
Princess Diana with her sons William and Harry in 1995.
Princess Diana pictured in a stylish beret.
Princess Diana is snapped in India.
Princess Diana doing charity work.
Princess Diana holding Harry as a baby.
Princess Diana meeting members of the public.
Princess Diana poses in a bikini during a holiday.
Diana beams as she sits with William and Harry.
Princess Diana pictured with young William.
Princess Diana is seen holding hands with her two young sons William and Harry.
Princess Diana with William and Harry.
Diana with her sons in December 1995.
Diana pictured with Charles.

An adorable Prince William and Prince Harry can be seen standing beside their mother, Princess Diana, as a little girl gives flowers to the Queen Mother in 1991.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, kissing Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, at a polo match.
Diana gets involved in a parents' day race.

Diana dazzles in a green frock.

Diana and Charles pictured at a glamorous evening event.
Diana and Charles pose for a formal picture.
Charles and Diana boarding a flight.
Charles and Diana as newlyweds.
Diana sporting a casual look.

Diana wears a tartan outfit to match Charles' kilt for a trip to Scotland.

A young Diana shows off sapphire sparkler.
Diana dazzles in white frock and tiara during trip to the Middle East.
Diana pictured with baby Harry.
Diana poses for pictures with members of the public during a walkabout.
Diana and Charles enjoy a family day out.
Diana pictured alongside a stern-faced Queen.
Diana pictured alongside Princess Anne.
TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Princess Diana Resting Her Head In Her Hands Whilst Sitting On The Steps Of Her Home At Highgrove, Gloucestershire. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS