In the latest episode of Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast, Kate Beckinsale says she can relate to the experience of losing a famous parent at a young age, just like Prince William and Prince Harry.
The actress shares that the death of Princess Diana reminded her of the shocking death of her father, actor Richard Beckinsale, when she was five years old and what it was like to have people who didn’t personally know him mourn the loss.
“I remember when their mother died, I was in New York, and seeing them in the context of other people sort of grieving for somebody they didn’t know … I thought, Oh my God, I really know what that feels like,” she says. Her father died in 1979 at age 31 of a heart attack caused by coronary artery disease despite having passed a full medical checkup just weeks earlier.
“It was hard at the very, very beginning because it did feel like you were having this very personal, horrible crisis — and so was everybody else, but you didn’t know them,” she says.
Though William and Harry were 15 and 12, respectively, when their mother died in 1997, Beckinsale says a “cataclysmic event” like that “puts everything into a real sharp focus.”
“People would talk about how terrible they felt that they had lost him, but then say, ‘Oh, but you probably don’t remember anything, do you, because you were a child.’ That would really upset me as a child,” she recalls. “I found that really difficult. But then the person you’re sharing it with is saying, ‘You have less right to this than I do,’ which is really odd.”
Now, Beckinsale says she’s able to find some comfort in strangers mourning the loss of her dad as they continue to remember him for his acting.
“I found that, as I’m older, I’m less offended by it. There is something incredibly special and comforting about how much other people loved him, that, sort of the longer it goes on, [it’s] lovely.”
On Father’s Day, Beckinsale paid tribute to her late dad on Instagram, sharing a surprise talk show appearance they made together.