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Nearly everybody experiences grief at some point in their lives – including famous sportspeople, film stars and royals.

Many of these celebrities have spoken out about their bereavement to try to help others cope with their grief. If you’ve lost somebody close to you, you might take comfort in their words of wisdom.

Here are 9 famous quotes about grief and bereavement by people in the public eye.

Death and grief quotes by famous sportspeople

Rio Ferdinand

My children need to see me talk and show emotion. Talking doesn’t make the pain go away but it does help.


In 2017, Rio Ferdinand spoke to ITV’s This Morning about losing his wife Rebecca when she was just 34 years old. The footballer said he found it very hard to cope with his grief and talk to his children about her death. However, with time he learned to express his feelings and communicate with his kids.

Rio Ferdinand also took part in a campaign video for Child Bereavement UK, along with fellow celebrities such as Mary Berry and Ben Fogle. In the video, he shares what he would say to his wife if he could spend one more minute with her.


Matt Wilson

The last couple of weeks have been really tough and I’m glad I could make the team for . I’m sure she’d be proud of me.

(Sydney Morning Herald)

Australian swimmer Matt Wilson famously broke down in tears after failing to qualify for his country’s 2020 Olympic team. However, he was allowed to join the squad after officials learned he was mourning his grandmother, who had died just days before.

Tracey Neville

The first thing I said to this squad is that I will always have your back and there’ll be times where I’ll need you to have mine. I’ve never doubted that support, friendship and team spirit throughout.

(Sky Sports)

Tracey Neville was head coach of the England netball team. This quote comes from an interview conducted shortly after her father’s death. Despite her grief, Neville chose to remain with her team as they competed in the 2015 Netball World Cup.

Famous quotes about death by members of the royal family

Prince Harry

It was 20 years of not thinking about it and then 2 years of total chaos. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

(The Telegraph)

Prince Harry was just 12 years old when his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash. 20 years later, in 2017, he spoke to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon about coping with his grief. Harry shared that he bottled up his emotions for many years – and had counselling sessions to help him come to terms with losing his mum.

A few days later, Harry’s brother Prince William also opened up about their mother’s death. In a BBC documentary, he said, ‘I still have shock within me You never get over it. It’s such an unbelievably big moment in your life that it never leaves you. You just learn to deal with it.’ (Reuters)

Queen Elizabeth II

While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.

(HuffPost UK)

This quote comes from a written statement by Queen Elizabeth II, issued shortly after the death of her husband, Prince Philip. In her usual measured style, she thanked the public for their support and said that she was ‘deeply touched’ by their tributes.

King Charles III

And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.


In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died and was succeeded by her son, Charles. The next day, he made his first address to the nation as King – and dedicated much of it to honouring his mother’s memory. He paid tribute to her humour, dedication and charity work, before finishing with a personal message to his ‘darling Mama’.

Death and bereavement quotes by film and TV stars

Lea Michele

I think at a certain point you can choose to sort of fall from this, or you can choose to rise. And that’s what I’m just trying to do.

(Sky News)

Lea Michele lost her boyfriend and Glee co-star Cory Monteith to a drug overdose in 2013. Later that year, she spoke to The Ellen DeGeneres Show about her determination to stay positive. Despite her grief, she wanted to carry on and live a happy life because ‘that’s what he would have wanted’.

Sylvester Stallone

If you have good friends and your family’s support, it’s just something that’s a horrible situation. But hopefully it will heal and you try to get through it but it's something that is a reality in life.

(Digital Spy)

This quote is a powerful reminder of why it’s important to have a good support network. Sylvester Stallone lost his son in 2012, but – as he told Today – he was able to cope thanks to the support of his family.

Angelina Jolie

I would give anything for her to be with me at this time. I’ve needed her. I talk to her often in my mind and try to think what she might say and how she might guide me.


Angelina Jolie’s mother was only 56 when she died of a terminal illness in 2007. Later, in an interview with Elle France, she spoke about the impact her mother’s death had on her life. While she still missed her, she said, she had learned many lessons from her mother – and still feels she is guiding her on.

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Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash.