During her time in the royal family, Lady Diana Spencer was known across the globe as the ‘People’s Princess.’ As we continue to learn more about her fantastic legacy, not only was she beloved by the public, but her sons were 100% this lady’s top fans.
Keen to break away from the stringent royal tradition, Lady Di insisted on giving her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, the most normal upbringing possible, stripped of their privileges above others. This meant that in many ways, the Princess of Wales was destined for motherhood. Popular Everything is giving you the low-down on this royal bond, traveling through the timeline of the Duke’s early years with their beloved mother.
Pregnancy Blues Weren’t a Thing
All the mothers out there know what a chore child-bearing can be at times. You’re exhausted all hours of the day, and even the littlest things can trigger an emotional rollercoaster. One woman who didn’t let hormones get the better of her was our Di.
Diana looks radiant as ever in this photo as she holds a young Prince William. Would you believe she was with child in this snapshot? That’s right; this photo was taken just months before the royal was due to give birth to a second child, Prince Harry. What an absolute pro! Diana was clearly in her element as a mother. You could give this woman all the royal luxuries in the world, but to her, nothing beat the feeling of being a successful parent.
That Everlasting Mother Love
Have you ever been away from your mom for such a long time, that she can’t help but squeeze you when you reunite? Lady Diana certainly reminds us of our own mothers in this cute candid taken all those years ago.
Diana is remembered today for many reasons. Possibly the most heartwarming one of all was the love she had for her sons. In an interview, the Princess of Wales even admitted she would often hug her “children to death.” Like any mother, she could not hold back her affections for the ones she cared for the most. Someone pass us the tissues!
Diana’s Children Never Feared Her
Growing up in not only the public eye, but the royal public eye meant there existed a set of rules Diana was expected to adhere to. Certainly in motherhood, the royal was expected to raise her children properly. What did this mean? Even Diana wasn’t too sure, so she just did what felt natural to her as a mother.
Check out this adorable photo taken at the Trooping of the Color Ceremony in 1988. The young Harry seems to be having the time of his life. Some may say he’s misbehaving, but Diana believed he’s simply doing what children do best. Just because they were a part of the royal family, didn’t mean Diana was going to put a stop to her children’s fun. Ten points to Diana for being such a cool mom!
All Eyes on Her Boys
Let’s go on vacation! Well not us, but in 1986, Princess Diana was invited by King Juan Carlos I to go on a family vacation to sunny Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Like the true doting mother she is, Lady Di was snapped looking after her sons. We’d expect nothing less from this woman!
She may be in the middle of having her photo taken, but Diana’s attention is focused on her boys. She’s carrying her son Harry while keeping an eye on the older child, William – who said women couldn’t multi-task? We have to add; the two boys look simply adorable in their matching outfits.
Not Afraid to Joke Around
The more you learn about what Princess Diana was like as a mother, the more you come to realize how much she loved to push the boundaries. Members of the British monarchy were expected to establish a clear mother-child relationship, but the “fun through and through” Diana just wanted to be her children’s best friend.
Here Diana is captured living her best life with her sons and nephews, on vacation to Necker Island in 1989. Yes, this woman is a member of the British royal family, and no she does not let that stop her from letting her hair down. She’s on holiday after all, so why shouldn’t she take this opportunity to let her kids live like a normal family?
A Rule Breaker from Day One
Princess Diana’s disliking for royal tradition actually started way before she even became a mother. Some of her views were so transgressive, that they set a new standard in royal protocol. One example being her decision where to give birth.
Before the age of fearless Di, it was a commonly accepted rule that members of the British monarchy were to give birth in the comfort of their own home, at Buckingham Palace. Like the true outspoken woman she is, Diana could not help but disagree with this notion and insisted she give birth, like any other mother, in a hospital. Good on her for doing her own thing!
This Woman Made Her Own Decisions
It would seem that being a mother in the royal family consists of tradition after endless tradition. For Diana though, this woman wasn’t having any of it! The next rule-breaking act of the Princess of Wales involved the naming of her sons.
Typically, the names of royal children should be passed down form either the father or late-family member. Despite this, Diana couldn’t stand the idea of following Charles’ wishes and naming her sons Albert and Arthur – can you imagine? We’re glad Diana stuck to her guns on this one and didn’t give into the royal pressures. William and Harry suit her sons much better, even if we do say so ourselves.
Just a Regular Mom
We’ve mentioned to you how Princess Diana was keen on giving her boys a normal upbringing. But her frequent disregard of royal traditions and leading “from the heart, not the head” certainly didn’t mean these two boys got off completely lightly.
Of course, any regular mother-son relationship involved its fair share of punishments. That’s right, Diana certainly wasn’t leaving out any aspect of being a normal mother; it wasn’t play-dates and laughing fits all hours of the day. She was often reported telling her boys off, but this was only done in their best interest. After all, how many of you can remember receiving a strict word from your moms back in the day?
First Day Jitters
Now, this is a piece of nostalgia if we ever saw one. Rewinding all the way back to 1987, where William and Diana are thrilled to be a part of Harry’s first day at nursery. This is clearly Harry’s special day, but Diana is quick not to play favorites as she’s caught in this image proudly smiling at older son, William.
With a mother as loving and supportive as Diana, we bet the first-day of school was a walk in the park for little Harry. That being said, things weren’t looking quite so peachy for his mother. By this point, it had become public knowledge that Diana had separated from then-husband, Prince Charles. Despite this, the Princess of Wales always pulled through for her boys and put her personal issues behind her for Harry’s big moment.
A Mother’s Instinct
Several reports have looked into the relationship between Princess Diana and her two sons; their findings have sparked some valuable insights. For one thing, there is a massive link between Lady Di’s body language around her children, and her protective, more mother-like nature.
Various images have shown the Princess of Wales constantly holding onto and keeping an eye on her two boys. Her children were her life, so this news does not come as a huge surprise. It just proves that no matter how much messing around these three had, she always had their best interest at heart.
Being a Big Kid
Princess Diana always longed for a big family, and it shows. Whenever she got a moment of free time, she always made sure it was spent having some quality time with her favorite two people. It was essential to the princess that her sons stayed grounded, so play time was super important to her.
When these three were at home, anything was allowed. We’re serious when we say that, even Harry noted in an interview that one of Diana’s mottos to her children was “you can be as naughty as you want, just don’t get caught.” That’s precisely the kind of fun-loving mother we know Diana to be!
Diana the Royal Stylist
Like any mother, Diana loved to play dress-up with her two little boys, not just this but she loved to style them in matching garments. We’re not so sure the boys would’ve approved of some of these classic 80s and 90s fashion looks now, but there’s no denying they looked super cute!
Reflecting on their mother in an interview, Harry put forward one specific wish, that he could ask his mother about her styling choices, “because I genuinely think that she got satisfaction out of dressing myself and William up in the most bizarre outfits, normally matching.” Whatever put a smile on your mother’s face, hey Harry!
She Wanted to Go Everywhere With Her Sons
Here’s another significant example of how the Princess of Wales broke royal protocol. It was traditionally expected of members of the royal family not to tour the Commonwealth with their offspring. That all changed in 1983.
Lady Di was insistent that she took nine-month-old William with her, during her visit to Australia. It was because of this that Diana later gave her eldest son the nickname ‘Wombat.’ Diana really did want to involve her sons in all her best memories.
Instilling Service Into Her Boys
Diana was keen to support her boy’s passions and dreams. That’s why when they showed interest in the services, the Princess of Wales was entirely on board. She enjoyed dressing William up in policeman gear and supporting Harry’s dreams of serving in the armed forces.
Once they grew older, William and Harry both served in the British military. We suspect a leading factor for this was due to the loving encouragement their mother provided them with. Her moral values were instilled into them from a young age and have enabled them to flourish into the remarkable young men they are today.
Never Letting One Feel Left Out
In an interview years ago, Lady Diana revealed a secret truth behind her parenting ways. Whether the public was aware of it or not, she often tended to pay a little more “love and attention” to her younger son, Harry, for a very specific reason.
There’s no doubt that the Princess of Wales loved both of her sons equally, but in terms of how she projected her love, Harry always got the better end of the deal. Why was this? Diana felt concerned that Harry would always feel “in the shadows” of his older brother and future King. She, therefore, showed him more love to compensate for other members of the Royal family favoring William. No son of hers was getting outcasted!
William Took Over as Harry’s Support System
Giving this new-found knowledge of how Diana had to favor Harry for his own wellbeing, it makes the news of her passing away just that much more upsetting. Like the mature young man he was raised to be, we’re sure William’s next steps would have made his mother proud.
It was because of the positive upbringing Diana gave to her children, that William knew how important it was to take care of his younger brother, as they were forced to continue life without her. Effectively, Diana’s parenting skills enabled William to pick up the pieces that were shattered after her death.
Mother First, Princess Second
Those of you familiar with Princess Diana will know that royal status didn’t interest her one little bit. She liked being in the public eye, solely for the reason that it granted her the means to help the less fortunate. If given a choice between hanging out with her sons and engaging in royal tradition, this woman would always pick the former.
If you take a good look at this bond, you begin to see how hard Diana worked to teach her sons that there was a life outside of the Palace walls. That meant joining on their day trips, like this exciting day the family shared at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England.
Her Boys Will Never Forget Her
The day Lady Diana passed away was undoubtedly the hardest day of her son’s lives. Today, the pair ensure that everything they do is to make their loving mother proud. Despite the boys frequently avoiding any discussion about their late-mother in interviews, it is the brief moments that they do mention her that always brings a tear to our eyes.
In one interview from 2007, Prince Harry commemorated the tenth anniversary of his mother’s death by sharing some moving words. He revealed to the interviewer that his mother was “quite simply the best mother in the world.” For William, he enjoys regularly sharing stories about his late-mother to his children, allowing her legacy to live on and teach others.
Diana’s Lasting Legacy
As we all know, Diana’s sons liked to keep quiet when it came to any public announcements regarding the death of their mother. However, that all changed in 2017. In a documentary on British channel BBC called ‘Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy’ the two men opened up for the first time about fond memories of their mother, as well as the moment they heard the tragic news of her passing.
The two Dukes took their bravery to the next level as they told the world the story of the few days following the bitter news. They commended their father, Charles for being there for them amid his own grieving. The documentary then followed with the sons sharing some never-before-seen photos of their childhood alongside their doting mother. Warning: this one is not to be viewed by the faint-hearted, it’s super emotional!
Following in Her Footsteps
As we’ve said before, Lady Diana was remembered by many for the unqiue way she parented her children. She may not have raised her two sons the most conventionally for a royal, but the love was always there.
Diana was an inspiration to many mothers out there. Her legacy even lives on in her own family. Several reports have begun connecting the dots and discovering new ways in which Kate Middleton reflects Diana’s tendencies as a mother. Like Diana, she gave birth in a hospital rather than Buckingham Palace. Had Diana been around today, we’re sure these two would’ve been the best of friends!
A Natural with Children
It comes as no surprise to learn how much of a fantastic mother to her children Diana was; she loved kids after all! Here she is pictured having the time of her life with Harry and his cousin, Princess Eugenie.
This is another one of the many instances where, if we look at this picture with no prior knowledge of who’s in the royal family, you would assume Diana was just a regular mom – and we love her for that.
A Family Girl at Heart
Being in the royal family isn’t always a walk in the park. Being watched by the public at all times means that one was expected to take part in royal duties. Diana was a philanthropist who thrived off these moments to help others, but it was when she was with her family that this woman really felt at home.
Isn’t this the most perfect photo you’ve ever seen? 1983 was the first year of motherhood for Diana, yet by her calm expression, you’d assume she’d been doing this for years. William was only one year old when this picture was taken – doesn’t he look adorable?
Motherhood Was Written in the Stars
Did you know, Princess Diana was the first member of the British royal family to have worked a normal job? Before entering the doors to Buckingham Palace, our Di was working her daily 9-5 just like the rest of us.
After years of working part-time, Diana was thrilled to find a position as a kindergarten teacher at the Young England School. We suspect that it was these previous roles with children that enabled Diana to be the best mother she could be.
What Followed Suit
Despite her position in the British monarchy, Diana never forgot her roots. She wanted to apply a big part of her kindergarten teacher ways to her parenting style. So, how did she do it?
Diana remembered that the nursery she worked at strongly embraced the Montessori way of teaching. Witnessing the positive impact this had on children’s learning, Diana insisted that both her boys enrolled in a Montessori school, just like back in her teaching days.
She Taught Her Children Manners
Princess Diana accepted the fact that being in the British monarchy, her two sons were going to be treated slightly different from other children. Despite this, she was adamant that her children would treat others with the same respect that anyone else would.
It was paramount for Diana to instill some manners into William and Harry. She taught her sons how to write personalized thank you cards. This action may seem small, but in the royal family, it merely wasn’t usually done.
A Hands-On Mother
Being the caring woman that she was, Diana wanted her children to get involved in as many extra-curricular activities as possible. Primarily, she wished her sons would appreciate some of the activities she once enjoyed herself, as a child. First on the agenda of fun was horseback riding!
From a young age, Diana made sure her two boys were enrolled in horseback riding lessons. She wanted to be a part of her children’s earliest memories, so at times Diana herself would help teach her sons.
Education Came First
Who remembers getting their parents to help with their homework? Proving there was more to her than royal status, Princess Diana was often found helping out Harry and William with their schoolwork.
Giving her sons the best education possible was paramount to Lady Di. If this meant brushing up on her science skills to ensure she could double check her son’s work before they handed it in, then so be it! This woman was relentless as a mother, so going above and beyond for them was just the norm.
She Wanted a Private Personal Life
Being the doting mother she was, Princess Diana cherished the moments where she was off-duty and got to spend some quality time with her children. With that being said, she was never too keen with the lack of privacy she had during these times.
As we know, Diana wanted to give her children the most normal upbringing possible. There’s only so far this can go though when the paparazzi are consistently lining up to take pictures of your life. William admitted in an interview that his mother was “regularly moved to tears by tabloid photographers.” She wanted to spend time on her days off with her sons, and only her sons.
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Diana was distraught when it dawned on her that she would never get to share some of the most special moments with her children in private. Wouldn’t you be? Keen to move forward, the Princess of Wales turned this hurdle into a life lesson for her boys.
Diana did everything for her boys, and if that meant trying to hide her hate towards the paparazzi for their benefit, then she’d do it. William and Harry recall their mother often teaching them not to view the photographers negatively and to even get along with them. She wanted her children to have a life that ran as smoothly as possible.
Anything Goes, Even Food
The extent of Diana providing her sons with a normal childhood goes beyond activities. The Princess of Wales went so far as to make sure even what her children were consuming was just the same as any other kid. Does the monarchy allow trips to McDonald’s? Maybe not all of them, but Princess Diana did!
Every child’s face lights up when they come across those famous golden arches, so Diana couldn’t see why her sons weren’t allowed to join in on the fun. McDonald’s was one of Diana’s favorite places to eat, so who cares how it looked? She wanted to enjoy spending time with her children, so why not treat them to a late-night hamburger and fries for dinner?
Showing Affection was Key
If you look at the previous reign of royal family members over the years, you may struggle to find any that don’t come across super-reserved. Emotion? What emotion? Being as progressive as always, Diana taught her sons from a young age the importance of not hiding their feelings.
Lady Di never wasted an opportunity to cuddle up to her sons “as tight as possible.” It may not have been traditional royal protocol, but Diana loved to show her sons as much love as she could, and hoped her sons would apply this same attitude to their own children in the future.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana often differed on a wide range of things. He may not have understood why Diana was so hands-on with their two children, due to one fact. Back in his day, royal children were brought up around nannies and tutors more than their parents.
Diana didn’t like the thought of the staff sharing a closer bond with her children than she did, which is why she spent as much time as possible with her sons. When the time did come to get her sons a nanny, Diana ensured these women were hand-picked by her and would be the best fit for her two boys. After all, she didn’t want just anyone looking after the two loves of her life!
Building a Kid’s Kingdom
The only time Diana ever played interior designer, was to benefit her children. She wanted to make Kensington Palace a safe haven for her boys to relax, and play around like normal children.
How did she manage this? A ton of child-friendly features were added to the house. The Princess of Wales wanted a nursery to go outside her bedroom and a ‘family den’ where they would sit and watch movies together. Just listening to this brings out our inner child!
Sneaking Them Around
For the Princess of Wales, giving her sons a normal upbringing in the public eye wasn’t easy. In order to adapt, Diana had to quickly improve her spy skills, frequently sneaking her sons into places. Can you imagine having to creep into the movie theater?
In the HBO documentary, Prince Harry explains the ins and outs of having to sneak into places in order to avoid the paparazzi. If it meant her children could be brought up normally, Diana was willing to take the chance.
Embarrassing Mom Moments
You wouldn’t have had a typical childhood if you can’t recall being humiliated by your parents once in a while. Proving she’s just like the rest of them, Princess Diana never turned down playing little games with her sons. This story, in particular, will have you on the floor laughing.
Just like any other young boy, Prince William grew up having a huge crush on the supermodel, Cindy Crawford. What did Diana do when she learned this? Much to her son’s embarrassment, the Princess of Wales invited the model over to their house, at Kensington Palace. We hope that William now sees the funny side of this practical joke!
Why Her Spirit Is Kept Alive
Princess Diana’s split from Prince Charles was obviously a trying time in her life. What did she fear the most about this? Not the breakdown of her marriage, but the possibility of losing custody over her children.
Diana’s sons were always the number one priority in her life, and this situation proved no different. It became clear to her sons how much this panicked the royal, giving them a realistic view of how much she truly loved them. It is because of this that William and Harry are keen to pay such a tremendous tribute to their mother, throughout their lives.
Sharing Her Passions
As we know, Princess Diana felt strongly about helping the less fortunate. Keen to involve her children in her life as much as possible, the Princess of Wales often let her two boys accompany her on those philanthropic missions that meant so much to her.
Some of these endeavors included taking William and Harry on trips to visit AIDS clinics or homeless shelters. For Diana, it was important that her sons learnt from the offset how lucky they were, and that they should be appreciative of everything they had.
Her Tremendous Impact
Sending her two sons on those daily outings to visit charities clearly made their mark on William and Harry. Today, the two princes pride themselves on their involvement in various charitable missions around the globe.
In 2009, William and Harry put their heads together to form The Royal Foundation. Here they can really take their charitable missions to the next level, by bringing together people from different walks of life.
Setting the Trends
It would appear that Diana’s lack of convention had quite the impact on her two sons, in a good way! We’ve already learned how William’s wife, Kate, chose to follow Diana in giving birth in a hospital. It turns out there was another parenting trend of Diana that William was quick to follow.
Remember when we mentioned how Diana broke royal protocol in bringing her nine-month-old son, William, to Australia with her on her royal tour? Well, it turns out William wanted to do the same. When he and Kate went on their own royal tour, he too was pictured bring his nine-month-old son, George with him. This totally proves that Diana is constantly in her son’s thoughts, how adorable!
We Are Family
It must be hard raising a family, so what was Diana’s secret? Those of you Royal followers will be well aware that the Princess of Wales was brought up in a big family herself, so let’s just say the ins and outs of parenting were taught to her from a young age – much to William and Harry’s benefit!
Long ago, before the days this woman was marching around Buckingham Palace, Lady Di was the sister to a clan of four. That’s right, the future royal grew up with three brothers and sisters. No wonder she was so good at handling her two sons temper tantrums, she’d seen it all before when she was a youngster!
Friends Come First
If you haven’t got it by now, we’ll tell you again just how much Princess Diana dreamed of giving her two sons a normal childhood, stripped of any royal privilege. Another key tactic the royal used to achieve this goal, was stressing to her boys the importance of having friends.
While many royal family members lived fairly secluded lives that tended not to expand outside of palace walls, Diana made sure William and Harry blended in with their peers. She frequently organized play dates with fellow school children to ensure Harry and William felt no different from other children their age, reminding them to always stay grounded – crown or no crown!
Keeping them at Arm’s Length
If you ask any parent, they’ll admit that sending their child off to nursery was one of the most daunting times of their life. Will they make friends? Will they be looked after properly? These are just a few of the many questions which fly around a nervous parent’s mind at this time. Keen to make this scary process a little easier was Lady Diana.
How did she manage this? By enrolling her then three-year-old into Mrs. Mynors’ Nursery School – just a five-minute walk from their family home! We’re sure the Princess never needed to, but it must have given her peace of mind to know she could quickly check up on her son whenever she wished.
Going Above and Beyond
Let’s take another look at the moment Princess Diana first took little William to his first day at nursery. It may have been sweet that the royal chose to walk her son herself instead of getting a member of staff to do so, but it gets a whole lot sweeter when you learn how much of a habit this became.
As Diana’s sons grew up and began attending school, the Princess of Wales never missed out on an opportunity to stay involved in her little one’s lives. What does that mean? She woke up early in the morning to accompany her children on their school walks. Now that’s what we call a dedicated mother!
Just Like the Rest
We’re going to investigate these two boys attending school a little further. Sure, it was sweet that their mother took the time out every single day to walk there with her boys, but did you know this was taking a huge step out of royal tradition? Well, not exactly the walking part, but enrolling her two children into a school altogether. This may seem like a simple thing for the everyday parent, but for Diana, it was a huge step in the right direction.
In the early days, previous members of the British monarchy had grown up receiving their education from the comfort of their own home. Diana’s own husband-at-the-time, Prince Charles, had been taught important subjects by a governess. By attending the Wetherby School in Kensington, her boys were at least getting the same education system the rest of their peers had.
Lady Diana had a real way with words. We know this from all the public speeches, interviews and conversations she took part in on in her royal duties. Did you know this talent was shown in the Princess’s writing, too? Indeed, the mother-of-two never shied away from expressing that excellent vocabulary of hers in the form of adoring, handwritten letters.
Recently investigators discovered a series of private letters, written by the one and only Princess of Wales, to a close friend of hers. The letters contain nothing but loving praise for her two young sons. One letter in particular detailed the Royal’s “totally overwhelmed” emotions after hearing the public’s response to Harry’s birth. Whether she was with them or not, this woman couldn’t get her sons off her mind!
Holding off Work
Being a part of one of the most famous families in the world isn’t always a walk in the park. Indeed, as soon as Diana married Prince Charles back in 1981, she was hit with a quick realization that to earn her place in the family, she must take part in countless royal duties, whether she liked it or not. With this in mind, it came as a shock for some to learn that, a few years later, two little boys got in the way of this rule.
Following the birth of her younger son, Harry, Lady Diana made it her number one duty to reschedule her many engagements. Why? So that she could spend as much free time with her boys as possible, of course! After all, Harry and William were by far the most important people in this woman’s life – she wanted to enjoy every minute she could get with them.
Bonding Over Puzzles
As members of the prestigious British monarchy, we’d expect Diana to find only the most extravagant ways to entertain her two sons, William and Harry, right? Not exactly. Those who were close to the royals loved to report on the Princess of Wales’ hobbies. On her days off, the only thing Diana loved more than playing her favorite jigsaw puzzles, was playing one of these puzzles with her children.
You might say, this was one of the few royal traditions Diana wanted to stick to! It was a commonly known fact that the Queen herself frequently enjoyed getting all the family together with a puzzle during the Christmas period, and it would appear her daughter-in-law wanted to follow suit!
Just because Diana was a part of the royal family, didn’t mean she couldn’t act like a big kid once in a while! One of the Princess of Wales’ favorite times of the year was Christmas, and, like the doting mother we know and love her to be, it comes as no surprise to learn just how much Diana the “fun mother” loved to include her two children in the festive celebrations.
One other talked about topic from Diana’s letters was, of course, her excitement for the 25th December. One of the letters reads: “I could not resist opening my present, as a parcel of any shape or form has never been safe with me.”William’s five-year-old son, George, seems to have inherited this passion. He also can’t get enough of the festivities.
Disney Days Out
Here’s the gist of it: Diana was a big kid at heart. If you didn’t get that from the stories we’ve shared of her time as a mother, you’ll hear it in interviews that her sons, Harry and William give on their time with their mother (“She was very informal and really enjoyed the laughter and the fun.”)
Who remembers going on vacation to Disney World? Princes Harry and William certainly do! All day, the brothers enjoyed spotting some of their favorite characters, while bouncing around on Splash Mountain with mom. It’s clear that with this Princess, memories mattered so much more than family rules.