posted in Parenting
It has been 20 years since Princess Diana died in a Paris car accident. Her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, marked the day by paying a visit to a memorial garden at Kensington Palace, where she once lived.
While there, the brothers took time to read the many cards and notes that fans of the late princess have tacked to the garden gates. The public’s enduring affection for Diana is evident in the makeshift tribute, as the collection of cards, photos, flowers and balloons has been steadily growing in the days leading up to August 31.
It was no doubt a very difficult day for William and Harry, who were just 15 and 12 years old when they lost their mother. While her public persona is well known, the princes recently opened up for the first time about what Diana was really like, sharing some of their memories of her as a mom for HBO’s new documentary, “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy.”
Even all these years later, they paint a vivid portrait of Diana as “the naughtiest” mom ever.
“Our mother was a total kid, through and through. When everybody says to me, ‘So she was fun, give us an example,’ all I can hear is her laugh in my head,” Harry recalls. “That sort of crazy laugh of where there was just pure happiness shown on her face. One of her mottos to me was ‘Be as naughty as you want, just don’t get caught.'”
He adds, “To myself and William, she was just the best mother ever. She would just engulf you and squeeze you as tight as possible — and being as short as I was then, there was no escape, you were there and you were there for as long as she wanted to hold you. Even talking about it now, I can feel the hugs she used to give us. I miss that.”
“She’d be a nightmare grandmother, absolute nightmare. She’d love the children to bits, but she’d be an absolute nightmare,” he admits. “She’d come in probably at bath time, cause an amazing amount of scene — bubbles everywhere, bathwater all over the place – and then leave.”
Of course, he wishes that she’d had a chance to cause that kind of chaos with her grandchildren. But, he says, he is “constantly talking about Granny Diana” with the kids…. [I] just try and remind them that there are two grandmothers, there were two grandmothers in their lives, and so it’s important that they know who she was and that she existed.”
The night that Princess Diana died is forever etched in my memory. I remember where I was when I heard the news of the accident, watching CNN as updates came in and feeling as though it just couldn’t be true. Whether she wanted to be or not, she was such an iconic figure. It’s nice to hear her life behind closed doors, with her boys, was full of fun and light.
Images via Cassidy and Leigh/REX USA; Mike Forster/Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock; Paul Greaves/REX/Shutterstock; Kensington Palace