Princess Diana Changed Royal Parenting Forever by Breaking This Rule

Princess Diana became well known for many incredible things during her lifetime, from her humanitarian work to the charming way she interacted with the public.

Perhaps her most enduring legacy, and the one that will surely live on through her sons and their wives is the way she parented her two children. Princess Diana was not only a hands-on parent in a way that no royal family member had before, but she set the standard for parents all over the world.

What rule did Princess Diana break?

When Diana Spencer married Charles, the Prince of Wales in 1981, she seemed to be a beautiful but incredibly shy woman. She was reluctant to grant interviews or appear in public too often and was quite unsure of how to present herself or what image she wanted to create. However, after she became a mother, the real Princess Diana started to come to light.

In 1983, Princess Diana and Prince Charles were set to travel to Australia and New Zealand, along with their nine-month-old son Prince William. The tradition in the royal family up until that point was that two heirs to the throne would never travel together in the same airplane. The rule was in order to protect the line of succession in case something was to happen on the flight. However, Princess Diana, who was incredibly attached to her son, refused to leave him behind in the care of nannies and not only that, was determined that he should travel on the same plane as she and Prince Charles. 

Princess Diana’s insistence that Prince William stay with her was shocking to many royal insiders, who thought that her shyness would prevent her from really standing her ground. Not only did she get her way on that issue, but it set a standard for her strength and determination over the years to come. Princess Diana would ultimately become an enchanting combination of sweetness and strength, and her groundbreaking decision in 1983 was to reverberate for decades to come.

How do her children follow her example?

Just like his late mother, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, practices hands-on parenting with their three small children. As can be seen in photographs and video, the two get down to eye level with their children frequently when chatting to them, a move which child experts claim helps children to feel more like equals in conversation. Even though they are royalty, they aren’t above getting down and dirty with their kids, playing outside with them and participating in family sports. Of course, they likely share many stories with their children about their late grandmother, helping them to feel close to her even though she isn’t around, and reportedly there are many photographs of Princess Diana throughout the family home.

Prince Harry will also likely honor his mother’s memory

Prince Harry, Princess Diana’s youngest son, is also likely to honor his mother’s memory as he parents his first child, due in late April or early May. Prince Harry was very close to his mother and has even gifted some of her jewelry to his wife, Meghan Markle, as a way of keeping her memory alive and involving her in their marriage. Of course, it is well known that both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle like to pay homage to their late mother-in-law through fashion, and frequently channel the fashion-forward princess’s style in subtle ways. 

While Princess Diana might be gone, her legacy lives on through her children and grandchildren. Royal family fans will likely be able to enjoy even more tributes and nods to the people’s princess in the days to come when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle introduce Princess Diana’s latest grandchild to the world.