Princess Diana Was Left ‘in Tears’ Over the Decision to Send Prince William to Boarding School at Age 8

According to a royal author, Princess Diana was heartbroken over the decision to send Prince William to boarding school when he was 8. Though he flourished while he was there, some say she had grown to rely on him emotionally.

Read on to learn more about Diana’s relationship with her oldest son, how he reportedly performed at school, and what experts think about the possibility of William’s children attending boarding school someday.

Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, circa 1986
Princess Diana, Prince Harry, and Prince William | Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Princess Diana was ‘in tears’ over the decision to send Prince William to boarding school

In a book called William at 40: The Making of a Modern Monarch, royal author Robert Jobson revealed that the choice to send William to boarding school was “a decision which left Diana in tears” (per Newsweek).

But Jobson noted that William did well and enjoyed his time there, pointing out, “His schoolwork was good, he excelled at sport and took part in several school plays.”

Furthermore, Jobson added that William flourished at school because it got him away from his parents’ failing marriage.

Boarding school was a ‘respite’ for Prince William, a royal author says

In Tina Brown’s The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor – The Truth and Turmoil, the author also explored Diana’s relationship with William in her divorce from the future King Charles III. Brown claimed that Diana used William as “both a stand-in and a buffer” as the union ended (per Newsweek).

Jobson agreed that Diana and William were bonded in a way that could have been burdensome to a young person. And school was likely an escape from that.

“For William, school was not only fun but a respite from his mother’s increasing tendency to lean on him as an emotional crutch,” Jobson wrote. He added, “Later, even Diana privately admitted she went too far in burdening him with her problems.”

According to him, Diana called teenage William “the man in my life” before her death. He was supposedly one of her closest confidantes.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have opted against boarding school for their children so far

When it comes to the education of William’s three children with Kate Middleton, the “modern parents” are said to “very carefully” deliberate on the benefits of boarding school for each child.

Royal expert Ingrid Seward told Ok! magazine, “I think they’ll wait to see how the children’s personalities develop and take into consideration whether or not they would be happy to live away from home.” (Daily Mail)

They both attended boarding schools, and Seward said Kate might want to send the children someday. It is royal tradition, and they could be “tucked away” and “very protected from outside dangers” there.

But the Prince and Princess of Wales could make different accommodations for each child, depending on their emotional needs. For instance, Princess Charlotte is reportedly a bit outgoing, while Prince George is on the shyer side. So, their experiences might be vastly different at boarding school.

Seward added that William’s youth will always be a significant factor to consider, concluding, “Having experienced terrible trauma in his own childhood, William is very tuned in to his children’s mental health.”

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