In the years following Princess Diana‘s death, more information regarding her parenting of sons Princes William and Harry has emerged. The late Princess of Wales tried to give her royal offspring a life sprinkled with normalcy and loved to participate in everyday activities with her sons to give them a more rounded view of the world.
Princess Diana’s bond with Prince William and Harry
The Princess of Wales shared a very close bond with her sons. Diana’s approach to raising children was different than others in the British monarchy. The boys’ father, Prince Charles, was raised primarily by nannies. Diana utilized a hands-on approach to parenting, in strict contrast to her royal predecessors.
Diana tried to make sure her sons had as normal a life as possible outside the palace walls. These included fast-food runs, amusement park outings, and being present for their day-to-day school activities. This included rearranging her schedule to accommodate school outings and sports games. She sought a happy medium between a life of service to the monarchy and the joys of childhood.
Diana loved to do this everyday thing with William and Harry
Diana drove home the point she would raise her sons with a balance of regular life and service to the crown. The Princess of Wales wanted her boys to participate in everyday outdoor activities. These included watersports and plenty of beach time.
According to Us Weekly, Diana loved to take her sons to the shoreline where they could enjoy fun activities.
“Really, being on the beach [was her favorite mom activity],” said royal expert Stewart Pearce. “She loved being on the beach, and watching [her boys] windsurf and swim. She was always in the water. Diana was a Cancer. She loved the Caribbean.”
Princes William and Harry experienced other non-traditional royal activities like a visit to the tourist destination, Niagara Falls.
The normal activities they enjoyed that other royal kids did not
Prince William was the first heir to the throne to be born in a hospital, followed by Prince Harry. It was traditional that heirs to the throne would be schooled at home. Diana enrolled her sons in a Montessori school in Nottingham Hill. This was followed by Wetherby Preparatory School, where Diana blended in with other mothers walking their children to school each day.
“I was [sad] because it’s opening another chapter in my life and certainly William’s, but he’s ready for it. He’s a very independent child,” Diana said of her eldest son’s first day of school.
Princess Diana actively participated in school activities with other mothers and famously ran barefoot in the grass in a footrace.
William would say his mother “showed him what feelings mean and how important it was to feel” in a family that did not show outward displays of affection.
Diana and sons enjoy a beach vacation before her death
Diana and her sons vacationed with her friend Dodi Al-Fayed several weeks ahead of her death. The trio were enjoying water sports such as swimming and jet skiing in St. Tropez, France.
The young men returned to Balmoral with thier father, and Diana resumed her holiday. Diana arranged her schedule to return home on Aug. 30. The Princess of Wales extended her holiday by one day. Late in the evening of Aug. 31, 1997, Diana was seriously hurt in a horrific car crash. She would ultimately die of her injuries.
In an attempt to outrun the paparazzi, her driver Henri Paul raced over the speed limit of The Pont de l’Alma Tunnel, crashing their car into a wall. Al Fayed was killed, as was Paul. Passenger Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor.