Here's What We Learned From HBO's Princess Diana Documentary
To mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, her sons, Princes William and Harry, have spoken candidly about their mother for the first time.
In Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, which aired on ITV and HBO on Monday night, William and Harry shared some of their fondest memories from their childhood, and helped the world to better understand the late Princess. Here are some of the things we learned from their personal interviews about the woman who touched the lives of so many people.
1. William and Harry cherish their mother's sense of mischief and fun
Harry recalled how his mother was "a total kid through and through" and described her as "one of the naughtiest parents". He added that one of the mottos she lived by was "'you can be as naughty as you want, don't get caught.'" William has a similar memory. "She was very informal and really enjoyed the laughter and the fun," William said. "She had a very cheeky sense of humour... she was very jolly and really enjoyed her time making a lot of mischief. But, she understood that there was a real life outside of palace walls."
2. She was lovingly embarrassing
Along with the moment Diana invited three supermodels over to Kensington Palace to embarrass a young Prince William, her oldest son remembers her "loving the rudest cards you can imagine". He added: "I would be at school and get a card from my mother – usually she had found something very embarrassing, but had written something very nice inside."
The Princes with their mother at Eton, 1995
3. She was a great hugger and "smothered" her sons with love
"She would just engulf you and squeeze you as tight as possible…. Even talking about it now, I can feel the hugs that she used to give us, and I miss that, I miss that feeling, I miss having that mother to be able to give you those hugs and give you that compassion that I think everybody needs," Harry recalled. Describing his mother's loving nature, he added: "It was that love that even if she was on the other side of the room, as a son you could feel it."
William and Harry with their mother in the garden of Highgrove House, 1986
4. Diana ensured her sons enjoyed a normal childhood
Despite their royal titles, Diana did her best to give William and Harry a somewhat normal childhood. "She prepared us well for life in the best way she could, not obviously knowing what was going to happen," said William. Harry said his mother made a decision "to ensure that both of us had as normal lives as possible" and remembered her "taking us for a burger every now and then or sneaking us into the cinema, or driving through the country lanes with the roof down on her old-school BMW listening to Enya... all of that was part of her being a mum."
5. But the Princes share a heart-breaking regret
Both William and Harry revealed that their last conversation with Princess Diana was a "desperately rushed" phone call. It took place while the brothers were having a "very good time" with their cousins at Balmoral, the Queen's home in Scotland.
"Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know 'see you later'... if I'd known now obviously what was going to happen, I wouldn't have been so blasé about it and everything else," William said.
Prince Harry also recalled the moment he last spoke to his mother: "It was her speaking from Paris, I can't really necessarily remember what I said but all I do remember is probably regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was."
The Cambridges leave Canada, October 2016
6. William keeps his mother's memory alive with his own children
As well as decorating his home with pictures of his late mother, William said he talks about her "constantly" with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. "It's hard because obviously Catherine didn't know her, so she cannot really provide that - that level of detail," he revealed. "So, I do [when] regularly putting George or Charlotte to bed, talk about her and 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."
As for what kind of grandmother William thinks Diana be if she were still around today? "She'd love the children to bits, but she'd be an absolute nightmare," he added. "She'd come and go and she'd come in probably at bath time, cause an amazing amount of scene, bubbles everywhere, bathwater all over the place and - and then leave."
From: Harper's BAZAAR UK
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.