What Princess Diana was REALLY like as a mum, according to William and Harry – and why it was OK for them to be naughty

WILLIAM and Harry have both previously revealed how hands-on as a mother Diana was – even saying she was one of the "naughtiest parents".

Here, we take a look back at some of the sweetest moments Diana shared with her boys.

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Unbreakable bond

Diana gazes lovingly at seven-month-old William at Kensington Palace in February 1983. The pair had a close bond and William has spoken about her devotion to him and his brother.

“She was extremely good at showing her love, showing what we meant to her, what feelings meant and how important it was to feel. I still feel that love… that warmth, which is a huge testament to her,” William said. 

Play time 

Incredibly hands-on, Diana loved to play with her sons – here she is doing a puzzle with William, then three, at Kensington Palace in October 1985. Before marrying Prince Charles she worked as a preschool teacher so had plenty of experience with little ones.

“She was one of the naughtiest parents,” Harry said in 2017. “One of her mottos to me was: ‘You can be as naughty as you want, just don’t get caught.’”  

Mummy’s cheeky boy!

Three-year-old Harry shows off his mischievous side as he sticks out his tongue on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour in June 1988.

He has clearly given William, five, and cousins Lady Gabriella Windsor and Lady Rose Windsor something to smile about, but we’re not sure what his mum makes of it! 

Peas in a pod

Looking tanned and happy – and so alike – eight-year-old William and his mum tuck into refreshments at an event at Windsor Great Park in June 1991. Two days later, William fractured his skull at school in an accident with a golf club.

He needed surgery and an overnight stay at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Devoted Diana stayed at his bedside the entire time, but Charles was criticised for attending the opera while William remained in hospital.

Perfect Harmony

Diana was a talented pianist and known to play during visits to hospitals to put a smile on patients’ faces.

Clearly keen to instil her love of music in her sons, she’s pictured here in October 1985 at Kensington Palace with three-year-old Wills and Harry, 13 months, at the keys. 

Fun in the sun

Diana gives an almost-two-year-old Harry a cuddle on holiday in Mallorca in August 1986. Thirty-five years on, Harry has spoken emotionally about his mother’s embraces.

“She would just engulf you and squeeze you as tight as possible,” he said.

Splashing around

Diana was determined that her boys should have as normal a childhood as possible, even if it meant queueing at Thorpe Park in 1993.

The trio had a blast as they got drenched on the log flume, before enjoying a McDonald’s.

Action men

Harry, then 22 months, and William, four, have a hoot playing with Diana in the gardens of their Gloucestershire home, Highgrove House, in July 1986.

The boys are dressed in Parachute Regiment uniforms – their dad Prince Charles was Colonel-in-Chief. Of course, Harry would go on to become a captain in the Army, while William became a helicopter pilot in the RAF.

Hugs for mum

Diana – dressed in a Moschino suit – flings her arms wide to wrap William, nine, and Harry, seven, in a huge hug on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Toronto, October 1991.

The boys were joining Diana and Charles on their first royal tour as a family, and she was clearly delighted to welcome them aboard.

The jet set 

Daredevil Harry, 12, takes his mum for a ride on a jet ski in July 1997 while on holiday in St Tropez, before returning with William to a yacht belonging to Dodi Fayed.

Tragically, this would be Diana’s last holiday with her sons – she and Dodi died six weeks later. 

  • Photography: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images, Getty Images, Shutterstock Editorial

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