Princess Diana's tactic to stop back to school stress for Princes
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The Princess of Wales, who tragically died in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, often broke royal tradition to make sure her two sons did not grow up “spoiled”, a close friend revealed. This habit of hers became especially obvious over the festive period as Diana was determined to teach William and Harry about the less fortunate and giving back to charity.
Ken Wharfe, Diana’s former bodyguard, revealed the two young Princes would receive mountains of gifts on Christmas from unknown sources, but Diana would force the pair to donate some of the presents to charity.
Speaking to OK! Magazine, he said: “Diana was very careful to ensure that they weren’t flooded with gifts — gifts did appear from unknown sources, and they were often returned or given to charity because they didn’t need them.
“She was very conscious about what she bought as she knew the hallway at Sandringham would be full of presents.”
The Princess was also cautious when choosing gifts for her sons and reportedly chose “small items”.
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The former bodyguard has said Diana would purchase books, games and videos for the two buys when shopping in London.
“She was very generous with gifts. She knew the ground floor plan at Harrods and Harvey Nichols and shopping was always a hands-on experience,” Mr Wharfe added.
Christmas is traditionally spent at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate with many customs upheld such as the Royal Family exchanging their gifts on Christmas Eve, watching the Queen’s speech and attending a Christmas morning service.
Despite the regular royal festive customs, Diana had created her own annual traditions.
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Mr Wharfe said: “Diana was always a very hands-on parent, so there were no places that were barred.
“She was very insistent that her children were seen to be in conversation with all staff.
“Diana often said that the staff were all part of a wider family and at Sandringham it was the same.
“Diana and her children would wander everywhere, from the royal places and into the staff areas.
“The kitchen was always the hub, certainly at Christmas.
“William and Harry were always invading the kitchen and other non-royal parts because they were encouraged to do that.”
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