With Christmas fast approaching, members of the Royal family have been gearing up for the festivities, showing off their enviable Christmas trees, lavish décor and luxurious decorations on social media.
Typically spending Christmas at the Queen ’s Sandringham Estate, royals enjoy multiple traditions, exchanging their gifts on Christmas Eve, watching the Queen’s speech and attending a Christmas morning service.
But despite the formalities, Princess Diana had some parenting techniques of her own to ensure that Prince William and Harry were never spoilt or disrespectful during the Christmas holidays.
“Diana was always a very hands-on parent, so there were no places that were barred,” Ken Wharfe, Princess Diana’s former bodyguard, exclusively told OK!.
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“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,” he said.
From taking her sons to Thorpe Park to enjoying sunny family holidays and picking them up on the school run, it’s no secret that Diana did her best to ensure her children had a “normal” childhood.
When it came to Christmas, a time for family, keeping up this sentiment was all the more important to Diana.
Despite being royals, the mum of two was keen on letting William and Harry mingle with staff and venture outside of formal royal areas.
“William and Harry were always invading the kitchen and other non-royal parts because they were encouraged to do that,” he explained.
During ITV documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Harry revealed that his mother was “one of the naughtiest parents” and that he was encouraged to let his cheeky side show, so long as he didn’t get in trouble.
“One of her mottos to me was, 'You can be as naughty as you want, just don't get caught,’” the 37 year old explained.
And Ken has memories of Harry’s mischievous side too: “Harry always wanted to play hide and seek, so he was constantly looking for somewhere to hide.
“He’d often ask the housekeeper if there was a cupboard that nobody else knew about where he could hide,” he revealed.
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When it came to gift giving at Christmas, Diana was also extremely cautious to ensure that William and Harry weren’t showered with presents.
“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,” Ken said.
Sticking to giving the princes small items like books, games and videos, Diana bought the items herself, taking to the streets of London to embark on the festivities.
“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,” he added.
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