Princess Diana's Most Relatable Mom Moments

Princess Diana, although gone for over 25 years, is still loved and revered for many reasons. She was a style icon and a known rulebreaker — and we mean that in the best way possible. She didn't let her responsibilities stop her from living the life she wanted. One of the most admirable and relatable qualities of Diana was her dedication to her children. Regardless of her title and duties, she did everything possible to give them a fantastic childhood filled with love and memories. Diana herself had a bit of a dramatic childhood, but that never stopped her from giving her all to Prince William and Prince Harry.

Diana was clearly dedicated to her boys and actively participated in their lives, which was typically uncommon in the royal family until then. What made her so endearing as a mother, though, was how relatable she was. She wanted to give her kids as many normal experiences as possible, so she participated in everyday, regular mom activities, like dropping the boys off at school and taking them to McDonald's. Here are some of the times Diana was relatable to mothers everywhere.

When she gave birth in a hospital

Among the list of Princess Diana's relatable mom moments was the birth of her children. Diana changed how royal women birthed their children. Before Diana, women in the royal family — including Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria — gave birth to their children at the palace under anesthesia. They had unconscious, pain-free births. However, this isn't how Diana wanted to bring her children into the world.

In typical Diana fashion, she shook things up in every aspect. Instead of giving birth at the palace, Diana gave birth to both of her children at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Not only that, Diana had natural births, remaining conscious and present. She also chose to give birth standing up. "I said that Charles looked strong enough to hold her. And that is what happened," said expert Sheila Kitzinger who advised the Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital on natural childbirth (via the Daily Mail). Talk about one tough mom! Her decisions around childbirth paved the way for women in the royal family. Since then, both Princess Catherine and Meghan Markle have birthed their children — minus Princess Lilibet — in the same hospital.

When she went into mama bear mode to protect her kids

We think it's safe to say all mothers out there understand the need to protect their children in every way possible. When these instincts kick in, well, you better watch out! Princess Diana was no different when it came to Prince William and Prince Harry, especially regarding their privacy. Being in the royal family clearly comes with its drawbacks, including being under the ever-watchful eye of the paparazzi. But that never deterred Diana from drawing clear boundaries with the paps.

In the Netflix documentary "Harry & Meghan," Harry talks about how hard Diana worked to protect him and William, especially from the paparazzi. She had no problem confronting them whatsoever. In a clip from the documentary (via YouTube), we see Diana approach a pap while on a family skiing holiday. She covered the man's camera lens and said: "As a parent, could I ask you to respect my children's space? ... As a parent, I want to protect the children." Even when the man insisted on getting just one photo, she held her ground.

When she showed her kids affection

Before Princess Diana, members of the royal family had many different relationships with their children. Queen Elizabeth II, for instance, spent much less time with her children and more time focused on her duties. She didn't show them a lot of affection — things were much more formal. Diana was the complete opposite. From the beginning, Diana made it clear she was a very affectionate mother. "I want to bring them up with security," Diana once said (via Newsweek). "I hug my children to death and get into bed with them at night. I always feed them love and affection; it's so important," she said.

Diana continued her affectionate, hands-on parenting method throughout Prince William and Prince Harry's childhoods. Despite her royal duties, she always made time in her schedule to be an active and present parent and was never afraid of hugs and cuddles. This made her highly relatable as a mother and is one of the many reasons people loved her.

When she dropped her kids off at school

When it came time for Prince William and Prince Harry to go to school, Princess Diana insisted they attend public schools — or at least private schools where they could study and engage with peers. On various occasions, Diana expressed that she wanted her sons to have real-world experiences, despite their privileged positions. This was unprecedented at the time, as children of the royal family were typically educated by a tutor or a governess. In 1985, William was the first British heir to attend school beyond palace walls. 

Diana's involvement in their schooling didn't stop there. It was important for her to be involved in her sons' lives every chance she had, despite her royal duties. Like most moms, Diana frequently dropped the boys off at school, at least while they were younger. At 8 years old, William was sent off to boarding school — "a decision that left Diana in tears," according to British journalist Robert Jobson in "William at 40: The Making of a Modern Monarch" (via the Daily Mail). Sending your kids off to school is always an emotional ordeal.

When she helped the boys get over back-to-school jitters

Many kids get back-to-school jitters. Their summer break ends, and they find themselves nervous about the school year ahead. Prince William and Prince Harry were no different. Of course, Princess Diana did all she could to make them feel at ease. When taking them to boarding school at the start of the year, Diana would distract them by playing music and singing loudly.

In the Apple Fitness+ Time to Walk series, William recalled these memories of his mother. "When I was younger, Harry and I, we were at boarding school. And my mother used to play all sorts of songs to kind of while away the anxiety of going back to school," he said (via Yahoo!). The song he remembers the most is Tina Turner's "The Best." As the prince put it: "My mother, she'd be driving along, singing at the top of her voice." William said he is always reminded of those special family moments when he hears that song. There's nothing like blasting Tina Turner to lighten the mood.

When she took her kids to Disney World

Princess Diana wanted Prince William and Prince Harry to have as many normal childhood experiences as possible, including going to theme parks. So, in 1993, she decided to take them on a three-day trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This trip came the year following Diana and King Charles' separation. During this tough time, Diana still wanted to provide William and Harry with some sense of normalcy.

They stayed in a luxurious hotel — maybe not so relatable — and their trip was filled with lots of family fun. They enjoyed various attractions throughout the park, from rides to dinner shows. Diana was an active participant during the trip and even enjoyed the rides with her sons. Apparently, she really enjoyed the thrill of Splash Mountain but perhaps didn't enjoy the water aspect as she was seen ducking in the photos of her on the ride. "I think she was trying not to get wet," said Tracy Donaldson, a former VIP tour guide for Disney World (via Insider). The boys enjoyed themselves, too. Harry was a big fan of Space Mountain and rode the attraction more than a dozen times. "We went around Space Mountain 12 or 14 times, so much so that my policeman had to get off and vomit over the bench," he told People.

When she enjoyed playtime with the boys

We know that Princess Diana expressed the importance of showing her sons affection early on in motherhood. It was apparent that showing them love through hugs and quality time was of the utmost importance to her, even beyond her royal duties. Even during Prince William's first press conference as an infant, Diana played with him. "I find I can't stop playing with him," she said during the conference (via Newsweek). As we know, this was a much different approach to motherhood than the public was used to seeing from the royal family.

Throughout their childhood, we saw glimpses of Diana playing with her children, pushing them on swings, and ushering them down slides (via YouTube). She would also ride bikes with them and do puzzles with them. This is one of the many things that made Diana so relatable to the public and one of the reasons she was so well-loved. Mothers everywhere could relate to her adoration for her children.

When she took William and Harry to McDonald's

One of the many perks of being a member of the royal family is having a private chef at their disposal. Imagine having a chef to cook whatever you want at any given time of the day. We might be slightly jealous, to say the least. Princess Diana, despite having access to a private chef, still took Prince William and Prince Harry on outings to places like McDonald's.

In an interview with Marie Claire, former royal chef Darren McGrady shared details on the first time Diana wanted to take them to McDonald's. He was mortified! He said he could easily cook them some burgers, but that wasn't the actual reason they wanted to visit the fast food restaurant. Diana replied: "No, it's the toy they want." She was happy to fulfill their wishes. According to McGrady, William and Harry still had a penchant for fast food foods like McDonald's and pizza. It's very sweet that Diana still indulged them regardless of their access to a private chef.

When she took the boys to the movies and musicals

It's clear that while Princess Diana was protective over Prince William and Prince Harry and valued their privacy, she didn't want them to miss out on any normal childhood experiences. This included going to the movies and the theater. In fact, in 1997, Diana even persuaded the staff of a local theater to admit Harry, who was 12 at the time to see an R-rated movie, "The Devil's Own." William was 15 at the time, which was the minimum age required for admittance to see the film.

According to the Associated Press, Diana received a lot of attention from the press for taking them to see the film. This was mainly due to the film's subject matter, which was about the Irish Republican Army (IRA). This was a big deal to the press because one of King Charles' uncles was killed by an IRA bomb in the late '70s. Diana, however, had no clue what the movie was about. She just wanted to take her sons to the cinema.

When she participated in school events

Princess Diana was involved in almost every aspect of Prince William and Prince Harry's lives, or at least as much as she could. Her involvement in their schooling didn't stop at morning drop-offs; she even participated in school events. She frequently went to their sporting events and field days, and of course, we can't forget the iconic moment she ran in a mother's race at one of their school events (via YouTube). She actually ran in four mother's races over the course of a few years, coming in first place in 1988. It seems she enjoyed a little competition!

It was moments like these that made Diana particularly lovable and relatable to mothers everywhere. Despite her title and expectations as a royal, she regularly participated in her son's lives and sometimes even broke royal protocol in doing so. Her involvement in their lives was far more important than any royal rules. She was a mother first and a royal second.

When she struggled with postpartum depression

One of the most relatable moments Princess Diana shared with the world as a mother was her struggle with postpartum depression. Before this, members of the royal family never spoke candidly about their personal lives. It was essentially a rule to maintain a perfect image and keep personal matters private from the public. However, Diana was never one to follow the rules.

In her famous 1995 interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir, Diana opened up about her struggle with postpartum depression after giving birth to Prince William. "Then I was unwell with postnatal depression, which no one ever discusses, postnatal depression, you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time," she said (via PBS). "You'd wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself." Sadly, there wasn't much discussion and openness around postpartum at the time, which lead many people — both the public and within the royal family — to believe Diana was mentally unstable.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.