(Image: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
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Princess Diana’s greatest role, her number one job, was to produce an heir to the throne – a bouncing baby Windsor to carry on the line of succession.
She was a natural mother.
From the days when she was Lady Diana Spencer working as a nursery assistant – the image of her standing, holding a tot on each hip with the sunlight filtering through her skirt is seared in our minds – it was clear she always loved children.
On November 5, 1981, Diana’s pregnancy was announced and the nation went wild with royal baby fever.
And William Arthur Philip Louis came into the world on June 21, 1982, less than a year after the royal wedding.
Portrait of Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry
(Image: CAMERA PRESS/Kim Knott)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana with their two sons, William and Harry at Highgrove
(Image: Getty Images)
Alongside an ecstatic Prince Charles, then 33, Diana, 20, appeared on the steps of the Lindo Wing at London’s St Mary’s Hospital to show off her son.
The assembled crowds chanted “Well done, Charlie, let’s have another one!” Charles later replied: “Bloody hell, give us a chance!”
Charles admitted they had drawn up a shortlist of names but “had a bit of an argument about it”.
A very pregnant Princess Diana with Prince Charles at a polo event in 1982
(Image: EMPICS Entertainment)
Princess Diana, Princes William and Harry and the Prince of Wales in Canada in 1991
Paul Burrell, her butler from 1987 to 1997, said: “Charles’s choice of names was Arthur or Albert or something quite old-fashioned. Without Diana I don’t think we would have William.”
For Diana, children came before duty and tradition, which sometimes put the cat among the pigeons.
Motherhood before monarchy was not the way royal women had previously behaved.
Prince Harry sticks his tongue out while being cuddled by his mother, Princess Diana, with his brother, Prince William in front along with Lady Gabriella Windsor and Lady Rose Windsor on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
In 1983 she insisted on taking a nine-month-old William on their first royal tour to Australia. Never far from Diana’s side, he melted hearts wherever they went.
Less than two years later Kensington Palace announced that a sibling was on the way.
Diana struggled with the pregnancy and, like Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, she suffered from horrendous morning sickness.
Princess Diana cuddles Harry on holiday in Majorca
Charles had hopes for a daughter and in his book Diana: Her True Story, Andrew Morton claims Diana didn’t tell Charles she knew she was having another boy.
She told Morton: “I knew Harry was going to be a boy because I saw on the scan. Charles always wanted a girl. He wanted two children, and he wanted a girl.”
Diana confided in those around her that she and Charles were closest during her pregnancy with Harry.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles take William and Harry riding at Balmoral
On September 15, 1984, Henry Charles Albert David made his entrance after a nine-hour labour with Charles by her side throughout.
William gave a shy wave to the cameras as he toddled in to the same room where he had been born to see his new baby brother.
William was always the more reserved of the two and Harry the cheekier, keeping palace staff on their toes. With their mum, they were like the Three Musketeers against the world.
Princess Diana cuddles her son, Prince William
Diana was keen for the boys to treat staff like family and for the house to ring with laughter.
But as their marriage began to disintegrate, Charles and Diana tried never to argue in front of the boys.
Yet the perceptive, older, William noticed. Diana even spoke of her son passing tissues under the bathroom door as she wept in despair.