Prince William reveals his mother Princess Diana would send him the ‘rudest’ gifts when he was at boarding school

He said the presents were 'very embarrassing'

Princess Diana and Prince William
(Image credit: Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images and Shannon Stapleton - Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William has shared that Princess Diana used to send him the 'rudest cards' when he was away at boarding school, leading him to hide them away 'in case teachers' saw the 'embarrassing' gifts.

Princess Diana, who passed away in 1997, is well known and much-loved for her down-to-earth approach to royal life and her often cheeky sense of humour. 

She was very much the prankster in the Royal Family, with reports sharing that not only did she get Prince William a extremely naughty cake for his 13th birthday but also that she and close friend Sarah Ferguson got into some hot water during the latter's hen-do. The Princess was very much into embarrassing people in the most light-hearted of ways and was the cause behind many a smile during her lifetime. 

Her 'rude' sense of humour often meant her pranks, like the gift she put in Prince Harry’s Christmas stocking to prank the Queen, were extra hilarious to her young sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. And William has now revealed that just because he left the family home when he started attending boarding school, that did not mean he was no longer on the receiving end of his mother's jokes. 

Prince William and Princess Diana

(Image credit: Getty)

In the documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince William revealed, "She was a massive card writer and she loved the rudest cards you could imagine. I would be at school and I’d get a card from my mother. Usually, she found something you know, very embarrassing, very funny card, and then sort of written very nice stuff inside.

"But I didn’t open it in case teachers or anyone else in the class had seen it. She was very informal and really enjoyed the laughter and the fun."

Prince William wasn't the only person to receive naughty cards from his mother. Back in 2018, the rude and hilarious birthday card Diana once sent her accountant went up for auction and gave a sweet insight into the late royals nature. 

The Princess's accountant Anthony Burrage once received a birthday card from Diana, the cover of which showed a woman sleeping next to a sewing spindle, alongside the writing, 'A little prick in the hand sent Sleeping Beauty to sleep.' The punchline inside the card, read, 'Only the big ones are worth staying awake for!'

In Diana's handwriting, the card also reads, 'Tony, a belated Happy Birthday for the 5th! From, Diana.'

Princess Diana and Prince William

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Princess tried to pass this light-hearted and 'rude' sense of humour onto her two sons despite their prominent positions in the royal line of succession. Elsewhere in Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince Harry said of her jokes, “That sort of childish, fun element really came out when she was spending time with us. One of her mottos to me was, ‘You can be as naughty as you want, just don’t get caught'."

He also added that Diana was 'A total kid, through and through’.

However, there was at least one occasion that Diana's jokes came to haunt her. In royal expert Robert Jobson's book William At 40: The Making Of A Modern Monarch, he recounted, “On the school run one morning, she [Diana] started telling a risqué joke, apparently unconcerned that Harry was drinking in every salacious word. Her police protection officer — aware that the language was inappropriate for young ears — tried to stop her mid-flow, but she was having none of it.

“On arrival at Wetherby School in West London, William ran off to his classroom, while Harry immediately started telling the new joke to the headmistress. Belatedly, Diana — who’d gone red with embarrassment — managed to stop him reaching the punchline.” Oh no!

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.