The unusual way Princess Diana helped Prince William and Prince Harry have a ‘normal’ childhood

The young Princes were often embarrassed by their royal status

Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry
(Image credit: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

A former royal butler has revealed that Princess Diana would dress 'as casual as possible' when dropping her sons Prince William and Prince Harry off at school as the young brothers wanted her to be a 'normal mother' not a royal. 

Many celebrities have shocked fans with the admission that they still drop their kids off at school each morning despite their a-lister status. From royals like Kate Middleton doing the morning school run and Meghan Markle following in her footsteps to do the same, to George Clooney revealing that it's his job every morning to get his twins to class on time, it's nice to know that some of the world's biggest stars still start off their days just like the rest of us. 

Whether you're trying to cajole the kids into the car on a Monday morning with the Sunday Scaries still fresh in their minds, or you're trying out the timer hack to get your littles ones to school on time, you can rest in the fact that members of The Firm are likely doing the same. Especially for Kate Middleton and Prince William, making sure that at least one of them is taking the kids to school each morning is very important and stems from the fact that William's mum, Princess Diana, used to take him and his brother Prince Harry to their classes each morning. 

But while the late Princess may have had a clever way of easing William's ‘anxiety’ over ‘going back to school,’ there was one aspect of the morning drop-off that both brothers were not fond of. 

Princes William and Harry with Princess Diana

(Image credit: Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

According to Princess Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe, both William and Harry were slightly embarrassed by their mum's royal fame and didn't want her to 'dress in her finery' when she would take them to school. 

"Diana always craved the normalcy. By being a member of the royal family, that was almost impossible. Neither William or Harry, when they were kids, wanted their mother to sort of dress in her finery, take them to school," Wharfe told PEOPLE Magazine

To remedy her kids' embarrassment, Diana adopted a more casual style to help her fly under the radar. Wharfe added, “So all Diana would do is be as casual as possible.

“And it wasn't there to impress the people at school. She wanted to be seen as a young mother that was, you know, 'with it.' Diana loved to be different, this was her style. It sort of showed the public and her children that she was a normal mother in a style that people liked."

While many of Diana's casual outfits have spawned into huge cultural phenomenons, like her iconic bike shorts and oversized jumper combos, there is perhaps no more famous piece in her wardrobe than her green Eagles jacket. The late Princess was spotted in the jacket on multiple occasions, most famously during her's, Prince William's and Prince Harry's trip to Alton Towers in 1994. 

The jacket is so iconic that PEOPLE Magazine reports even the Eagles team owner Jeffrey Lurie once had a large picture of her in the piece in his office at Veterans Stadium, the home of the Eagles. 

Princess Diana

(Image credit: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

The piece was gifted to Diana by the Eagles’ statistician Jack Edelstein after the pair met and chatted at the funeral for Princess Grace of Monaco in 1982. He sent her the jacket after she told him her favourite colours were green and silver which just so happened to be the colours of the Eagles. 

Edelstein told the Philadelphia Daily News about the gift, saying, "She [Diana] sent me a very nice note, how she'd been wearing them around."

However, while the jacket was famous in it's day, it's fame today has only heightened. Perhaps this is because, adding to the intrigue of the jacket now, its whereabouts are a complete unknown.

Speaking about the jacket and it's lasting impact, Ken Wharfe said, “This jacket wasn't just on a floor of her wardrobe in a palace. If Diana were alive today, she'd be excited to know that this jacket, 25, 30 years on, has now become the subject of very positive public scrutiny. I think that's fantastic."

Looking for more family content? We've rounded up the best Black Friday toy deals.

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.