Princess Diana was famous for being a trailblazer when it came to the causes she supported and her cutting-edge fashion – but she also bucked royal trends with Princes William and Harry's births.

Until Prince William came along in 1982, every direct heir to the British throne had been born at home. Her Majesty the Queen welcomed Prince Charles via Caesarean at Buckingham Palace, where the Buhl Room was converted into a 'miniature hospital'.

Due to Palace renovation work, Princess Anne (born in 1950) arrived at Clarence House. Normal service resumed in 1960 with the arrival of Prince Andrew – Her Majesty was reportedly put to sleep for the labour in the Palace's Belgian Suite – and finally, Prince Edward (born in 1964) was also born in Buckingham Palace. It was the first birth Prince Philip attended!

18 years later, the Queen's daughter-in-law Princess Diana broke royal tradition by having her firstborn son William in hospital – the first heir-apparent to be born away from home. Diana and Charles proudly posed with him on the steps of the private Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, and did the same when Prince Harry arrived on 15 September 1984.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge followed in Diana's footsteps by introducing all three of their children outside the Lindo Wing just hours after birth.

William’s hospital birth was swiftly followed by another alleged first, with royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter saying, “Diana is largely reported to be the very first mother within the royal family to breastfeed. Of course, that’s hard for us to know for certain, but Queen Victoria was adamant that she found breastfeeding disgusting. She thought babies were ugly.”

Though inseparable from William, Diana later admitted that she suffered from postnatal depression after his birth, revealing in Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words: “Postnatal depression hit me hard and it wasn’t so much the baby that had produced it, it was the baby that triggered off all else that was going on in my mind,” she said. “Boy, I was troubled.”

Despite her difficulties when William was very young, many experts believe Diana would have had a brother or sister for William and Harry if she had not died so young.

“She loved being a mother and would doubtless have had more children,” Andrew reveals.

Kristen Meinzer, author and co-host of Newsweek’s podcast The Royal Report, also believes Diana’s life could have taken a different trajectory had she survived.

“One of the great tragedies of Diana was that she was absolutely in her prime when she died. She was only 36; she was just starting to live her best years.”

As a mother, Diana vowed never to let William or Harry feel neglected – as she had during her parents’ acrimonious split. She once said, “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.”

Reflecting on those treasured moments, Harry said in the 2017 documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life And Legacy, “I can still feel the hugs that she used to give us. I miss that feeling. I miss having that mother to give you those hugs and that compassion that everyone needs.”

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