Princess Diana welcomed two sons during her marriage to Prince Charles. She was a progressive parent who often rejected traditional parenting styles that many royals followed.
However, Diana was reportedly not against corporal punishment. According to a royal expert, she once hit her oldest son, Prince William, in front of his schoolmates.
Princess Diana was a hands-on parent
Royals often left the childrearing job to nannies, but Diana broke traditions by being a very hands-on parent.
For example, she frequently dropped her children off at school—something royals did not do. She also wanted them to have a sense of normalcy in their lives, so she took them to fast-food restaurants, amusement parks, and movie theaters.
Additionally, she wanted William and his brother, Prince Harry, to understand the world around them. She did a lot of charity work to support underprivileged people, and she occasionally took her kids with them.
“I’ve taken the children to all sorts of areas where I’m not sure anyone of that age in this family has been before,” she said in an interview with BBC’s Panorama in 1995. “And they have a knowledge – they may never use it, but the seed is there, and I hope it will grow because knowledge is power.”
Princess Diana reportedly smacked Prince William in front of schoolmates
Although Diana has been praised for some things she did as a parent, there were some parts of her parenting that are not talked about often. For example, Diana reportedly once smacked William at his school during sports day.
Royal correspondent Ashley Walton wrote in 1990, according to Express, “Her temper snapped when he ran away as she was about to leave after the events had ended. The seven-year-old Prince set off across a field to play with his sirens from London’s Wetherby School. Diana – clearly angry – dashed 100 yards, caught him by the arm and gave him a firm smack on the bottom.”
Walton continued, “William burst into tears. He was pushed back into the back of the royal car after a good telling off and driven back to Kensington Palace.”
The outlet noted that Princess Anne also “publicly smacked” her son, Peter, when he was 7 years old.
Prince William has a different parenting style
William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are influenced by Diana to be hands-on parents and give their kids a sense of normalcy. However, William allegedly does not use corporal punishment on his children.
“There’s no ‘naughty step’ (British for time out) but there is a ‘chat sofa,’” a source told The Sun. “The naughty child is taken away from the scene of the row or disruption and talked to calmly by either Kate or William. Things are explained and consequences outlined and they never shout at them.”
William and Kate often champion causes that support mental health, so it makes sense the couple try to take good care of their children’s emotional well-being.
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