How Princess Diana’s dance with the media influenced William and Harry

From their very childhood, William and Harry were the biggest losers in the cold war between their parents, a war that could heat up in front of them in alarming ways. The two-year age gap between them is crucial in forming their particular worldview and, likewise, in shaping their perception of their mother. Prince Harry idolizes Diana more and understands her less. He will always be her child, a “thick-faced” kid with his lessons and “naughty, just like me”. His feelings, like hers, were always smoldering near the surface.

William understood Diana more but idealized her less. He is private about her tumultuous love life. He knew the tabloids made her life hell, but he also knew she colluded with them. By his teens, he was his mother’s most trusted confidant. She often describes him as “my little wise old man”.

Like many women whose relationships with their husbands became dysfunctional, Diana used her eldest son as both a prop and a buffer, inviting him to accompany her on meetings with family members. newspaper. Later Daily Mirror Editor Piers Morgan describes in her diary an incredible background-revealing lunch with 13-year-old Diana and William at Kensington Palace in 1996, in which, according to him, the princess allowed him to ask “in a sense black is anything”. William insists on a glass of wine even when Diana says no, and he seems to be thoroughly updated on all the tabloid rumors about her lovers. “He’s obviously in most of her weird world and especially different men go there,” surprised Morgan.

Diana’s most recent romantic adventure at the time was with tough guy Will Carling, captain of the England rugby team, whom she met in 1995 while training at the Club’s gym Chelsea Harbor set. William worshiped the hero Carling and met him several times with Diana. When Carling visited Kensington Palace for a romantic rendezvous, he gave both boys a rugby shirt. It’s unclear when William realized that his idol was a sports traveler in many ways. Carling’s wife, television personality Julia Carling, concluded to have enlightened him – and all others – as rumors of marital difficulties ran rampant, making it clear that the princess was at least is one of the reasons. “This happened to [Diana] before,” Julia told a reporter. “You hope she won’t do these things again, but obviously she does.”

Diana expressed displeasure over Julia Carling’s comments. “She milked it for all she was worth, that lady,” she told Morgan over lunch. “Honestly, I haven’t seen Will since June 95.” William interjected, “I keep a picture of Julia Carling on my dartboard at Eton.”

The exchange revealed many things about the dynamic between mother and son. For Diana to include the future heir to the throne in a meeting with one of the royals’ most reckless tabloid tormentors and the freedom to mention an ordinary affair, in its face , incredible. (Imagine today the Duchess of Cambridge and a teenage Prince George do the same.) As Morgan notes, William not only had heard of her lovers but also figured out how to deal with it at school. Placing an image of Julia Carling on a dart was a gesture of loyalty to his mother, while also announcing that he knew exactly what the other boys were whispering about.

Time and again, Diana chose to invade her privacy, often for the capricious reason of making the men in her life jealous. The most unforgettable “stolen” photo of Diana’s fateful final vacation is the famous “kiss” photograph of her while embracing topless Dodi Fayed, her playboy lover, offshore. Corsica coast. It was she who tricked the Italian Mario Brenna – to send a mocking message to the true love of her life, Hasnat Khan.

Nicholas Coleridge, former president of Condé Nast International, tells a story in his memoir about inviting Diana to a conference room lunch at Condé Nast London headquarters in 1996. The day before that, a picture The photo of the topless princess sunbathing appeared in Mirror, caused an outrage about the invasion of privacy. Coleridge expected the princess to cancel, but she confirmed her attendance with the request that it will not be made public. Halfway through a tempting secret lunch, she said:

“Nicholas, can I ask you something? Please be honest. Did you see my picture in Daily Mirror? Topless person. “Um, Your Majesty, yes, we get all the newspapers in my office. I think I skimmed it… not that it’s very obvious. “William called me from Eton. Poor boy, he’s only 14 years old.

He was upset. He said that some other boys had teased him, saying my breasts were too small.” She held onto my elbow. “Nicholas, let’s be frank, I’d like to know your actual point of view. Are my breasts too small, don’t you think? ”

I became short of breath, I needed oxygen. I wear a red ao dai like a sentinel. I stammered, “Er, Your Majesty, as far as I can see under your suit, they seem, um… perfect to me. I will not worry. “

“Thank you, Nicholas. I know you will tell me the truth. Thank you, I feel better now. ”

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