Prince William and Prince Harry’s children may never have met their grandmother Princess Diana, but “Granny Diana” still has a strong presence in their lives.
Prince William, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, are both spending the 25th anniversary of their mother’s death with their families privately. In the past, both have talked about the importance of sharing memories of Princess Diana with their children.
Harry said in a speech following a charity polo match benefiting his charity Sentebale that he’ll be talking to his children with Meghan Markle — Archie Harrison, 3, and Lilibet Diana, 1 — about Diana on this day.
“In Sesotho, the language of the Basotho, the word ‘sentebale’ means ‘forget-me-not,’ ” Harry said. “Next week is the 25th anniversary of my mother’s death, and she most certainly will never be forgotten. I want it to be a day filled with memories of her incredible work and love for the way that she did it.”
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“I want it to be a day to share the spirit of my mum with my family, with my children, who I wish could have met her,” he added. “Every day, I hope to do her proud.”
The Duke of Sussex surprised the latest recipients of the Diana Award, a worldwide philanthropy honor named for his mom, at a virtual ceremony in July.
“I see her legacy in all of you,” he told them. “I see her legacy in a Diana Award community that spans multiple generations. I see her legacy every time I meet with families, young people, and children from all corners of the world. And, I see my mum’s legacy when I look at my own children every day.”
In his AppleTV+ docuseries The Me You Can’t See, Prince Harry revealed that one of Archie’s first words was “grandma.” According to Harry, a photo of his late mother is in Archie’s room.
“I got a photo of her in his nursery, and it was one of the first words that he said — apart from ‘mama,’ ‘papa,’ it was then ‘grandma.’ Grandma Diana,” Prince Harry shared. “It’s the sweetest thing, but at the same time, it makes me really sad because she should be here.”
Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton also talk about Princess Diana with their three children — Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4. In 2021, the couple shared that their kids make cards for their grandmother each year on Mother’s Day, posting photos of them on Instagram.
Princess Charlotte, who has Diana as one of her middle names in honor of her grandmother, decorated her pink card with a colorful heart, stickers and a sweet note saying that her father was missing his mother. “Dear Granny Diana, I am thinking of you on Mother’s Day. I love you very much,” the young princess wrote. “Papa is missing you. Lots of love Charlotte.”
Prince George also penned a message in his card, writing, “Happy happy Mothers Day. I love you very much and think of you always. Sending lots of love from George.”
In the 2017 documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince William said he is “constantly talking about Granny Diana” with the children.
“We’ve got more photos up ’round the house now of her, and we talk about her a bit and stuff,” he added.
“It’s hard because obviously Catherine didn’t know her, so she cannot really provide that — that level of detail,” he said. “So, I do [when] regularly putting George or Charlotte to bed, talk about her and just try and remind them that there are two grandmothers, there were two grandmothers in their lives, and so it’s important that they know who she was and that she existed.”
“She’d be a nightmare grandmother, absolute nightmare,” he quipped. “She’d love the children to bits, but she’d be an absolute nightmare. She’d come and go and she’d come in probably at bath time, cause an amazing amount of scene, bubbles everywhere, bathwater all over the place and — and then leave.”