Harry and William taught world wasn’t just ‘4×4 Range Rovers, shotguns and nannies’

Princess Diana: Stephen Fry reveals she loved Spitting Image

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Princess Diana famously helped her sons Harry and William to broaden their horizons and catch glimpses of what life was outside their royal palace. She did so by letting them have normal experiences, including travelling by public transport or going to an amusement park.

But she also introduced them to her charity work, as noted by royal author Andrew Morton – a move which clearly had a long-lasting impression on the Dukes, who grew up embracing many of Diana’s battles.

Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary Diana: Queen of Hearts?, Mr Morton said the late Princess of Wales started taking the two royals with her on her private charity visits from a young age.

He said: “One of the reasons was she didn’t want the boys to grow up thinking the whole world was 4×4 range rovers, shotguns, and nannies.”

Similarly, her former private secretary Patrick Jephson said: “She spoke to them about her charitable work but with the intention, I think, of preparing them for the fact for the rest of their lives they were going to be doing humanitarian work, and that it wouldn’t be pretty.”

Among the causes championed by Princess Diana there were supporting homeless people, breaking the stigma surrounding people affected by HIV/Aids and leprosy, helping sick children and banning the use and production of landmines.

Less than a decade after her death, Prince William took up one of her former patronages, Centrepoint.

This charity, which fights homelessness, was one of those Harry and William visited with their mother as children.

In 2008, the Duke of Cambridge recalled his first visit to Centrepoint as he marked its 40th anniversary.

He said: “That example of selfless service that Centrepoint represents has stayed with me, and that is why it was the first charity that I wanted to be associated with.

“The extraordinary courage of so many of Centrepoint’s young people in rising to meet such seemingly insurmountable challenges in their lives.”

Prince William has carried out a lot of work behind the scenes to support the charity, including volunteering and paying private visits.

In 2009, he slept rough for a night alongside Centrepoint’s chief executive Seyi Obakin.

Prince Harry also embraced some of his mother’s causes, including supporting people with Aids and the ban on landmines.

Following a trip to Lesotho in 2004, the Duke of Sussex set up the charity Sentebale with the country’s Prince Seeiso.

This organisation works to support children who have become victims of extreme poverty or the HIV/AIDS epidemic, providing healthcare, education and psychosocial support.

During his last royal tour in Africa in 2019, the Duke also followed in his mother’s footsteps and walk through a field of landmines to raise awareness on the work still to do to protect innocents from these weapons.

Alongside bringing Harry and William along during her visits, Diana also introduced normal habits in her sons’ day-to-day lives.

One royal author said the two princes received pocket money from their mother.

Leslie Carroll, the author of the American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry told Vanity Fair: “Diana gave them pocket change so they would understand how ‘normal’ people lived, because Charles never gave the boys money and didn’t understand why they needed it.”

Alongside bringing Harry and William along during her visits, Diana also introduced normal habits in her sons’ day-to-day lives.

One royal author said the two princes received pocket money from their mother.

Leslie Carroll, the author of the American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry told Vanity Fair: “Diana gave them pocket change so they would understand how ‘normal’ people lived, because Charles never gave the boys money and didn’t understand why they needed it.”

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