Prince Harry’s mother Diana admitted ‘Easter always difficult time’ for royal children

Meghan Markle introduces husband Prince Harry to stage

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The Duke of Sussex is currently spending this Easter in the Netherlands, as competitors continue to take part in his Invictus Games, a competition for current and ex-service men and women. In a speech to those attending the event, Harry spoke poignantly, declaring that the “world is united” with Ukraine, a nation currently embroiled in a bloody conflict with Russia. Speaking in The Hague, the 37-year-old said: “You know we stand with you.

“The world is united with you and still you deserve more.”

Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are both taking in the sights of the Invictus Games, but in his younger years his mother Princess Diana noted her own struggles with keeping her royal children entertained.

Easter was a particularly difficult time, Diana once told Colin Dawson, who managed Thorpe Park.

One Bank Holiday, Diana noticed how difficult royal life was becoming for her two young sons, and decided her boys needed some fun and so took them to the Surrey-based theme park.

Mr Dawson told the BBC’s Natasha Kaplinsky that one of Diana’s protection officers had been in touch regarding a visit in 1993.

Diana confirmed the visit on Good Friday, but Mr Dawson was keen to keep it very low-key and not mention it to the press.

She insisted that the family’s impromptu day out to the theme park should be “as normal as possible” for her children, which even included them waiting in queues like everyone else.

Mr Dawson explained: “When I was speaking to her when she arrived, she said Easter was always a difficult time for the two boys, because there was a lot of formality involved.

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“They were based at Windsor for the Easter holiday and there were church services and various other things that had to be done.

“This was an opportunity for the boys to have some fun and get away from that environment completely.”

He added: “She was very keen that the boys should experience something of a normal life when these opportunities arise.

“She insisted that they paid, of course – one of the detectives paid on their credit card – and she insisted that we join the queues.”

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Speaking during a BBC Radio 5 Live series, ‘Images of Diana’, Ms Kaplinsky noted: “What’s interesting about that, Colin, is that ties up with the idea that she was trying to give the boys a taste of normal life.”

On Sunday, Harry addressed the competitors at the Invictus Games, including the Ukrainian team who had been given permission from President Volodymyr Zelensky to take part.

Harry noted in his speech that the Ukrainian team had told him on Friday they had wished to come, “not simply to show your strength but to tell your truth, the truth, of what is happening in your country”.

He added: “And my hope is that these events, this event, creates the opportunity in how we as a global community can better show up for you.”

The Duke also gave a special mention to his eldest son, Archie, who he said wanted to become a pilot one day.

He added: “When I talk to my son Archie about what he wants to be when he grows up, some days it’s an astronaut, other days it’s a pilot – a helicopter pilot obviously.

“But what I remind him is that no matter what you want to be when you grow up, it’s your character that matters most, and nothing would make his mum and me prouder than to see him have the character of what we see before us today.”

Harry’s decision to set up the games came after he participated in two frontline tours of Afghanistan in 2008 and 2012, during his ten-year stint in the British Army.

Harry and Meghan’s appearance in Europe comes a month after they didn’t attend a memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh, the royal’s grandfather, in London.

They did stop off in the UK briefly to see Her Majesty at Windsor Castle, before heading over to the Netherlands.

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