Princess Diana anniversary - What it means to be a mother

It was Mother Teresa who wrote: “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

She might have had her friend the princess of Wales in mind because it was through the love for her sons William and Harry that Diana changed hearts and minds and, in a very real way, changed the world.

It was she who shook the hands of an Aids patient at a time when doctors treating them donned protective suits and it was she who began ridding the world of the horror of landmines. No wonder the world fell in love with her.

A television documentary screened by ITV on Monday night to mark the anniversary of her death in 1997 reveals the extraordinary bond between Diana and her boys. “My mother lives with me every day. We still feel loved 20 years on,” says William, while Harry recalls how “she smothered us with love. I can still remember the hugs.”

She also smothered them with fun and laughter, hiding chocolate bars in their school socks, sneaking them out of their home in Kensington Palace to the cinema, getting them a burger in McDonalds, and driving them along country lanes in her BMW with the window down and the sound of Enya blasting from the car radio.

“She understood there was a real life outside palace walls,” says William. In other words, she understood what it meant to be a mother.


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