Her former security officer, Ken Wharfe, revealed that the People's Princess did so to ensure that her kids weren't spoiled.
Princess Diana was known to break royal protocols, fetching her the title: The People's Princess. Turns out, she wished to keep her boys grounded as well. Her former security officer, Ken Wharfe, revealed that Prince William and Harry would receive several gifts from businesses and the public every festive season. But their mother would donate most of them to charity or return them just so her children wouldn't get spoiled.
"Diana was very careful to ensure that they weren’t flooded with gifts – gifts did appear from unknown sources, and they were often returned or given to charity because they didn’t need them," Wharfe told OK! "She was very conscious about what she bought (because she) knew the hallway at Sandringham would be full of presents."
When it came to buying books and toys for her sons, Wharfe said Diana made it a point to always shop them herself instead of sending the staff to do it. "She was very generous with gifts. She knew the ground floor plan at Harrods and Harvey Nichols and shopping was always a hands-on experience," he noted according to The Sun. It's possible that William has inherited the same mindset as he too is extremely careful about not spoiling his children.
"I think we’re looking at three Christmases rolled into one for William and Kate and their children," explained Royal expert Duncan Larcombe. "There will be Christmas on their own with their kids, the more formal celebrations at Sandringham with William’s family and then time with Kate’s family, the Middletons. But something we know for sure about William and Kate is that they want their children to feel normal and so they certainly won’t be lavishing them with expensive gifts, that’s for certain. They won’t let them be spoiled," he added.
The Princess of Wales wanted her children to lead a normal life as "She always understood that there was life outside of palace walls," said Prince William said in an ITV documentary, as quoted by ELLE. "My mother cherished those moments of privacy and being able to be that mother, rather than the Princess of Wales." This goes on to prove how positively she affected her eldest son in terms of being down to earth.
Despite doing her best, she always wondered whether she was a good mother or not. A few years before her death in 1997, she told British journalist, Petronella Wyatt, "I worry about my sons. Am I a good mother? I don’t see them for months and then I spoil them rotten,' she sighed. 'Sometimes I’d like a time machine.'"
Although she was burdened by the pressure of royal life, she was always devoted to her children. "Most importantly, [my role is] being a mother and a wife. That's what I try to achieve; whether I do is another thing, but I do try," she said in another interview in 1985. "I live for my sons. I would be lost without them."
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Hulton Archive