PRINCESS DIANA had an immensely close and loving relationship with her father, Earl Spencer, but unearthed reports reveal he was “disappointed” on the day of her birth.
Diana had a troubled childhood before meeting Prince Charles at the age of 16. Her parents separated when she was only seven, she hated her mother – Frances Shand Kydd – and also deeply disliked her stepmother Raine Legge. One of the only comforts she found in her formative years came through the relationship she had with father, Edward John Spencer, who claimed walking his daughter down the aisle to marry the heir to the throne was the proudest day of his life. However, his initial reaction on the day of her birth was a little underwhelming.
A 1997 OK! magazine special edition commemorating Diana after her tragic death casts light on this moment.
An extract reads: “Born on July 1, 1961, at Park House, Sandringham, Lady Diana Frances Spencer was the third daughter of Viscount Althorp (later Earl Spencer) and his wife Frances.
“Although she came from a relatively privileged background, Diana also encountered great unhappiness.
“Her birth was greeted with disappointment by her father who had longed for a boy and her parents divorced when she was only seven.
“It was a lonely childhood she vowed her own children would never endure.”
Princess Diana and Earl Spencer (Image: GETTY)
Earl Spencer with the Queen, Diana and Charles on the Buckingham Palace balcony (Image: GETTY)
Diana adored her father and the two shared a deeply personal bond until his death in 1992.
After he divorced her mother, Diana briefly moved in with her mother but Earl Spencer won a custody battle so she could live with him in the Althorp family estate.
He then married Raine in 1976, who was called “Acid Raine” by the Spencer children.
Raine sparked further backlash when Earl Spencer had a stroke and fell into a coma in 1978.
Earl Spencer claimed walking Diana down the aisle was the proudest day of his life (Image: GETTY)
She supposedly prevented Diana and her siblings seeing their father because she felt he only needed his wife to take care of him.
Biographer Penny Junor claims Raine was “very territorial about him” as he was “fighting for his life”.
However, after Earl Spencer pulled through their father-daughter bond flourished and he was able to give her away at St Paul’s Cathedral as she married Charles in 1981.
After the birth of Princes William and Harry, Diana took the positives from the lessons of her own childhood heartache and she doted on her two sons.
Charles and Diana’s romantic timeline (Image: DX)
She also did everything she could to make sure the two princes had as “normal” an upbringing as possible, even taking them to McDonald’s.
In 2013 Amazon Prime documentary ‘Royalty Close Up: The Photography of Kent Gavin’, the Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter said: “Diana used to take William and Harry to the high street.
“And they got the best of both worlds from their parents – Charles gave them hunting, fishing, shooting and polo, and Diana gave them the high street.”
Diana’s former royal protection officer, Ken Wharfe, had a slightly different take as he pointed out that Diana had to hide these activities from her husband.
Princess Diana doted on Prince Harry and Prince William (Image: GETTY)
Addressing 2012 YouTube documentary ‘Prince William at Thirty’, he claimed Charles would “probably have had a fit” if he knew the princes were eating at McDonald’s.
Meanwhile, former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond explained the reasoning behind it.
She claimed the Princess of Wales made it very clear to the boys that there were ‘work days’ and ‘play days’.
Diana is said to have told them: “On work days you have to dress up like young princes and you have to behave that way.
“But on play days, yes you can wear your jeans, you can have baseball caps, you can eat a burger.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK