Diana tried to ‘shield’ Harry and William from heir and spare ‘labels’: ‘Troubled by it’

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PRINCESS DIANA tried to “shield” her sons Prince Harry and Prince William from their heir and spare “labels”, according to a royal author, who claimed she was “troubled by it”.

Diana died tragically in a car crash in Paris in August 1997. Prince William was 15 years old and Prince Harry aged just 12.

While the brothers grew up with a close relationship, they have recently become more distant.

Harry and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their senior roles within the Royal Family and moved to the US two years ago.

Prince William / Princess Diana / Prince Harry

Diana tried to ‘shield’ her sons from the heir and spare labels. (Image: Getty Images)

Prince William and Prince Harry

William and Harry once shared a close brotherly bond. (Image: Getty Images)

Prince Harry to leave out detail that would ‘burn the whole Firm down’ in new book

Prince Harry’s highly-anticipated book will not be the juicy tell-all some royal commentators have described, as it is “not in the Duke of Sussex’s DNA” to be “salacious” about the Royal Family.

The couple have since taken part in media interviews, making allegations against the Firm and given an insight into the reported tensions between themselves and the Royal Family.

Their actions are understood to have had a particularly negative impact on the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and his brother.

It has been said that Harry and Meghan struggled with the hierarchy of the monarchy, in that William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge were prioritised when it came to work opportunities.

Now, one royal author has claimed that Diana actively tried to avoid this consequence of the doomed “heir and spare” dynamic.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge

Harry and Meghan reportedly didn’t like playing second fiddle to William and Kate. (Image: Getty Images)

James Patterson is one of the bestselling authors in history and, for his most recent book, he delved into the world of the British Royal Family for the first time.

‘Diana, William and Harry: The Heartbreaking Story of a Princess and Mother’ focuses on Diana as a mum, rather than as a royal and draws attention to her fierce devotion to her two sons.

Discussing his latest book with Fox News Digital, Mr Patterson claimed that Diana was “troubled” by Harry being labelled the “spare”, and tried to control it as much as possible.

He said: “I think she tried to control it as much as she could. I think she was troubled about it.

Princess Diana and Prince Harry

Diana was ‘troubled’ by Harry being labelled the ‘spare’. (Image: Getty Images)

“That’s a standard thing for families. One of the kids who do better in school or become a better athlete seems to be a little more charming and lovable. How do you make the other kids feel that they’re just enough?

“It happens pretty much to all families. And in this case, the stakes are much higher because one is presumably going to be king someday.”

Mr Patterson continued: “I think she was very aware of the situation.

“She had experienced how difficult it was to be in her role as a princess… She wanted to have her own life. And that was very hard for her.

Princess Diana with William and Harry

Diana took William and Harry to theme parks and fast-food restaurants. (Image: Getty Images)

“She didn’t want the boys to experience the same struggles she faced. She tried as much as she could to control it.

“She simply wanted them to be normal kids and understand that the real world doesn’t operate in the same way it worked within the palace.

“They shouldn’t see themselves as special or different.”

Diana wanted her sons to have as normal upbringing as possible; she famously took them to theme parks and fast-food restaurants in an attempt to give them a taste of what life was like outside of the Palace walls.

The princess, who is often remembered for her kindness, also took the boys to homeless shelters and they sometimes accompanied her on visits to the charities she was working with.

Mr Patterson explained: “She wanted them to see the other side. Not everyone drives around in fancy cars.

“A lot of people have no money… She also explained that not everybody likes them, which might be tough for a kid to swallow, but she insisted on them experiencing the real world.”

While they may live separate lives, both William and Harry continue to honour their mother’s legacy with some of the charities they hold close to their hearts.

Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan made donations to a number of organisations working to support the people of Ukraine.

One of which was The HALO Trust, which trains and employs the residents of war-torn communities to remove landmines and dangerous explosives.

Back in the Nineties, Diana worked with HALO in the fight against landmines.

Princess Diana walks across landmine

Diana famously walked across a landmine. (Image: Getty Images)

She famously walked through a minefield being cleared by the charity in Angola.

Harry has continued his mother’s legacy of working with HALO, having served as their patron and has visited Angola to see the work they are still doing.

Meanwhile, William recently recalled visiting a homeless shelter with his mother while he was selling copies of the ‘Big Issue’ on a London street.

The magazine is sold by homeless people in Britain as a way of earning money; it helps to combat the issue, which the prince said he was committed to fighting.

Prince Harry walks through landmine

Harry walked through a landmine years later. (Image: Getty Images)

In a June issue of the magazine, William wrote: “I was 11 when I first visited a homeless shelter with my mother, who in her own inimitable style was determined to shine a light on an overlooked, misunderstood problem.

“While I may seem like one of the most unlikely advocates for this cause, I have always believed in using my platform to help tell those stories and to bring attention and action to those who are struggling.”

He continued: “I commit to continue doing what I can to shine a spotlight on this solvable issue not just today, but in the months and years to come.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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