When you are a member of the Royal Family, the ability to be humble and grateful is something that is required in abundance. Like any children, it is important that the youngest royals display excellent manners and good behaviour from the off as they prepare for a lifetime of public service.
One of the best ways that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have done this with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis is by following a tactic started by Princess Diana. It has been recalled by many who were close with the princess that she made Prince William and Prince Harry write thank you notes from a young age to anyone who had helped them.
And sources have explained that Prince William and Kate have carried on this tradition with their three children. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were all born at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington in 2013, 2015 and 2018 respectively. It is the same location where their father, Prince William, was born in 1982 to the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The late Princess Diana is widely credited in books, films and the media as being an excellent mother Princes William and Harry. She often took them to private charity visits and on normal days out to places such as Thorpe Park and Disney World because she wanted them to live without the restrictions of strict royal protocol.
Her biographer, Andrew Morton said: “She took the young royals with her on her private charity visits from a young age… One of the reasons was she didn’t want the boys to grow up thinking the whole world was 4×4 Range Rovers, shotguns and nannies.” One of her best habits – and one that has been carried on by William with his own children – was getting her sons to write thank you notes to anyone who helped them.
A source explained: “[William and Kate] have developed this brilliant knack of letting as much as they can seem spontaneous and that’s how the children see it. “Table manners, thank you letters, little courtesies are being drilled into the children so they become automatic.”
Princess Diana making her sons write thank you notes was vividly remembered by their former protection officer, Ken Wharfe. Wharfe explained that one time Prince Harry had wanted to take the London Underground as well as use the famous red buses.
The group hopped on at South Kensington tube station and got off at Piccadilly. They then took the 38 bus direct to Victoria station, and according to Wharfe, Prince Harry was far from well-behaved. The bus driver was a Sikh man who would say each bus stop aloud before adding the sounds “parp, parp, ring, ring.”
As the group prepared to get off the bus at Green Park, naughty Prince Harry turned around to the driver and shouted: “parp, parp, ring, ring.” Wharfe explained that Diana was furious with her youngest son and had him apologise to the driver immediately, but by all accounts the driver found the incident hilarious, saying: “He loved it”.
The bodyguard added that the following day he found a thank you letter on his desk from Harry. Wharfe said that the prince’s note was one of gratitude for helping him live a day like a normal person, but in Harry’s true prankster nature, he signed the note with the same “parp, parp, ring, ring” that had landed him in trouble the day before!