As we get closer and closer to the birth of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan‘s first child, not to mention the royal couple’s first wedding anniversary, we can look back fondly on their epic year of marriage — everything they did, the places they went, the adorable looks they exchanged — and basically just appreciate the total love they have for one another.
As the pair get ready for Baby Sussex on their terms and attempt to keep everything surrounding their child’s entrance into the world as sacred as possible, it seems like their experience is basically everything William and Kate didn’t get a chance to do. And before them? Their parents, Charles and Diana; for whom, People reminds us, things obviously weren’t ideal.
If you recall, Diana revealed in Diana: Her True Story – Her Own Words just how much pressure she had to deal with as she prepared for the birth of her first child.
“When we had William, we had to find a date in the diary that suited Charles and his polo,” Diana told author Andrew Morton. “William had to be induced because I couldn’t handle the press pressure any longer, it was becoming unbearable. It was as if everyone was monitoring every day for me.”
She added: “Anyway, the boy arrived, great excitement. Thrilled, everyone absolutely high as a kite — we had found a date where Charles could get off his polo pony for me to give birth. That was very nice, felt grateful about that!”
With Harry, however, the feelings weren’t quite as exuberant — mostly because Charles had “always wanted a girl.” Diana knew that wasn’t going to be the case so she kept the gender from him. And when Harry came out, Charles couldn’t hide his feelings.
“First comment was: ‘Oh God, it’s a boy,’ second comment: ‘And he’s even got red hair,'” Diana recalled. And Charles apparently wouldn’t let it go, still expressing his disappointment at Harry’s christening three months later. But to the wrong person: Diana’s mother, Frances.
“Mummy snapped his head off, saying: ‘You should realized how lucky you are to have a child that’s normal,'” Diana recalled. “Ever since that day the shutters have come down, and that’s what he does when he gets somebody answering back at him.”
The days leading up to Harry’s birth, Diana described her and Charles’ relationship as “the closest we’ve ever, ever been and ever will be” — but it didn’t last. Obviously.
“Then, suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went bang, our marriage,” she said, referring to Charles and Camilla’s re-connection. “The whole thing went down the drain.”
Obviously Harry knew about all of this — whether from his parents directly, or from the stories that constantly circulated around him — and that’s got to suck. But it’s all about learning and growing and moving forward. Harry is obviously determined to protect his family and not allow the same or similar things to happen to his wife and child. So if that means keeping things on the DL for as long as possible and doing things in seemingly unconventional ways, so be it. Good for him. Good for them.