As Prince William readies to be a dad, there is no doubt that his mother is on his mind. Princess Diana was a remarkable woman for many reasons. She was a great beauty, a great humanitarian, and more importantly, she was a great mom.
More than any other official role she had, being a parent was clearly her highest honor. She radiated joy every time she was snapped out with her sons. Sadly, William and his wife Kate will have to raise their own heirs without Diana's loving, gentle grace, but her example has already given him everything he needs to be an amazing dad. Here are six lessons Princess Diana taught Prince William about being an awesome parent. In fact, these are lessons all parents can benefit from.
- Be present: With an army of servants at their disposal, royals don't really have to raise their own children. But that wasn't how Diana wanted to do things. She dropped her children off at school every morning, took them along when she traveled, ate dinner with them at night. She made them feel safe, secure, and loved. She showed them that while the world around them can be bitterly cruel and cold, they will always find warmth in their mother's heart.
- Show others compassion even in the face of your own misery: Even when she was at her lowest point, Princess Diana never let her determination to help other people waver. She most notably helped fight discrimination against AIDS victims, helping change people's perceptions of the disease. It went beyond dutiful public appearances. You can't provide a better example to your children than helping people in such devastating need of kindness and care.
- Being happy will make you a better mom: While her marriage to Prince Charles crumbled, the misery was etched in her face. You could feel the anguish in every photograph. She put on a good face for her children, of course, but even they couldn't deny their mum's sadness at times. But when she started to reclaim her life and independence, Diana turned into a different person. Fans had never seen her happier than when she fell in love with Dodi Fayed. She radiated joy. That kind of happiness has a deep impact on our children. They want us to be as happy as we make them.
- Playtime isn't just for kids: William and Harry have wonderful memories of times with their mom. From water rides at amusement parks to travels to foreign lands to playing at home, Princess Di made sure to have a good time with her kids.
- Learn from your mistakes: Undoubtedly, she had many regrets. One was likely letting the royal family call the shots for just about every aspect of her life. It took some time, but Princess Di eventually developed her own voice. She became her own person. William witnessed that transformation and should be inspired by that when he faces opposition, especially when it comes to what he wants for his own children and their upbringing.
- Be strong: Going up against the royal family isn't easy. She was fighting centuries of tradition and rules -- but she did it. She didn't want her little boys weighed down by royal responsibilities too early. She wanted kids to be just that -- kids. She was strong enough to fight for them and William will be too.
What other lessons do you think Prince William picked up from his mom?
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