baby

"I burst into tears." Princess Diana on the reality of the world watching you hours after birth.

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The arrival of the royal baby is imminent – and we’re more than little bit excited – even if we won’t be as privy to as many photos or details as we previously thought.

Last week, via a statement from Buckingham Palace, Meghan Markle revealed will not follow in the footsteps of Kate Middleton and Princess Diana by posing on the steps of the Lindo Wing with her newborn mere hours after giving birth.

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It’s a completely justified decision to skip the photo opp – Meghan doesn’t owe us anything, least of all that.

And resurfaced quotes from the late Princess Diana about just what that experience was like for her add even more weight to the argument against the outdated royal tradition.

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In the book Call Me Diana by Nigel Cawthorne, Princess Diana recalls the moment she introduced Prince William to the world in 1982.

“When I left the hospital, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. My stitches were killing me. It was such a strain to stand there and smile even just for a few minutes.”

She went on: “As soon as the car disappeared around the corner out of sight of the photographers, I burst into tears.”

Despite this, Princess Diana felt she must repeat the performance in 1984, after Prince Harry’s birth.

Diana Harry
Diana with Harry after his birth. Image via Getty.

According to Diana's biographer Andrew Morton, who wrote the book Diana: Her True Story, there was another factor that made Harry's birth difficult.

In Morton's book, it's claimed that the first thing Charles said to her when Prince Harry was born was: “Oh God, it’s a boy.”

Diana had described her relationship with Charles as the closest they’d ever been in the later stages of her second pregnancy, but following this reaction their relationship unravelled.

She had known the gender of her baby, but kept it a secret from Charles because she knew he had always wanted a girl and would be disappointed.

Diana told Morton that Charles followed up his initial comment with something that again hurt her feelings: “And he’s even got red hair,” the Prince said – a trait that runs in Diana’s family.

It was only hours later, that Diana had to face the world again, holding a newborn and pretending her marriage was thriving.

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