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Princess Diana would have been so proud today

When I woke this morning and discovered the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to a son, my thoughts immediately went to Princess Diana and how excited she would have been about her first grandchild.

It’s so tragic that she isn't here for such an incredible milestone in her son’s life and that Prince William won’t have her by his side to celebrate.

I’m not alone in my sadness for a mother and grandmother lost.

Richard Kay, a friend of Diana's and a Daily Mail columnist, has confessed: "She would obviously be absolutely thrilled at the prospect of having a new baby in the palace. I'm not sure how thrilled she would have been at becoming a grandmother, though. That would have made her feel old. Diana would have been 52 now. Time marches on."

Damian Thompson at The Telegraph agrees: “It's obvious, but it has only just occurred to me. Diana, Princess of Wales, would have become a granny today. That makes some of us feel very old – and sad, of course. Diana was a naturally gifted mother; she'd have been a terrific, funny, glamorous granny – though no doubt freaked out by attaining this venerable status at the age of only 52. (Somehow I very much doubt that she'd have looked her age.)”

And Princess Diana’s biographer, Andrew Morton, told The Sun:  ‘[She] would have loved being a grandmother. She always wanted a daughter – if she had married again, doubtless she would have had more children – but a grandchild is a special delight. Fun to play with but you can also hand them back.”

The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London, same location where the Princess of Wales gave birth to both William and Prince Harry.

And the new prince’s birth was an echo of Wills' own birth announcement 31 years ago, via a royal declaration delivered from the hospital to Buckingham Palace via royal escort and placed on an easel outside the palace.

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While Diana won’t be there to help her son and daughter-in-law settle into their new roles as parents, there are many things the couple can learn from the way she parented Prince William.

One of the best lessons she taught the young princes was to be grounded.

"Diana was always very keen on William and Harry knowing the world around them," says Victoria Arbiter, daughter of former press secretary to the Queen, Dickie Arbiter. "She took them to McDonald's, she took them to the movies, they went to theme parks and homeless shelters.

"Yes, they were born into a very privileged background, but Diana made sure they knew they lived in a privileged background that wasn't normal and knew how other people lived."

"Really, we are going to see quite similar mothering from Kate. She is going to be like Diana. She is going to want to be present; she is going to want to take the children to school in the morning. Diana made sure she was on hand for everything she possibly could."

"This is the greatest gift, to have a new heir to the throne," adds Diana's friend, handbag designer Lana Marks.

"Diana would be overjoyed. It's spectacular news. She will be smiling from ear to ear from above.

"Diana always spoke about William's even temperament and what an incredible father he would make. She always talked about his sense of duty and his empathetic nature. She was grooming him for this. She knew one day he would be king and with that comes the responsibility of producing an heir. That is the greatest gift he can ever give the Queen.

"He is a king of the people. It's pure magic."

Click here to read more about the beautiful parallels and striking differences between William & Kate's first public appearance with their baby boy, and Charles and Diana's appearance with William in 1981.

Photo credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images

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