Princess Diana. The People’s Princess. The Queen of Hearts. Before she was all this and more to many across the world, she was mother to Prince William and Prince Harry. Born into an aristocratic family, Lady Diana Spencer was perfectly placed to marry the Prince of Wales, which she did in 1981. By the time she fell pregnant with their first child, the media spotlight on Princess Diana was already tremendous, following her every move both on and off royal duty. As her due date edged closer, she asked to be induced in order to escape the public eye, a tale she later told to royal biographer Andrew Morton: “I couldn’t handle the press pressure any longer: it was becoming unbearable,” Princess Diana reflected. “It was as if everybody was monitoring every day for me.”
When Prince William did arrive in June of 1982, Princess Diana became the first member of the Royal Family to give birth to a direct heir in a hospital, rather than a palace. She famously chose the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, London, following in the footsteps of her sister-in-law, Princess Anne, who had given birth there years prior. This would reveal the moment that is now so iconic, that of a shy young Diana in a polka-dot dress, holding her baby son beside a beaming Prince Charles. While the Queen had displayed her children on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, Princess Diana’s choice signalled a new modern era for the royal family.