While Christmas with the royal family might include an element of formality, a letter from the late Princess Diana reveals the holiday with Prince William and Prince Harry was all about childhood fun.
In a heartfelt letter dated December 5, 1990 (William would have been 8 years old and Harry 6), Diana shared her sons’ love of the festive season. “The boys are thrilled at the prospect of Christmas on the horizon and have searched high and low for any parcels that might be coming their way!”
The letter was addressed to Ivy Woodward, a mother whom she had recently befriended while visiting Prince Charles in the hospital earlier that autumn. Charles was being treated for a broken arm at the same hospital as Woodward’s son, who lay in a coma following a motorbike accident.
Diana also offered personal advice to Woodward, who appeared to have had a falling out with her son’s wife, Jane, following his accident.
“It was lovely to hear that Dean has improved so much but he wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for his mother and your determination and strength to get him back to full health again,” Diana wrote.
“Maybe Dean’s lady feels resentment for not being able to cope with that situation back in August and that can produce guilt and in turn confusion arrived and people are hurt and now Dean has arrived home and she (Jane) has turned very possessive. You mustn’t worry about it as time will iron things out.”
Written on monogrammed letter paper with a red border, it shows Diana’s cypher, which is almost identical to the one used by both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle today.
In a cursive typeface, the letter “D” sits underneath a coronet, which features two crosses pattée (a type of Christian cross), four fleurs-de-lys and two strawberry leaves. The words “Kensington Palace” sit at the bottom, exactly as Kate’s does today.
The letter is being auctioned for an estimated $3,875 on December 3 by Lawrences Auctioneers of Bletchingley, Surrey, alongside another handwritten letter by the princess, thanking her bodyguard Sergeant Ronald Lewis for taking good care of her and Charles during a trip to Nigeria.
Diana signed it off with a hint of her cheeky sense of humor: “Thank you from the boss’s wife, love from Diana.”
RELATED: What Prince William Told Young People Honored in the Name Of His Late Mother, Princess Diana
Both Kate and Meghan regularly write handwritten notes of thanks using monogrammed stationery. After returning from a recent tour of Pakistan with William, Kate sent a letter to local designer Khadijah Shah, founder of the Pakistani label Elan, in gratitude for her “time and effort” in preparing a selection of outfits for the royal mom to wear.
RELATED: Princess Diana’s Velvet Gown from Her White House Dance with John Travolta Is for Sale
Meghan also sent thank you notes to those who contributed to the issue of British Vogue she guest edited earlier this year.