Prince William’s ‘dreadful’ Christmas habit Princess Diana thought he’d 'picked up' from her

Prince William's 'dreadful' Christmas habit in childhood was revealed by Princess Diana who once wrote about 'extraordinary' discoveries...

Prince William's 'dreadful' Christmas habit revealed by Princess Diana, seen here side-by-side on different occasions
(Image credit: Future// Image 1: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images// Image 2: Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)

Prince William’s “dreadful” Christmas habit that Princess Diana feared he’d picked up from her in childhood was once revealed by his late mother. 


When it comes to Christmas presents, the Royal Family are known for preferring more low-key options, with Kate Middleton’s “frugal” Christmas gift for the Queen said to have gone down brilliantly with the late monarch. Royal Christmas presents were something the late Princess Diana once opened up about in some truly enlightening private letters. Back in 2009 the Daily Mail (opens in new tab) reported some of the astonishing revelations that came to light in previously unseen letters from the Princess of Wales to her beautician Janet Filderman. 

One of these remarked upon Prince William’s “dreadful” Christmas habit and was something Princess Diana apparently feared he’d picked up from her! 

Prince Charles, Princess Diana and their sons, William and Harry, leave the church of St. Mary Magdalen near Sandringham House

(Image credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

In the Princess’ letter, dated December 14 1985, Princess Diana is understood to have shared her suspicions that the future King had been opening his presents early. 

“As promised I rushed home to open your Christmas present, which I thought was quite good going considering the 25th is actually two weeks away!!”, Princess Diana apparently wrote, reflecting on how she also couldn’t wait until the big day. 

She continued, “I could not resist opening my present, as a parcel of any shape or form has never been safe with me and I fear that William has also picked up this dreadful habit from his mother, as I find wrapping paper undone in the most extraordinary places!”

Princess Diana Helping Prince William With A Jigsaw Puzzle

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

This suggests that the three-year-old Prince was more than a little excited about his gifts. Her adorable “fear” that Prince William’s “dreadful” Christmas habit could’ve been picked up from her is jokingly expressed and it’s heart-warming to hear more about their experience of Christmas during her son’s younger years. 

Although Princess Diana’s decision to open her present two weeks before Christmas is very early, the Royal Family are known for opening their presents before Christmas Day. This Royal Christmas tradition can be traced back to their German heritage and the royals are understood to unwrap their gifts on Christmas Eve. 

Meanwhile, in another letter also sent to Janet Filderman in 1987, Princess Diana disclosed the fail-safe gift she would always have been delighted to receive.

Princess Margaret, Peter Phillips, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Prince Harry and Diana, Princess of Wales attend the Christmas Day service

(Image credit: Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

"I can never get enough photograph frames for the amount of pictures I take of my small men and the arrival of yours is just perfect," the mother-of-two declared. “William and Harry had the best Christmas ever and I am exhausted just trying to keep up with them as they run around. Anyway, at least they sleep well."

It’s clear that capturing precious memories of her two boys in photo form was incredibly important to Princess Diana. During her marriage to the then-Prince Charles, the family often spent Christmas at Sandringham with the Queen. This year King Charles will also be hosting the festivities in Norfolk and it’s thought likely that Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children will be celebrating with him.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.