Princess Diana’s touching Easter celebrations with Prince William and Prince Harry have been revealed

Princess Diana's former protection officer shares the late royal icon's favourite ways to spend Easter

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: Diana, Princess Of Wales, Leaving The British Lung Foundation In Hatton Garden After Being Presented With A Bouquet Of The First Rose Named After Her. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana's favorite ways to celebrate Easter with her sons have been revealedand they were a lot simpler than you might think. 

The late Princess of Wales loved creating outdoor games for Prince William and Prince Harry to mark the Easter festival, opting to spend the occasion in the garden rather than inside the royal residence of Highgrove House. 

“Diana was very much a hands-on mother and would organize the Easter egg hunt, but she’d get all the staff involved hiding them,” Ken Wharfe, Diana's former protection officer, told OK! magazine. “They had some chickens there and I remember someone suggesting hiding some of the eggs in the coop." 

Like many siblings, William and Harry jumped at the chance of some friendly competition. 

"They’d be running around with no inhibitions trying to be the first to find them, badgering the staff to tell them where they were hidden," Ken recalled. 

Princes William and Harry with their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) in the garden of Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, 18th July 1986. William is wearing a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt.(Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana loved spending Easter outdoors with Prince Harry and Prince William 

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

The plush surroundings at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, which was used as a country retreat by the Royal Family, gave the boys plenty of space to explore and play like ordinary children. It was very important to Diana that, despite their lofty titles, William and Harry had the opportunity to experience some normality growing up. She also taught her sons to address royal employees by their names, to break down the walls between them and 'commoners'. 

"There was no barrier between us staff and the princes – they were encouraged to use our first names," Ken said. 

Another Easter activity Diana and the boys enjoyed was skiing. The close-knit trio took to the slopes in Lech, Austria over the midterm in 1994, two years after the separation of Prince Charles and Diana. Ken remembers the boys' courage when they started skiing, as well as Diana's natural skill.

"Harry and William picked up skiing incredibly quickly – they were fearless and Diana was incredibly good at it,” says Ken. 

Harry was particularly eager on the mountain, growing impatient with the slow pace of the lesson and taking the reins into his own hands. 

“I could see Harry was getting frustrated with having to follow the ski instructor. He just wanted to go fast, so he skied solo down a mountain and ended up in some mud and flowers," Ken said. "We had to go and dig him out! After that, we reminded him to stay with the group." 

It wasn't all fun and games, however. Diana, William, and Harry were obliged to make time for extended family commitments over the break. Every Easter, they had to abandon their carefree activities to attend a chapel service followed by a formal lunch with the Queen at Windsor. They knew that they would need to be on their best behavior for these visits, as childish antics would not be tolerated by Her Majesty. 

 “Even at a young age, when William and Harry were in the presence of senior members of the family they knew that they couldn’t muck around," said Ken. "And if they did, they were dealt with very quickly by their parents, most likely Diana!”

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.