If there’s one person who could have easily identified with the pressures Meghan Markle is enduring as the world waits for the arrival of her baby, it would have been her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana of Wales.
Markle, 37, who became the Duchess of Sussex in May 2018 when she married Diana’s younger son, Britain’s Prince Harry, is due to welcome their firstborn sometime this spring.
According to royal biographer Andrew Morton’s book, “Diana: Her True Story,” the royal revealed she felt an enormous amount of pressure from the media surrounding the birth of her first child and Harry’s older brother, Prince William.
People magazine recently reported the pressure Diana face to give birth was so “unbearable” that she was induced — but they had to pick a day that didn’t interfere with Charles’ polo schedule.
“When we had William, we had to find a date in the diary that suited Charles and his polo,” Diana explained in Morton's book. “William had to be induced because I couldn’t handle the press pressure any longer, it was becoming unbearable. It was as if everyone was monitoring every day for me.”
Still, Diana admitted that the arrival of William, now 36, was worth it all.
“Anyway, the boy arrived, great excitement,” she described. “Thrilled, everyone absolutely high as a kite — we had found a date were Charles could get off his polo pony for me to give birth. That was very nice, felt grateful about that!”
However, the magazine shared that the birth of Harry, now 34, came with its own set of problems. Diana said that Charles had always wanted a girl and was in for a big surprise.
“I knew Harry was going to be a boy because I saw on the scan,” she explained. “Charles always wanted a girl. He wanted two children, and he wanted a girl. I knew Harry was a boy, and I didn’t tell him.”
When Diana delivered their second son, Charles allegedly didn’t hide his disappointment.
“First comment was ‘Oh God, it’s a boy,’ second comment: ‘And he’s even got red hair,’” claimed Diana.
Diana also revealed Charles expressed being let down again during Harry’s christening. He allegedly told her mother, “We were so disappointed — we thought it would be a girl.”
“Mummy snapped his head off, saying, “You should realize how lucky you are to have a child that’s normal,’” said Diana. “Ever since that day the shutters have come down, and that’s what he does when he gets somebody answering back at him.”
Diana also described how her rocky relationship with Charles improved before Harry was born. In fact, Diana insisted that she and Charles were “the closest we’ve ever, ever been and ever will be” in the six weeks leading up to the arrival of their second child.
That didn’t last.
“Then suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went bang, our marriage,” Diana admitted. “The whole thing went down the drain.”
Even before Diana married Charles in a televised wedding that attracted about 750 million viewers worldwide in 1981, she long suspected he was having an affair with his ex-girlfriend, now Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Morton said.
Diana found a sense of happiness in marriage with the birth of their two sons. The former couple welcomed William in 1982, followed by Harry in 1984. Morton claimed that while Diana was pregnant with Harry, she and Charles experienced an intimate connection, one that involved him reportedly writing love notes to his wife. But after Harry was born, the relationship soured until they finally divorced.
“As the boys got older and became like her counselors and friends as sons, she began to enjoy life a lot more,” said Morton to Fox News in 2017. “Diana was very protective of William and Harry. [If] you ever criticized the boys... she would be on you like a tigress. She was the only one who could criticize those two. Of course, she indulged them… She wanted to be a full hands-on parent herself. And interestingly, Prince William recently said the same about his own children. He wants them to enjoy a relatively normal upbringing.”
Diana and Charles finally divorced in 1996. A year later, Diana died in 1997 at age 36 from injuries she sustained in a car crash in Paris.
Markle and Harry are choosing to break tradition as parents.
Kensington Palace recently announced the couple is planning to keep the birth of their firstborn private.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby,” the palace said in a statement.
“Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”