Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Princess Diana Gave Young Prince William a Chilling Word of Warning on His First Day of School

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SheKnows may receive an affiliate commission.

Any parent knows the first day of school is always stressful. Though it may be exciting, there’s still a lot to get done — the right outfit or uniform, making sure everything’s in the backpack, breakfast, morning routine finished, it can all be pretty overwhelming. Add on top of all that the entire world watching your child arrive to school and the pressure becomes unfathomable. That was the reality for Princess Diana and her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. But it was on her eldest son’s first day of school that Diana offered William some important advice on how to deal with the paparazzi.

For his first day at Wetherby Prep School in Notting Hill, Prince William was joined by his mother and an awful lot of cameras to see him off. But it was the late Princess of Wales who doled out some advice for her young son. “Diana said to him in the car, ‘When you get to school there are going to be lots of media and lots of photographers, you’ve got to behave yourself,'” Ken Wharfe, a former bodyguard to Princes William and Harry, told Yahoo’s Royal Box, per the Mirror.

Lazy loaded image
Princess Diana with Prince William on hist first day at his new school, Wetherby School on Jan. 15, 1987 ASSOCIATED PRESS.

But, as we all know, it wasn’t just that particular day that William was going to have to maneuver the paparazzi, and his mother knew that better than anyone. “You’re going to get this for the rest of your life,” she told the young prince, according to Wharfe. Before walking into the school, Wharfe recalled how “William turned around and said something which was extraordinary. He said, ‘Don’t like ‘tographers.'”

We cannot imagine what that overwhelming morning must’ve felt like for both Diana and William. But the advice that William’s late mother gave him, serious as it was, has clearly stuck. Years after his first day of school, William and by extension his brother Prince Harry have dealt with media attention to the best of their abilities — something their mother no doubt passed on to both of them.

Diana: A Closely Guarded Secret by Ken Wharfe

Lazy loaded image
Image: John Blake John Blake

For years, Inspector Ken Wharfe was one of Princess Diana’s closest confidants. The late Princess of Wales’ former bodyguard offers an intimate account of the famous royal’s life in Diana: A Closely Guarded Secret. The memoir offers new insight into what we thought we knew about Princess Diana, with unfiltered anecdotes and reflections on her life through Wharfe’s eyes.

'Diana: A Closely Guarded Secret' by Ken Wharfe $15.15 on

Before you go, click here to see the best photos of Princess Diana playing with William and Harry.
Princess Diana, William Harry Prince Philip

Leave a Comment