On August 31, 1997, Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales, tragically passed away at the age of 36. A doting mother, Diana was often seen bonding with young Prince William and Prince Harry, who she shared with husband Prince Charles. Her time as a royal was complicated, and often lonely: like Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, she married into the royal family and held a job before becoming a full-time royal. She married Charles in 1981, but the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996 (with the Queen’s blessing), after years of publicly struggling. While Diana’s relationship with Charles was ultimately a point of contention, her love for Harry and William — and theirs for her — was never in doubt.
William and Harry have both honored Diana’s legacy in their own ways, including a recent tribute on the Sussex Instagram page and various homages by Kate over the years. Diana represents many things to many people: but above all else, she was the loving mother to these two boys who lost her far too young (William was 15 when she died; Harry was 12). So, in honor of Lady Di’s life, we rounded up our favorite photos of the late royal bonding with her young sons. We recommend pulling out the tissues now.