Princess Diana Changed Royal Tours Forever When She Refused to Leave William Behind

Prince William In New Zealand 1983

No one has done more to bring the royal family into the modern age than Princess Diana. The late royal famously challenged the family’s long-held traditions and was personally responsible for establishing some new norms that hold strong today.

For example: Before Diana, it was tradition to leave royal children behind during royal tours.

Diana was having none of that though, and made it clear when she and Prince Charles were readying for a tour of Australia and New Zealand in March of 1983, when baby Will was just nine months old, that where she went, her son also went.

According to E! Online, Will spent most of the trip at a “sheep station” (basically a large ranch-like property) with his nanny, but Diana and Charles were able to visit and spent time with him as much as possible between engagements. Even if he wasn’t able to stay by Diana’s side the entire trip, she was still able to spend more time with him than if he had stayed behind in England, 10,000 miles away.

Charles was also a fan of the decision to bring Will along for the trip.

“We were extremely happy there,” Charles wrote to some friends, according to royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith. “The great joy was that we were entirely alone together.”

Now, of course, bringing royal babies along for tours is standard practice. Prince George accompanied Will and Kate Middleton on a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2014, when he was just eight months old. And, of course Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s five-month-old son, Archie Harrison, is currently in Africa with them on tour.

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