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The Crown Isn’t Wrong: Princess Diana Was a Fantastic Mom

There are just two people who like—as a matter of fact, love—Princess Diana in The Crown season four: her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, both of whom are toddlers. The rest can’t stand the princess, but even her miserable husband, Prince Charles, agrees that she has one merit, which is being a fantastic mother. Take the couple’s 1983 tour of Australia, which was years in the making. Diana brings it to a halt, insisting on reuniting with her newborn, and predictably sends Charles into a towering temper. The eventual mother-son reunion ends up being so clearly heartfelt that his rage transforms into acceptance—and, for one brief moment, actual happiness. Without her children, it seems impossible that Diana could have made it through 1981—when, at 20, she married then 32-year-old Charles—to 1990, when season four ends. (Funnily enough, The Crown’s Charles cites Diana being “a child” as one of many reasons not to go through with the marriage.) Here’s what motherhood looked like for Diana throughout those years, from the family’s home in Highgrove to vacations on the British Virgin Islands.

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Prince William, Princess Diana, and Prince Charles on the day of William’s christening, at Buckingham Palace, August 1982.

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Princess Diana and Prince Harry at home in Kensington Palace, February 1983.

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Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Charles at a photo call in New Zealand, April 1983.

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Princess Diana and Prince William boarding a plane at Aberdeen Airport in Scotland, September 1985.

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Princess Diana and Prince William working on a puzzle in the playroom of Kensington Palace, October 1985.

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Princess Diana and Prince Harry at Highgrove, July 1986.

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Princess Diana, Prince Wiliam, and Prince Harry playing in the garden of Highgrove, July 1986.

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Prince William on his pony with Princess Diana at Highgrove, July 1986.

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Prince William, Princess Diana, and Princess Harry arriving at the Aberdeen Airport in Scotland, August 1986.

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Princess Diana and Prince William at a polo match in Windsor, June 1987.

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Princess Diana with Prince Harry and Prince William on the steps of Marivent Palace in Palma, Majorca, August 1987.

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Princess Diana and Prince Harry on the banks of the River Dee near Balmoral Castle in Scotland, August 1987.

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Princess Diana with (left to right) Prince William, Lord Frederick Windsor, Zara Phillips and Peter Phillips at a Christmas Day church service in Windsor, December 1987.

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Princess Diana and Prince William at a polo match in Windsor, May 1988.

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Prince Harry and Princess Diana with Prince William, Lady Gabriella Windsor, and Lady Rose Windsor at Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour, June 1988.

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the steps of Marivent Palace in Palma, Spain, August 1988.

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Princess Diana with Prince Harry and her niece and nephews on holiday on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, January 1989.

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Prince William and Princess Diana ahead of a cycling trip in Tresco during their holiday on the Isles of Scilly, June 1989.

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Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry on Harry’s first day at Wetherby School in London, September 1989.

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Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana with Prince Harry and her nieces and nephews on Necker Island, April 1990.

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Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry at the Alton Towers theme park and resort in Staffordshire, October 1990.