Princess Diana Once Said Prince William Picked Up This 'Dreadful' Christmas Habit from Her
Tim Graham / Getty Princess Diana and Prince William attend the Christmas Day service in Sandringham
Usually kids find it hard to wait until Christmas morning to open their presents, but Princess Diana admitted that even as an adult she struggled waiting to tear into her presents! And her eldest son, Prince William, apparently shares this trait.
"A package of any shape was never safe for me," wrote Diana in a 1985 letter to a friend. "And I'm afraid William picked up this terrible habit from his mother too, as I find that wrapping paper is undone in the most extraordinary of places."
Christmas has always been a special time for the royal family. When Prince William and Prince Harry were little, Diana and Prince Charles had great fun and royal duties like going to church while welcoming the public, which the boys started at the age of 6 and 4, respectively.
In a letter from 1990, Princess Diana shared how much her sons adored the holiday.
"The boys are thrilled with the prospect of Christmas on the horizon and have searched high and low for packages that might get in their way!" She wrote.
RELATED: Meghan Markle gave Prince William this gag present on her first Christmas with the Royal Family
A. G. Carrick / Diana Memorial Fund / Getty Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry
As for the celebrations with her royal in-laws, Diana had a slightly uncomfortable start to Christmas. It is a royal custom to swap inexpensive gag gifts on Christmas Eve - something Meghan Markle nailed to the royal family on her first Christmas when she gave William the perfect novelty gift.
As a newlywed in 1981, Diana apparently did not receive the memo and presented her sister-in-law, Princess Anne, with an expensive cashmere sweater. Anne gave her a toilet paper cover for it. But Diana started quickly, especially when it came to her sons. For a year she pranked Harry by putting fake dog poop in his stocking!
After Diana's death in 1997, the vacation became even more poignant for the brothers. As adults, both princes worked with bereaved families, and last year Harry dressed up as Santa Claus to deliver a video message for Scotty's little soldiers assisting children of fallen British forces.
Scotty's little soldiers Prince Harry
"I heard there were 190 of you there this year. Please cause as much chaos as you can," he said with a smile. “I would also like to encourage you to look around and see that you are part of a family…. Yes, losing a parent is incredibly difficult, but I know that each and every one of you, in helping one another, has an amazing future ahead of you, and an amazing Christmas too. Your parents will never be forgotten and you will never be forgotten. "
RELATED: Kate Middleton Gave The Queen This Homemade Present For Her First Royal Christmas: "I Was Worried"
Christmas will look different for the royal family this year. Queen Elizabeth has canceled her annual gathering at her Sandringham estate due to the COVID-19 crisis. During the holidays she will ring the doorbell with her husband Prince Philip at Windsor Castle, where they spent most of the year in isolation.
Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children - Prince George (7), Princess Charlotte (5) and Prince Louis (2) - are spending the holidays at their home in Ann Hall in Norfolk as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrate their first American Christmas with her son Archie in their new home in Montecito, California.
Matt Porteous The Cambridge Family 2020 Christmas Card
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex The Sussex Family Christmas Card 2020
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The Sussex and Cambridge families were sending each other Christmas presents before the holidays, PEOPLE has learned.
The new special edition of PEOPLE, Christmas With The Queen: A Holiday Album of the Royal Family, is available now on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold.
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