Major milestones - weddings and babies, for example - are gateways to the past. And if you're a royal, all signs point to Princess Diana. With two exciting moments on the horizon – the arrival of baby #3 and the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - we can't help but think about Lady Di.
There's no question about it: Diana loved being a mother - and her children miss her madly. Some say that sons are attracted to women that remind them of their mother - and the resemblance between Princess Diana and Kate Middleton is uncanny.
As mothers, Kate and Diana are as close as it gets. "Both women are incredibly hands-on," Susan Constantine, human behavioral expert and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Reading Body Language, told GoodHousekeeping.com. "They're always fixated on their children, even with the chaos around them."
Diana was always physically connected with her children. When walking, she would typically put her hand on one of their backs. "This 1-on-1 connection makes children feel safe," says Constantine. "It's an anchoring movement that's especially important in potentially stressful situations."
Both women bend down to be at the same level as their children. "This is one way that parents show their children that they're equals," Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, told GoodHousekeeping.com. "We see this with Princess Diana and Kate Middleton, as well as with Prince William."
William and Kate have a somewhat laid-back parenting style - at least they make it look easy. Diana, on the other hand, was more tense. "Her gestures, like having her children seated between her legs, indicate that she was the protector in the family," says Constantine. "She's like a mother bear watching over her cubs ... at all times."
In the picture above, William is leaning into his mother, which shows that he's comfortable. "It's also significant that they're all on the same level," says Wood. "William and Kate do this time and time again. A family that's in-sync will have their feet on the same plane - and Diana and her children all have their feet on the same step here."
So, what about Prince Charles? (Hint: he's two steps above everyone else.)
In these moments, both Diana and Kate have relaxed posture. "When they know that their children are close and safe, they can relax," says Wood. A relaxed hand indicates that they're trusting their children to explore in a safe space.
When playing with her children, Diana wasn't able to let her guard down completely (it may have something to do with the cameras). "She's very directional and correctional in her actions," says Wood. "She's constantly adjusting her son's feet on the jungle gym and tugging at their outfits. However, the boys don't seem to mind because it's totally normal behavior in their home."
Kate, on the other hand, has a more relaxed presence. "If her child falls, she simply picks them up," says Wood. "In contrast, Diana tries everything in her power to prevent her children from falling in the first place."
As William and Harry grew up in the public eye, Diana was always there to guide them. Can you spot the subtle finger hold?! "This shows that she's respectful of her growing son but still wants to be connected," says Constantine. "She purposely placed her hand behind her so that less people would see this embrace."
Moral of the story: Diana's influence goes far beyond Prince William and Prince Harry. "Both women are a barrier of protection around their kids," says Constantine. "They're like a human stop sign ... in a loving way, of course."
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