JENNI MURRAY: Diana would have given her boys a jolly good talking to
- William and Harry are set to unite to unveil statue of Diana at Kensington Palace
- Jenni Murray suspects Diana would’ve been heartbroken by brothers behaviour
- Columnist says their mother would’ve been keen to revive their relationship
As the two young men, William and Harry, unite today at Kensington Palace to unveil the statue of the mother they lost 24 years ago, I can’t help wondering how Diana would have handled the bitter rift that has torn apart what was once a shining example of brotherly love.
I still think of William and Harry as boys, as I do my own two sons, who are of similar ages to the two Princes. I’ve watched them all grow up, a privilege denied their mother, but I suspect, if she were alive, she would have been keen to retain — or now revive — the loving, supportive relationship, full of fun, she did her best to create between them.
Observing my own two, I’ve witnessed scraps and jealousies which continue to this day, especially when they’re vying for parental attention. I also know if one of them were in trouble, the other would be there for him.
Jenni Murray suspects that Diana, if she were alive, would have been keen to revive Harry and William’s relationship. Pictured: Princess Diana with her sons
And if any rift became serious, I know what I would do. I wouldn’t ‘knock their heads together’ as I don’t believe in corporal punishment. I would get them in one room, just the three of us, and give them a jolly good talking to about the loving ties that bind siblings for ever. I think Diana would have done the same.
As an only child I’ve never fully understood what goes on between siblings. There are often terrible jealousies. I have no doubt William felt his nose was seriously put out of joint when his cute little baby brother came on the scene and got all the attention that had previously been his.
I suspect, too, that he always felt, as the older brother and future king, that he was the one who had to toe the line and be the good boy, looking on askance as the giddy little red-head got into all sorts of trouble.
Diana indulged them, cared for them, swept them into her arms as she returned from a trip abroad and made sure they discovered there was a world outside the comfort and ease of a royal home. She was a good mother. Tragically they lost her and some of the sunshine went out of their lives, never more clearly expressed than in those terrible scenes of them following her coffin through the streets of London. But they had each other.
They went their different ways as they grew older — William to university and a long wait before he decided that Kate was to be the wife he wanted; Harry to the Army and a string of girlfriends.
As Kate became a permanent fixture in William’s life, the evidence of their closeness was clear to see. Harry had not lost a brother to marriage, he’d gained a sister.
Jenni said Diana would have been heartbroken by Harry and William’s behaviour, if she were alive today. Pictured: The brothers with their wives and Prince Charles with the Duchess of Cornwall
Harry was not prepared to wait when he encountered Meghan, the love of his life, but what sensible big brother would not urge caution when the younger one seemed to be rushing into lifelong commitment? Unsurprisingly, there was probably a row.
There often is when siblings are critical of each other’s decisions, but, as a parent, you know that, no matter how much they fall out, there is a deep and enduring love between two people who’ve shared so much.
Which makes me sure that if Diana were alive today, she would have been heartbroken by Harry and William’s behaviour. She would have told her boys to stop being silly, have some respect for others, remember how much they love each other and how much family matters.
In other words I think she’d be saying, ‘Come on, sons, just grow up!’
Take note, lads, today is for her and for you and not for people who never knew her.
Be the boys she wanted you to be — together.
Jenni (pictured) said there is no need to shell out for a new gadget to get sourdough loaves to fit in your toaster
- My response to news that slices of sourdough loaves don’t fit in your toaster? Of course they don’t! No need to shell out for a new gadget. Get the bread knife. Cut a slice in half. Two halves make one whole. Plenty of bread for breakfast!
- Following last week’s plea for the right for assisted dying to be made legal in Britain — and my revelation that I’d made a right-to-die pact with two friends — I was delighted to be invited to become a patron of Dignity in Dying. I’m pleased to add my voice to those in this country who understand that death is too often far from dignified.
You’d keep tight hold of your daughter too!
Jenni said no-one knows better than Kate Moss the pitfalls a girl might face in the modelling industry, as her daughter models for Fendi in Rome
You can’t blame Kate Moss for sticking by her daughter, Lila Grace, as the 18-year-old models for Fendi in Rome. No-one knows better than Kate the pitfalls a girl might face in the modelling business. Protection is a mother’s job and at least she won’t be saying, ‘Don’t think you’re going out in that’ — their garb is not dissimilar.
Time to stop these creepy breast pests
What on earth possesses a man to take out his camera when he spots a woman doing the most natural thing — feeding her baby — and take a picture of her partly exposed breast?
It’s happened to the Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, and to Julia Cooper who was feeding her little one in Sale Water Park near Manchester. Stella was on a train and the pervert was a giggling teenage boy with his phone. Julia was photographed by a man who’d attached a telephoto lens to an SLR camera.
Both women were traumatised. Stella got off the train as soon as she could and Julia tackled the Peeping Tom. She asked him to delete the pictures, but he refused, saying it was his right as they were in a public space.
Shockingly he was right. There is no law against taking such pictures without consent. Stella and Julia’s MP, Jeff Smith, began a campaign called ‘Stop the Breast Pest.’
Meanwhile, what’s a woman to do when a screaming baby needs to be fed? Stay home in case she excites some weirdo?
No. Until Parliament sees sense do what I did. Go out. Feed when necessary — once in the shoe department of Marks & Spencer in my case — and call out the lecherous lout as loudly as you can. Shame on him, never on you.
The night i became a footie fan
Jenni admits she wasn’t a football fan until she watched the match at Wembley. Pictured: Raheem Sterling
I’m not sure this week has been good for my health. I’ve never been a football fan and have only dipped in to Wimbledon from time to time, but on Tuesday I thought is England v Germany worth 90 minutes of my precious time?
Or shall I, after practically having a heart attack on Monday willing Andy Murray to get through the first round, check out how Roger Federer is getting on? I did both, flicking from BBC1 to BBC2, getting over excited and shrieking ‘Come on Roger!’, ‘Go Raheem Sterling!’, ‘Harry Kane, where are you?’
As the goals went in, I stuck with the footie. At home in North London, I added to the cheers at nearby Wembley and realised I’d finally, aged 71, become a football fan. I’ve even learned the offside rule in time for Saturday.
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